What are the benefits of a distributed team?
Since graduating from college, I've worked at four companies. Three of those have either allowed remote working or required it. Although my parents still have a hard time believing that I have a "real" job where I work in pajamas and take calls from the couch most days, my work experience is increasingly becoming the norm.
According to recent national studies, 45% of the U.S. workforce now has a job that’s suitable for full-time or part-time telecommuting. And that number is expected to increase by as much as 21% by the year 2016.
Why are so many companies opting to allow their employees to work from home? Here are just some of the benefits that, here at Beutler Ink, we find in a remote working setup:
- We're not restricted by geography. When we're hiring talent, we aren't concerned about where you live. We aren't limited to who is the best creative director in one city. Instead, we can ask who the best creative director is—anywhere—and hire that person. It allows us to recruit and work with the best of the best.
- We're (almost) always open. We have team members in every time zone in the U.S. Additionally, many of our favorite design partners work from the U.K. This means there's very nearly ALWAYS someone available to help our client partners, whether it's a quick phone call to track something down or a late-night copy edit for a presentation in the morning.
- We can be near our clients. With our team positioned in strategic hubs across the country, from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., we're available for in-person meetings with many more of our clients than we could be if we all worked in one city together. And even if we don't have someone in a partner's city, we're almost never more than an hour or two away by plane. This makes in-person meetings a reality for many of our partners, even though we work with companies across the country.
- We don't have to commute. Our team is able to spend more hours of the day working thanks to the lack of any commute. No one is ever late because of traffic or a delayed train. If you oversleep by 20 minutes, you're generally 21 minutes late to work. Better yet, we all save on gas!
- We don't have much overhead. With the money that we save in rent for offices, we create passion projects through our Labs division, like Recurring Developments, and that also makes it easier for us to travel—when it makes the most sense—to visit client partners or other team members.
Remote working—it's good for our employees, it's good for our own bottom line, it's good for our client partners, and it's good for the environment to boot. Being a distributed team may still be a bit unusual, but it's becoming less so all the time. Until it reaches "norm" status, we'll keep enjoying the advantages!