Threecolts was formed during a pandemic and grew swiftly during inflation, consumer hesitancy and a market downturn. We’ve been remote first and global since the beginning—and this isn’t going to change.
The benefits of a remote-first global workplace—and the shift in leadership needed to enact this successfully—far outweigh the disadvantages of business as usual. A remote workplace inspires leaders to transform their thinking to allow for better outcomes in productivity, innovation and job satisfaction.
How Covid Changed The Way We Work
The Covid-19 pandemic changed not only the way people work but our attitudes toward work. In 2021, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs. The Great Resignation highlighted workers’ dissatisfaction with stagnant wages, limited growth opportunities and feeling disrespected as motivating factors for quitting.
Then there was “quiet quitting,” a movement heralded on social media and informed by workers’ dissatisfaction with grind culture. According to a Gallup survey in June 2022, at least half the U.S. workforce consider themselves quiet quitters. Not since the second world war, when women started working en masse, have cultural expectations about work and the labor force changed so greatly.
Thinking about remote working from a traditional mindset—one based on synchronous communication styles and top-down authority—is where many founders and CEOS go wrong. After all, innovative thinking is what differentiates an average business owner from a successful leader or entrepreneur, one who understands that yesterday’s solutions are all too often tomorrow’s problems.
Workers Thrive With More Autonomy
A remote-first company impels leaders to question the ways they do things which, in a post-Covid world, is crucial. Workers want flexibility, freedom and balance; having come close to it during the pandemic, they’re more prone to dissatisfaction than at any other time.
Traditional labor economics tells us that workers often supply the minimum effort necessary to fulfill their duties at work. Give workers freedom, autonomy and the ability to contribute to their job with more meaning and creativity and you’ll see an increase in workplace motivation, job performance and employee well-being. Less money is spent on new hires and disruptive workplace changes. This is why leaders must let go of the “command and control” leadership style and instead empower their employees with autonomy and balance.
New Ways To Communicate
Remote working has seen a trend toward asynchronous communication (communication that doesn’t require an immediate answer), which gives employees the freedom to work when and where they choose, at the times most beneficial to them. This flexibility brings the best out of workers, increasing productivity and innovation.
On the flip side, with increased flexibility around communication, workers tend to be happier than office workers to reply to emails or take calls beyond traditional business hours. This means that problems are dealt with swiftly, resulting in better efficiency and greater client satisfaction.
At Threecolts, we’ve found that remote work has resulted in a style of communication we call overcommunicating—whereby we over-index on information sharing to ensure everyone is aligned with our strategic objectives. Overcommunicating adds a layer of transparency to everyday proceedings and allows us to track and communicate performance, objectives, strategies and ideas and to source any issues to their origin. It provides us with a blueprint of ideation and outcomes—invaluable to leaders who aim to do better.
Talent Is Global
Another benefit of a remote-first workplace is the ability to hire the best people, regardless of location, to perform at a higher level. Talent is global, after all. A diverse and distributed team—a global footprint—is another driver of our success in various markets. The diversity of approaches from a global team invites further opportunities for innovation, irrespective of their location. Smart people apply smart strategies to produce really good outcomes.
For businesses like ours servicing customers in different regions of the world, having employees worldwide allows us to tap into the diverse perspectives and cultural awareness of our teammates in over 30-plus countries. In doing so, we become more innovative and we are better equipped to serve our global customer base and stay ahead of the competition.
Lastly, a global workplace might not give plenty of opportunities for water cooler talk, but there are always opportunities for in-person events and companywide off-sites, a far cheaper proposition than leasing an office in a major city. This is a fantastic way to build morale and provide opportunities for in-person problem-solving a few times a year.
For companies embracing the future, innovation and adaptability are crucial. If an expansive and open mindset doesn’t originate with leaders, however, the company suffers. As computer scientist Alan Kay said, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Remote work is an opportunity to do just that—to transform leadership and workplace habits to allow for growth, innovation and success.