opinion pieces

Working remotely — A company’s dream or a productivity nightmare?

Mario Uher

· 5 min read

It is no secret that working remotely is part of the modern workforce. Companies shift their employees from offices to home offices. This seems like a win-win situation for the employer as well as the employee. For the employer, office costs are reduced and for the employee, it means saving tons of time by ditching the daily commute and having more freedom.

According to statistics*, a typical business would save up to $11.000 per person a year, if they would have a remote team. This is a pretty big number and is for sure one of the reasons, why Fortune 1000 companies around the globe are revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework. So why not use the opportunity as a business to save on office rent, liabilities, power, and whatever else is coming towards you at the end of the month?

YodelTalk’s CEO Mike Heininger says:

“We are a remote team because we always believed in this concept and know of the pros and cons that come with it.”

Meaning that we at YodelTalk are well aware that remote work is not for everyone. Even though 80 to 90% of the US workforce says that they would like to telework at least part-time, doesn’t mean that they are cut out for it.

“All our employees at Yodel are very independent and we only hire people that prove to us that they have that ability to do so and in addition are self-disciplined and well organized”,* so Heininger.*

Another company that decided on having a remote team is Blossom. We asked Allan Berger, Founder, and COO of Blossom, about his thoughts on having a remote team:

“There are many benefits and advantages to distributed teams. When working as a distributed team each individual can choose where they work from — be it at home, at a cafe or co-working space. Besides that, working asynchronously provides the ability to set your own productivity time and better and freely manage spare time or combine it with traveling. Another positive side effect for being a global team is that you implicitly improve your workflows, processes, coordination and communication. Also, having your team spread across the planet in different timezones allows you to provide service & support 24 hours a day. And depending on the company culture and conditions — not working hours are measured — teams are rather excited on shared vision and focus on results and continuous productivity over the long term.”

At YodelTalk, we also see the advantage of having a team in different time zones. We are currently distributed on two continents and make use of it. However, by being a remote team ourselves, we experienced also obstacles that come along with it and most of the effect being collaborative and down the line our productivity. When deciding to have a completely remote team, it is necessary to implement tools that make it easier to work together for the whole team and to ensure that collaboration and productivity are given in every possible way and throughout the entire day.

When not being together physically in one spot, there is some communication left out, that is vital for an employee’s affiliation with the company. Therefore, we at YodelTalk are connected over a video chat throughout the day, to see our teammates and interact with them. It is an effective way for team building. Another big part of our collaborative work is our business chat platform. We can exchange ideas, links, pictures, or work together on projects. There are plenty of tools on the market by now but one mission-critical one was missing so far: a collaborative business phone solution. This is also why we have built one on our own.

In case you are not familiar with Yodel yet, here it is in a nutshell: We built the first voice bot that operates and integrates business phone calls into the business chat platform Slack, Microsoft Teams, and HipChat. The aim is to make business phone calls collaborative as well as more time-efficient. YodelTalk creates this with its product, Yodel, which takes care of incoming calls from customers, business partners, and everyone else who may call the business phone line. It is a complete business phone solution in itself with some pretty neat features.

The trend of working from home in the US workforce has increased by 103% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees are working remotely at least half of their time. Forbes provided a list of companies that are supporting a remote workforce. You will find a lot of familiar companies on this list, like GitHub and Zapier.

For us, at YodelTalk it works out great being an entirely remote team. At this point in time, we have our team distributed on two continents, and working efficiently together has never been easier.

*Statistics are provided by globalworkbaseanalytics.com, which base their studies on the US Census Bureau. We included these facts and figures in our article but of course, we put in our two cents about the topic, since we are an entire remote working team.

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