Remote Workers May 29, 2020

Ask me anything about remote work

Alex @alourie

I've worked remotely for over 10 years in 4 different companies (sizes, industries, countries). Ask me anything you want to know - the tools, the culture, the companies, the bad, the good, and the ugly.

In most cases I can give you hints if the remote work is for you, or the company you're looking for is good for remote workers.

Hit me up if you have questions.

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    Hi @alourie, any tips on how companies can compete in finding more qualified remote candidates, now that so many businesses are going online and seeking the very same workers?

    For context, I'm talking about programming/developers here.

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      Oh my, such a big topic.

      I'm currently on the market for work, and I'm specifically looking for remote positions. I can't even start describing how many companies are not hiring remotely, even in this environment. I'm even talking about the fact that they can't even interview me in person. So how come they don't do remote???

      Back to the question. To compete, the companies should just start by developing a culture of work with people not in the office as the first step. Building a remote-first culture - meaning that people should get comfortable discussing things via means other than IRL face-to-face conversation.

      Don't limit your search to certain geographic areas. This way you get wider search parameters and vastly more candidates. There are plenty of developers/designers everywhere. Start with your timezone, then national (to ease tax/work law burden), and then go worldwide. Just keep salaries decent and honest - if you were ready to pay SV salary in SV, be ready to pay the same for someone in other locales.

      One of the biggest mistakes a lot of companies who switched to remote work make is literally moving their office to people's homes. But the culture is kept the same - you have to be at your desk, you have to participate in meetings, you have to answer immediately. This is all wrong. To compete, a company should be able to work asynchronously, which is not only remote-first but also "non-realtime first"

      So if the culture is right, you compete the same way you compete for other resources - by offering them better things. Do other companies offer remote work? Okay, do they allow people to work whenever they feel best or they have to clock 9-5? Do they force people to sit in front of their computers all the time and answer immediately?

      So you offer the freedom to do their best work. You offer them great salaries. You offer them interesting projects to work on. You offer them a fantastic life-work balance. You also should let others know about your company and how you work. Take a look at what Basecamp or Automattic are doing regarding their outreach - when they have an opening, they get 1000s of applications.

      From what I've seen, most companies are doing remote wrong. So don't compete with them for developers, compete with them on culture. If your culture is great, people will find you.

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        This is great.

        The notes and take home messages I got from your reply:

        • Companies shouldn't impose their culture into people's homes. In-office work environments have characteristics that simply don't translate to work from home environments.

        • Work from home culture from day 1.

        • Don't short change employees over salaries. Target salaries that are reasonable and fair.

        • Be open about how remote work at your company, so candidates aren't afraid to apply.

        • Draw a geographic circle for remote hires, and keep expanding until one can find the right person -- for time zone, tax compliance simplicity purposes.

        Thanks @alourie

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          Yep, you've put together all the right points.
          And you're very welcome.