In 2009 I presented my first lecture about the distributed work model and the flexible work hours. While doing my research, I found a white paper reviewing the health impact of commuting to work.
According to that study,
Cisco's Teleworker Study
Working remotely is benefitial for everyone. In 2008 Cisco conducted a Teleworker Study, an in-depth study of almost 2000 company employees. The majority of their employees reported increased productivity and satisfaction, and higher level of dedication to their employer. Cisco announced annual savings of $277 million from reduced costs and better results due to the telecommuting model. 60% of the time saved thanks to telecommuting is also spent working – and it's spent efficiently due to the lack of office interruption or day-to-day issues while commuting and dealing with other issues with the team.
International Work Opportunities
While meeting with local clients is a great way to bond, brainstorm together and build trust, freelancers and small agenices can look further and explore other locations. Depending on your work schedule, you can live in Australia and work with European clients or customers from the US. Freelancers from Boston can provide services remotely to California, or even Western Europe. The geographical limitations no longer apply with web designers and developers crafting their magic on their laptop.
There is no shortage of open positions when it comes to technical experts, and the European Union shared some stats for the next 5 years:
At a time when Europe faces massive unemployment, companies across all industry sectors face a critical shortfall of talented ICT experts. This contradictory picture reveals a mismatch between the skills on offer and those in demand in today's fast developing technology market. As a result Europe might face a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020, risking its potential for growth and digital competitiveness.
The three main reasons for that are:
- The IT industry is growing rapidly
- The education curriculum isn't focused on the business needs
- Companies are looking for employees at the office
While the IT sector isn't going anywhere and reforming the education program would take at least a few years, the least resistant path for companies to grow steadily and survive is hiring remote employees and freelancers.
So, how can you benefit from the new trend?
Team up with great partners
In the era of mobile communications we are constantly connected. WordPress is Open Source and most creative, technical and business experts are available online.
Are you a programming expert? Send an email or tweet a designer for possible partnership opportunities. Bring more value on the table by combining the best of both words. Reach out to a business expert and clean up your business strategy.
Working with the right people could turn your one-man show into a spectacle and help you reach out to the higher end customers that you've been looking for. Larger clients often want to partner with established agencies that can guarantee the quality and will not disappear in a few months. Building an international team of top talents is the WordPress equivalent of The Avengers.
Don't limit your potential to local clients
Building a 100% local team has its own constraints. Your client base is also local; you are not available during certain time zones. Once you build a great partnership with entrepreneurs from around the globe, you can serve the needs of different clients.
For instance, building a Fantastic Four team on a few continents can fill in your sales funnel in many ways:
- you can take on more work as a team
- distribute the work load across the team members, prevent burnouts or quiet times
- solve more problems by assisting in development, design, business know-how, or anything that your partners know better than you
- cover more time zones – allows for consulting or supporting international clients
- reach out to more customers
Be the ace and outsource the rest
Not only you can partner with people regardless of their geographical location, grow your business and portfolio by teaming up with them and find more and better clients, but you can also extend your set of skills or take on more work by building your own distributed crew. If you are passionate about business ownership, project management and team leading, you can hire a few freelancers and slowly build a teams with a few full-time employees and a group of experts helping with your day-to-day tasks.
Being open to a distributed style of work will give you access to tens of millions of contractors or potential remote employees. You won't have to invest in an expensive office and solid equipment for everyone. Embrace the remote style, find the best talent available, and plan depending on your technical, creative and business requirements.
Instead of locking people in cubicles, limiting their imagination and personal opinion, companies invest in talent, delegate responsibility and reward based on results. That distinguishes the high performers from non-motivated employees and improves the quality of work.
So start experimenting with different distributed practices and see how you can be more effective working with startups and innovative companies looking for the real value.