The remote-work niche

In the last five months, I’ve had close contact with two companies which run their entire operation almost entirely remotely. Both are roughly the same size (about 80-100 employees), both have been running a remote-work business for 20 years, both are in a reliable niche business with a lot of stability.

This week I started work for one of them.

I know I’m a little burned by the last four years of what (for me at least) was a mostly unpleasant and draining city commute so I’m sure I’m not quite objective right now. But three freakin’ cheers for the wonderful entrepreneurs who enable their employees to work flexibly and put their work energy where it best belongs: into work projects rather than fussing with all the problems that can come with commuting.

I think it’s going to be an interesting journey, and if it goes well I plan to be very vocal about my support for flexible work and all the companies which do it that way. I know, it doesn’t work for every business. But for the ones where it does, the possibilities nowadays are just so promising and positive.

Collaborative tools are cheap and can easily be outsourced and fully integrated into any business’s network. Communication via all these spiffy tools can be even better than it would be in a physical office. Even functions like recruiting and HR (where a small company can’t really justify hiring dedicated staff) can be effectively outsourced, providing a remote-work opportunity for yet another person. I truly think (again, for any business that consists mainly of information workers) that this type of company can and should become more common.

It’s a great opportunity for employees who don’t have to tie their work-life to their living location, and it’s a great way for entrepreneurs to start small businesses with a pool of employees that can come from anywhere that dedicated and hard-working employees happen to come from.

Win-win – Go remote, and bring a friend!

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