Will a Remote-Only Startup Thrive in the Business World?
In a post-pandemic world, remote working has become commonplace. Many companies allow staff to work from home at least some of the time.
Technological advances in the past few years mean that many employees can do their work from anywhere in the world. Team meetings can be facilitated with participants in different locations. And remote desktop technology means that workers can access what they need as long as they have a laptop and an internet connection.
But much debate continues around remote working. Does remote working really offer employees a better work-life balance and improved wellbeing? Are employees more productive when working from home? And as for startups - will a remote-only startup thrive in the business world?
Will a remote-only startup thrive in the business world?
Starting a business is an exciting yet unpredictable experience. There are many decisions to be made throughout the process. One of your main decisions as a startup will be whether you run a remote-only business or have a physical presence for your business.
If you're considering a remote-only setup, you might even explore the option of utilizing a coworking space to provide a balance between remote work and occasional in-person collaboration.
This decision isn’t an easy one, and there are many factors to consider. In this article, we will discuss some of the key points to consider when deciding if your remote-only startup can thrive.
There’s no doubt about it, running a remote-only business can keep your overheads and other costs low. With a good remote support system and no physical space to rent and maintain, your overheads will be significantly reduced. This allows you to use those savings in other areas of the business, such as recruitment, marketing or operations.
For startups, a low-cost business model is particularly appealing as it enables you to become profitable faster. However, cost-effectiveness shouldn’t be the deciding factor when it comes to business decisions. Just because something costs less doesn’t mean it is the best option.
Make sure you consider if running your business remotely will actually work for you. If a physical space would actually be better for your organization, then don’t rule it out simply because it costs more.
By opting for a remote-only startup, you arguably get more freedom and flexibility as a business owner. As long as you have the right technology under your belt, such as video conferencing and remote desktop support, you can run your business from wherever you choose.
This gives you greater control over your schedule, your work environment and your life in general. You could even schedule in a “workcation” a couple of times a year - sounds blissful! Running a business is a big commitment and can be stressful, so having the flexibility to do it on your own terms is highly appealing.
Hire top talent
Flexibility and freedom is appealing. Think about how your employees might feel if they too are allowed this flexibility. With nearly half of UK workers wanting to work from home permanently, a remote-only startup will be highly appealing to many potential employees.
Not only that, but by running a remote-only business, you open your business up to receiving applications from top talent all over the world. You could even use a domain from Only Domains to target talent in areas of the world you hope to attract candidates from. You are not limited to hiring people within your local area, and this can potentially be a game-changer for your business.
To efficiently manage the influx of global applications, it's important to implement a robust applicant tracking system that can streamline the recruitment process and help you identify the best candidates more effectively.
It all sounds a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? And maybe it is, because running a remote-only business means it can be very difficult to build relationships and cultivate a strong company culture. With employees working out of different locations and sometimes even different time zones, connecting on a meaningful level can be challenging.
If you choose to run a remote-only startup, you need to consider this. How will you encourage a group of people who have never met to become a connected workforce?
Productivity vs knowledge sharing
Fewer distractions, a better work-life balance and the ability to work in an environment that suits them best. All this leads to more productivity from remote workers. If your company provides employees with the tools they need to work effectively remotely, they can certainly get their work done without the need to be in an office environment.
However, there are definite benefits to working in an office or in-person environment. First of all, the nature of in-person working means that employees can share knowledge more easily. They can support one another when problems arise. In order to support real-time collaboration remotely, you need software such as a collaborative whiteboard tool or shared employee dashboard. There’s no doubt though that working remotely can make information-sharing and collaborative problem-solving more challenging.
And don’t forget that for some startups, running as a completely remote business is just not possible. Depending on the nature of your business, you might need employees to pack orders from a warehouse or work on a production line. Remember to consider all aspects of your operations before you decide whether a remote-only setup is for you.
Remote can work
The rise in remote working has meant that digital technology and remote working software have seen huge developments in recent years. The tools are now available to allow you to run a remote-only startup. But can your remote-only startup thrive in the business world? The answer is, a little non-definitively, perhaps!
A remote-only startup is convenient, flexible and cost-effective. But that’s not to say that it comes without challenges. With employees working remotely, it is more difficult to create a collaborative culture and build relationships across your company. Employees can be more productive when working remotely, but information sharing and collaborative problem-solving can be challenging.
Despite this, with the right tools and a proper business strategy for remote working, your remote-only startup can most definitely thrive in the business world. Do your research and make sure a remote-only model is right for your business, and then go on to reap the benefits.