Remote First Culture: What is it and how can leaders adopt it?


Several recent studies have shown that the hybrid work model is preferred among professionals, as in the research developed by the Robert Half Institute. This means that, more than working remotely 100%, employees really want to feel free to alternate between the home office and the office.

However, the great challenge for leaders is how to keep the team integrated and productive. In this sense, Remote First culture can be an ally!

In this article, we’ll better explain what Remote First Culture is, what its benefits are, and how leaders can apply it to their team. Check it out!

After all, what is Remote First Culture?

Rather than thinking of a primarily face-to-face culture, the term remote first represents companies that favor remote work, creating a culture of integration, communication, and operation that works for both home office and face-to-face.

To make it clearer, let’s look at an example. If you have a team of 10 people, 6 of whom live in other regions away from the company’s headquarters, you will need to adapt the team’s work model.

In this case, the remote first culture is important because you need to consider a structure that works for the 10 employees, whether they are in the office or at home. For this, it will be necessary to define issues such as:

  • Official remote communication channels;
  • Online meetings even when part of the team is gathered in the office;
  • Flexible hours, if there is a time zone.

What are the benefits of adopting the Remote First Culture in the company?

In the current scenario, companies that adopt the Remote First Culture gain a competitive advantage, as they meet what employees want and, with that, they can have several benefits in the long term. Understand some of the main advantages of adopting this culture!

Attracting and retaining talent

With the shortage of talent and the resignation movements that began in the United States and spread to other regions, attracting and retaining professionals has become a challenge not only for the areas of Human Resources, but also for the leaders of the areas, who end up having their projects hampered by the lack of team members.

Given this scenario, offering the Remote First culture can contribute to attracting talent to your company and prevent your team from going to the competition.

Increased productivity

Giving the employee the freedom to work from anywhere will certainly increase the productivity of your team. However, this only happens when they have the tools and processes needed to be productive from anywhere. That’s where Remote First Culture comes in!

Geographical diversity

Diversity has never been more present in organizations than it is today. In this sense, acquiring geographical diversity in the team can mean more creativity and innovation, by integrating people with different cultures in the same environment — even if it is virtual.

In addition, hiring talent regardless of where they live makes recruiting easier, allowing you to have excellent professionals on your team who would not be available if you were to assemble a 100% face-to-face team.

Financial economics

Of course, we could not fail to consider the financial savings that companies can realize by adopting a Remote First culture. After all, having part of the team working remotely generates lower costs related to:

  •  Headquarters size: that does not need to hold 100% of the team at the same time;
  • Fixed costs: such as electricity, water, etc.;
  • Displacement of the team: transportation voucher, gasoline and parking;
  • Among others.

How can leaders embrace the Remote First Culture?

Now that you know what Remote First Culture is and what its benefits are, understand what the first steps are to adopt it on your team.

Establish objective routines

Employees in the home office need to be integrated with the team, but do not want to spend all day connected in a virtual room.

To avoid this, create routines that help foster the Remote First culture: establish quick refresher meetings at the beginning and end of each week in order to align the progress of deliveries and get a macro view of how the team is working.

Define official communication channels

Just because the work is remote doesn’t mean the employee has no end to their day, right? To prevent this from happening, define official communication channels and have well-defined SLAs about the times when everyone needs to be available and at what times it is acceptable for communications to be answered asynchronously.

Encourage moments of “off topic” interaction

If you have team members who don’t know each other personally or meet sporadically, it’s important to encourage bonding between the team, even remotely.

For this reason, it is part of the Remote First Culture to create moments of interaction that are not directly linked to work issues. This can happen at specific times — such as in an online happy hour — or within the work calls themselves, where the leader can separate a few minutes at the beginning or at the end for subjects not related to the projects.

So, are you ready to embrace the Remote First culture on your team? Certainly, it will be part of the routine of the leader of the future!

If you want to delve deeper into trends and skills that the future will require from leaders going forward, then read this article and understand more about it!