Anyone from anywhere can join the remote workforce right from their kitchen table. No passport necessary. We talked in episode 54 about the fact you don’t need to be a beautiful, fit, 25 year-old, child-free, digital nomad to enjoy the benefits of the remote work style. And more people and companies are catching on, which is probably why remote working has increased by 140% since 2005.
You might think that remote work is simply a benefit or perk offered by companies in response to the demand for more flexible working arrangements, especially from Millenials, single-parents families, people with physical disabilities that make it hard to travel to and move around an office everyday, or those mental health issues like PTSD, and you’re partly right, but the real seed of change comes from an indisputable fact: it’s really great for business.
In this episode I talk you through the 4 reasons remote working is spreading like wildfire (and why now is the best time to get a remote job), 2 of which might surprise you. We’ll be talking about…
- The local talent shortage around the world
- How future-focused companies are unlocking innovation by building remote teams
- The unusual advantage of removing bias & tapping a diverse talent pool
Get the Podcast Study Pack 3 and receive a worksheet, guide or checklist workbook for every episode, so you can make your remote career & transition a reality ASAP.
The benefits of a global workforce have been obvious to global companies like Microsoft, Dell. Xerox, Wells Fargo & Cisco who have offered flex-time and remote working arrangements for decades.
My first remote working opportunity was in London in 2004, when MSN, Microsoft sent a small box of remote hardware to my home, a remote tech team based in Ireland helped me set it up in my kitchen so I had high speed internet at home, gave me remote access to company servers, paid for my monthly internet connection, AND gave me the all clear to work from home. Which I did once a week. Everything I would usually do in the office, I did at home. More time to exercise and prepare healthy meals. It was bliss. No exhausting commute on the London tube to Soho. Remote working has been around for YEARS!!! So why the seemingly sudden boom in the media?
Why do remote jobs seem to be spreading like wildfire NOW? I’m going to share 4 reasons with you, 2 that might surprise you.
They’ve been hiring remotely, conducting business across geographies, time zones, & cultures; and often installing wifi & data plans in employees homes at their own cost to enable them to WFH, the popular online status for those working from home. Since the last century.
The explosion is happening because all of a sudden I think because everyone is an entrepreneurs or the founder of an early stage startups in countries all over the world, and THEY are ushering in unlimited work style opportunities to anyone living anywhere, or living everywhere; from single parents working from home and nationals living in far-flung locations relative to the founders or HQ, to digital nomads who change location every 2 weeks. Because of an indisputable fact:
Finding talent locally is often impossible.
Companies need to be ‘open’ to the remote workforce, but to dedicate time & resources to actively scour the globe in search of the talent they need. Without whom they can’t build, grow & scale.
The second obvious reason — the other side of that same coin — is that the most sought-after talent are demanding remote roles. And for some people it’s even more important than a 6-figure salary.
The most saught-after talent are demanding remote roles.
Developers in particular are in short supply, with 5 roles open for every developer in the US, and 53% of them prioritise remote work during the job search. And 68% of college grads say that remote work opportunities are a deciding factor. So companies looking for tech people or fresh-faced worker bees are wising up because it’s a strategic imperative to do so.
The most skilled workers across all disciplines from marketing & HR to customer service & product development consider remote work a major priority in the job search, signaling seismic shift in worker sentiment. Which includes quitting a job if their employers don’t offer flexible or remote working options.
The balance of power has shifted: the knowledge worker is now driving the remote work style revolution. Being open to the remote workforce is not only smart, but a strategic imperative. Especially in a tight labour market.
Beyond the obvious benefits of cherry picking the best candidates from the global talent pool, like financial savings and greater focus & productivity, there are 2 advantages of hiring from the global talent pool that might surprise you.
Diversity helps unlock innovation, engage customers, and move business forward
Company diversity is not only a hot topic but also a legal mandate in some countries, leaving the benefits buried underneath terms like affirmative action and reverse discrimination which reek of civil rights voilations. Thankfully the remote revolution is flipping that on its head.
Beyond better coverage of the globe, cheaper labour and the ability to service customers 24-7, hiring based on talent AND diversity of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation, attracts the diverse knowledge, insights, ideas, skills & experience that “unlocks innovation, engages customers, and moves business forward,” according to this Citrix Report.
Latest research from McKinsey & Company, Delivering Through Diversity, reaffirms the global relevance of the link between diversity—defined as a greater proportion of women and a more mixed ethnic and cultural composition in the leadership of large companies—and company financial outperformance.
A real competitive edge for small teams with global dreams. Again, a strategic imperative to hire diversely to help grow the bottom line.
Now, in the worksheet for this episode I help you create a list of dream remote job criteria that you can use to aid your remote job search. So if you’re not a 25-year old white male programmer, you’ll enjoy the critical thinking the worksheet will create for you. You can grab a copy here.
And speaking of 25 year old white male programmers…
Diversity helps remove bias & create better product experience.
Let’s take the gender gap for example. Debugging the gender gap — especially in tech — is not simply about opening up career opportunities to over half the world’s population. It also helps companies build better products for your audience. The problem you didn’t know your fixing is this:
“The technology industry’s mostly white male workforce of coders is creating a “diversity crisis,” with bias seeping into products like facial recognition programs and chatbots, according to a new report from New York University’s AI Now Institute… This underscores what the study’s authors say is the importance of a diverse workforce that reflects a diverse society.” — Aimee Picchi in How tech’s white male workforce feeds bias into AI
It’s a matter of perspective. If you’re developing products that women will use, you’d be well-served to throw the female perspective into development. It’s changes the hypotheses, the experiments & the results, and the resulting customer experience.
It’s something that even Apple gets wrong: Arielle Duhaime-Ross had this to say about Apple’s HealthKit app in The Verge:
“And yet, of all the crazy stuff you can do with the Health app, Apple somehow managed to omit a woman’s menstrual cycle. In short, if you’re a human who menstruates and owns an iPhone, you’re sh*t out of luck.”
With more companies offering flexible work styles that give women — including mothers — flexibility to manage their career & family simultaneously, the remote work style is a catalyst for change:
“Countless studies have shown that diverse teams perform better than homogeneous ones, but without focused solutions, gender parity throughout the corporate ladder won’t be achieved for 100 years.” — Katharine Zaleski, a founder of PowerToFly
By hiring from the global talent pool as a remote company, you close gender gap in your own company and in the industry simultaneously. Equal opportunity and better product experience go hand in hand.
But just think of all the other groups of people in our society who are discriminated against, who represent sizeable percentages of our society, who buy and use products & services that companies sell! And if we are not represented in the teams building them for us, they won’t be built for us. And that’s a pretty big business problem for a company to have, when their goal is growth & scale.
What the smart, remote-first companies of all sizes, across all industries are realising is that when they tap the global talent pool and actively hire diversely, they can unlock massive innovation AND create better products for their increasingly diverse audience. They also know that even if they aren’t tapping the global talent pool, their competitors probably will be!
So if you really think about it, being part of the remote work style and bringing your perspective to the table is also about leaving the world a little better than we found it.
So crack open worksheet 3 in the podcast pack 3 and do the Dream Job Criteria Worksheet. It will stimulate critical thinking about the perspective you bring to a remote job, and the non-negotiable criteria a company has to have for you to build a career you love without the threat of bias or discrimination. As well as show your future employee what a great addition to the team you’d be.
If you don’t have a copy yet, head over to https://stephanieholland.co/podcastpack3 and get your copy there.
Until then, keep living and working on your own terms, so you can build your career and the life you really want simultaneously. See you next week. Bye!
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