From Office-First to Remote-First: How Your Company Can do it Easily
Setting up a remote worker is broken
Remote is seen as a perk by companies and workers which has led to two major problems:
- Companies do not supply adequate equipment
- Workers have lower expectations of what they should get
There’s been huge focus on the ‘sexy’ side of remote working. Things like communication, collaboration, documentation and cloud access to internal infrastructure/tools. This makes sense — there have been awesome advances in these areas over the last six years — it is the reason that remote work is possible now when it wasn’t before.
Today, while remote is now possible, there is a missing half of the future of work. The boring, dusty, infrastructure which let’s remote teams scale globally does not exist and this is a huge problem for companies already making, or considering, the transition. In some cases, the inability to provide a great culture and experience stops companies from progressing.
Providing a great remote working experience is hard
- It’s expensive — $3,000 — $5,000 per worker of upfront cost
- Getting a remote worker setup is time-consuming
- There’s no way to guarantee it arrives on time
- There is no easy way to get the tools back
This is a problem faced by chief people/HR officers, employee experience teams, operations managers in companies everywhere, of all sizes. Not the person dealing with it? You can’t even imagine how much time and hassle this takes to deal with.
Even companies who want to provide a richer culture and experience are limited by what is available to help do that. It is impossible to guarantee that workers will be as safe, comfortable and productive at home as they would be in an office. This has major implications, most of which are never properly considered.
This is a big problem that is going to get worse
As remote work grows the burden on these people increases and it consumes more of their time. The 7 million full-time remote workers from home across the EU and the USA in 2005 has grown to 20 million+ workers today and will continue to rise to 40m by 2030.
Lack of solutions means these teams spend an inordinate amount of time ordering things, chasing up suppliers to ensure they arrive and recovering from an awful onboarding experience when these things invariably go wrong. Even worse, the person left dealing with this problem is doing so even though it is not a task in their job description. Nothing leads to a more terrible first experience with a company more than a terrible onboarding experience.
What is the impact of this problem?
Bad remote experiences lead to lower productivity. Everyone who has ever worked remotely knows that if you don’t have the right tools to do your job it’s difficult to be as productive as you would be if you did. Nothing impacts that more than the physical tools and equipment you work on top of. Your workspace and tools are the foundation on which great remote work is built. Remote workers need the same things your workers in an office have to do their best work. This is obvious, yet many companies don’t do it and they are handicapping their remote workers towards delivering great work. Giving a remote worker a laptop and expecting them to work hunched over the kitchen table is an aberration. Workplace injuries at home will grow if companies do not help provide the right work environment at home.
Today Companies do 1 of 3 things
- Do nothing — some companies only provide there remote workers with a laptop and expect them to fend for themselves for all the other equipment they need.
- Pay a stipend — $X a month to pay for things they need
- Let workers buy what they want and expense it after
The issue with all 3 of these outcomes is that none of them guarantee your workers are using the appropriate equipment. Remote developers need two screens in order to achieve maximum operational efficiency, not a laptop. Providing a stipped or letting remote workers expense the kit they buy may ensure they have better equipment than they would otherwise but it does not guarantee that it is correct
How hard could this problem become?
There are 255m desk jobs globally — theoretically, any of them could be a remote role. If you have a worker who does 75% of their work on a computer, they can be remote. Eventually, every worker will be given a choice to choose where they are most efficient. Some will stay in the office, but sometime in the not to distant future a majority of workers will work remotely a majority of the time. If you don’t have a strategy to empower your workers to do this they will leave in search of opportunities at companies who do.
As we live through the inflection point right now, remote work is beginning to explode to public consciousness. It will be driven by world-class talent demanding more control, flexibility, and autonomy in their work lives. Rather than wasting 25 days every year commuting to an office in a city with a high cost of living and low quality of life they will be able to choose where to live.
The Benefits on Both Sides of the Relationship
Rather than organizing life around work, remote-first workers will begin to organize work around their life. This will lead to the greatest quality of life increase in the next decade. For companies, the biggest benefits are the retention and attraction of talent. Rather than hiring the best person you can afford in a 30-mile radius of the office, you can hire the best person you can afford anywhere in the world. Rather than losing your most talented workers to your biggest competitors you have the opportunity to attract theirs by moving first. By redistributing office space to worker’s homes companies will lower their costs, increase their average level of talent and disrupt ever office-first company on the planet.
How Firstbase can help you?
Firstbase is an all-in-one provisioning platform that lets companies provide the best remote work experience on the planet at the touch of a button. By ensuring workers operate as safely, comfortably and productively from home as they would in an office we help companies increase productivity, mitigate against injuries at home, slash real estate costs and retain their best talent.
We take care of everything as a monthly subscription per worker, including delivery, upgrades, maintenance, repairs, and collections when a worker leaves.
Rather than paying $3–5k per worker upfront, we let you spread it across 3 years.
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