One of the greatest benefits of working remotely is just that – employees can literally work from anywhere! In early May, Airbnb CEO and founder Brian Chesky made public that all Airbnb employees would be remote indefinitely with a bonus perk that they can work anywhere in the world. If you’re based in the States, you even get a 90-day allowance to work overseas (as long as you have an established address for payroll and tax purposes). Pretty awesome, right? But for some organizations, “anywhere” comes with limitations such as the requirement to reside within a certain country, city, or time zone. From the outside looking in, this may seem convenient so that organizations can keep their employees centralized. But when the most obvious benefit of remote work is that you can indeed do it from anywhere, applying geographical restrictions can limit the talent that can be added to the team. For example, although I have a small business, I already have team members on four different continents because I do not believe that geography should limit the type of talent my business can access.
A Better Work-Life Balance
The biggest benefit of working from home is removing the commute and embracing the extra time added to your day. For example, if you’re someone who lives 10 minutes from work but went home for your daily one-hour lunch break, 20 minutes of that hour was still spent commuting. Adding the additional 20 minutes it used to take to go to and from work (plus traffic) adds nearly an extra hour back into your day. So not only is this playing a role in improving sustainability and lowering environmental impact, but many people have expressed that eliminating a commute altogether has given them the time to run errands, keep a tidier house, spend time with their family, or just have the opportunity to take a walk and breathe. As we grow and time becomes more precious than ever, little wins like this will help improve your lifestyle and mental headspace, contributing to a better work-life balance.
Removing the requirement to live within commuting distance of an office means remote organizations often have more diverse and inclusive teams. Which helps to expose you to people from different socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds who can provide different perspectives. So, another big benefit to organizational leaders like the CEO of Airbnb is opening the hiring process to a global demographic scale will allow people who typically had a harder time getting a job such as those with disabilities, caregivers who need a flexible schedule, or stay-at-home parents who need to balance work and family an equal opportunity to be employed. A great example of this is GitLab which has remote employees in over 68 countries. Unless you work in a large multinational organization, it’s impossible to have that level of diversity in a company constrained by geography.
Working in an environment where you are most comfortable will allow you to thrive and be your most productive self. How many times did you bring a jacket with you on an 85-degree day because you knew your in-person office would be freezing? Although temperature regulation may seem minuscule to some, but comfort plays a huge factor in workplace productivity. You can control your environment and don’t have to worry about co-workers asking you a quick question, obligatory socializing when you grab a coffee or offending someone by putting your headphones on to escape an open-plan office. If you aren’t comfortable, you’re distracted, and that poses a negative consequence on overall efficiency.
When an organization chooses to expand its international presence by hiring globally, it shows how serious they are about growth. Opening up these opportunities will not only attract new applicants and improve DEI, but will give current employees and leaders an incentive to stay.