The Next Generation of Remote Work is Here and It's Called Remote Native

Companies long present on the market often have established ways of working. And when the pandemic hit the world, switching to remote for them meant bringing these processes into the virtual realm.

Many encountered technical troubles. Some needed to update their infrastructure and policies to allow BYOD devices and remote access. Others decided to digitize their paperwork finally. Most were forced to migrate and adapt to more modern software.

Yet, the business processes and ways of working stayed the same. People continue to work on the same schedule. Have regular meetings. Experience the same red tape. It seemed like the only thing that changed is the place those people are working from.

But then, surveys showed 92% of employees want to work from home at least one day per week once the pandemic ends. First perceived by many as a temporary phenomenon, remote work has now become a new reality.

And instead of adapting to it, we suggest embracing it by following the remote native approach.

What's a remote native?

In a nutshell, you build the processes in your company as if your team works remotely from day one. Even if you have an office with your top experts sitting next to you. In most cases, it means using online tools to solve any business problems you face in your routine.

But there are also three things that make it fundamentally different from an ordinary remote way of working.

1. Coworking spaces instead of offices

If most of your people work remotely whenever they prefer, offices no longer serve as hubs for team building events, quick access to the management, or company culture promotion.

Still, 72% of people would like to have an option to visit an office now and then. Having that in mind, if you have many employees in one area, you can rent clusters in coworking spaces to help them diversify their everyday work routine and have a place to meet offline. It's quicker, cheaper, and easier.

2. Distributed teams instead of remote ones

As an employer, you may once ask yourself: if you embrace remote work, why limit yourself with local talents?

The term 'distributed team' applies to companies with no physical offices and employees who work separately from one another.

Companies like Buffer, Basecamp, and Zapier proved the effectiveness of the distributed team approach a long time ago. However, managing such teams will require you to review how you organize meetings, set expectations, and keep an eye on the progress.

To make our distributed teams more effective, we introduced things like Slack etiquette and meeting invite organization techniques, improved our onboarding and estimation processes, and reviewed the software development methodologies we follow.

This groundwork is now an essential part of Tech Atlas, our multi-directional approach allowing us to provide superior services and build top-notch products.

3. Asynchronous work instead of strict schedules

Previously, businesses required people to have a common 9-to-5 schedule and seek an overlap if the meeting across different countries was needed.

Today, people working remotely also prefer to have their own schedules. Someone has childcare responsibilities. Others may find themselves more productive at night.

And then there are different time zones.

To make the collaboration of your distributed team productive, you need to accept and switch to asynchronous work. The idea behind it boils down to the following question: "What can I do to avoid a real-time call or conversation needed to get my job done?"

If there's an announcement to make, record a video. If you need to do a survey, use poll functionality in the messengers. To share new important data, use Google Slides or Google Sheets.

The team should also be ready for asynchronous work. Being self-motivated and disciplined will help stay aligned with pre-negotiated expectations. Hence great communication and writing skills to avoid ambiguity have now become a huge plus.

Only with such an approach can you get all the benefits from asynchronous work.

Since Brilliant Consulting is a company working in the software development industry, we also practice daily standups, sprint reviews and retrospectives, backlog grooming, etc. Previously, they would all require real-time meetings. Today, we use chatbots, audio messages, record videos for demos and various online collaboration tools to collect data, make necessary decisions, and either shorten those meetings dramatically or avoid them at all.

Should You Go Remote Native?

A boring answer is “it depends”. It may be an overkill for your current needs, an untimely change that brings too many risks, or simply a burden you’re not interested in managing.

It took us quite a while to come up with our Tech Atlas. We had our fair share of mistakes, wrong assumptions, and faulty practices. But in the end, we perfected our approach to software delivery in a way that helped us stand out and succeed in the market.

I believe every company allowing remote work in one form or another will eventually become remote native to survive. Stop missing out on all the benefits of remote native ways of working and join the movement today!