We need to start embracing this concept and cultivating it as a culture if we want to stay relevant in the startup and tech world. First off, let’s define what “distributed” means. ‘Distributed Teamwork’ is basically a fancy word for remote or working from home (or anywhere, really).
For many years, people have been trying to change the way we work by creating remote opportunities for workers and companies alike. But for some reason, our society has been slow to adopt this way of working. There are still many pressures from bosses or colleagues that make us feel like we need to be physically present in order to be productive and enjoy a good career path.
Sadly, these thoughts are completely outdated and it’s time to move on from them. There are now more than enough examples of successful distributed teams that prove that you can build amazing things while never having to meet in person (or even live in the same country!). For more information visit RisePath PlanCentral.
Why Distributed Teams Are the Future of Work
The rise of the Internet has enabled more people than ever before to work from home. But this is not a new idea. The concept of telecommuting was first proposed in the 1970s and implemented by Jack Nilles at NASA, AT&T Corporation, and other corporations in the United States.
Since then, telecommuting has evolved. It has moved beyond the realm of science fiction and into reality for many companies around the world. According to a leading research-based consulting firm, 2.8% of US employees worked at least half-time from home in 2017 – a 115% increase since 2005.
In recent years, advancements in technology have made it easier to communicate over long distances. This is why it’s no surprise that a growing number of remote workers are enjoying the benefits of working from home: increased productivity, lower carbon footprint, and more time with family and friends.
- Attract the Best and the Cheapest Employees
The war for talent is real. But accessing a deep pool of talent means more than simply sifting through resumes and conducting interviews. It also means offering compensation and benefits that are competitive with other companies in your industry. If your company is based in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle or other major urban centers, you’re probably paying a premium for top talent in those markets.
But by decentralizing your team, you can “follow the talent” to lower-cost areas of the country and world. You can still hire the best people without sacrificing profit margins or quality of work. You can also attract workers who are looking for a better work/life balance – or who simply want to relocate to another area of the country or world. That’s something that remote-only companies have proven time and again over their many years of existence.
- Improve Retention Rates of Employee
In addition to attracting new talent, since remote workers don’t have to deal with an hour or more of a commute each day, it can reduce turnover rates because employees are happier, which leads us to our next point.
When you have an all-star team, it’s natural to want to keep that team intact as long as possible. Unfortunately, high turnover rates are common when employees aren’t challenged enough in their roles or they don’t feel valued by their employer – both common issues at many traditional bricks.
- Happy Workers Are More Productive Workers
Work-at-home call center personnel were shown to be more productive when they were given the option to work from home, their productivity increased by 13 percent and employee attrition decreased by 50 percent. And another poll found that 82 percent of employees said they would be more loyal if they could work from home occasionally.
- Increase Productivity
According to a study by Stanford University, productivity increases by 2.5% when employees work remotely.
- Eliminate Office Politics
Office politics can be a huge distraction for team members, who often spend more time gossiping about their colleagues than actually working. Without this kind of office drama, remote teams tend to be more productive and positive in the workplace.
- Gain Access to Global Talent Pools
With distributed teams, companies gain access to global talent pools of highly-skilled professionals who would rather work remotely than relocate to company headquarters across the globe. For example, there’s a growing number of talented programmers in Eastern Europe and Latin America who want to work remotely with companies in North America and Europe because they can’t find great jobs locally.