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The coronavirus has forced a massive, unexpected shift to remote work for millions. At GetThru, we’ve been 100% remote from day one. In this post, our CEO & Founder Daniel Souweine shares why we love working remotely, and some tips for those considering a permanent switch.
CEO & Founder
The coronavirus has forced a massive, unexpected shift to remote work for millions. How long this lasts is hard to say. But it’s likely that some companies will never return to their offices, and anyone starting a new company will give remote operations a much closer look. At GetThru, we’ve been 100% remote from day one. While that’s made it easier to adapt to COVID, pandemic resilience is just one of many benefits. So for those thinking about starting a fully remote company, or making their new work-from-home policies permanent, I want to share why we love it, and some tips for making it work.
Before delving in, I want to acknowledge that working from home is an enormous privilege right now that is inaccessible to so many people.
Our decision to work remotely has its roots in the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, where I ran the national texting program. My job was organizing 2,000+ volunteers to send millions of text messages to Bernie supporters. With volunteers spread across the country, working remotely was the only option. This was my first remote work experience, and I was struck by how much we got done and how much community we were able to build. So when I teamed up with several Bernie alums to start GetThru, it felt logical to continue in that vein, especially since our founding team was spread out.
When we say GetThru is 100% remote, we really mean it. We have nearly 40 full time employees spread across 15 states. Everyone works from home or a co-working space. There is no headquarters. We do rent office space where we get mail and store conference materials, but no one on our team works there regularly. To be clear, we’re hardly the first to do this, and we’ve borrowed many ideas from pioneers like Zapier and Basecamp. Here are some other basic aspects of our setup:
At our most recent all staff retreat, we asked some team members why they like working remotely. Three themes rose to the top:
When I tell people that we are remote, they usually respond that “it must be great to save so much money on rent.” To be sure, these savings are real -- an office in Oakland, CA, (where I live) would cost us $300k - $400k per year. But that’s just one of the important benefits to the company. Other top reasons include:
If you are starting your new company/organization fully remote, or making your pandemic-induced work from home approach permanent, here’s some recommendations:
This post presents an admittedly rosy picture of remote work. There are also plenty of challenges for both employees and the company that I plan to discuss in a separate post, along with how GetThru tries to address them. But in the meantime, I leave the “remote curious” with a final exhortation -- if you think you’d be into it, go for it. I promise you won’t be remotely sorry!
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