Benefits of Working Remotely
The benefits are evident. You can simply grab your computer and work from the local coffee shop or the other side of the world, allowing you to move, travel, explore, and enjoy life all over the globe, as long as you remain responsible.
Remote working isn't for everyone or every company. Offering remote work with a 9-5 schedule essentially means providing the option to work from a local coffee shop, which isn't quite the goal. As a company, we had to become as agile as possible.
As an individual seeking a remote job, you must be well-organized, disciplined, and able to resist the temptations that traveling or living abroad presents. With great freedom comes even greater responsibility, and you need to be aware of that. It's all fun and games, but if the job isn't completed, there's no point in having you.
- The company needs to be agile in scheduling
- The employee needs to be highly responsible and reliable
Remote Employees Are Just the First Step
During the dark days of COVID-19, working remotely became more of a necessity than an optional benefit.
However, we were already considering this option, so the pandemic gave us the final push—and it worked. As a Czech-based IT company with Czech employees and clients, our focus shifted overnight. We decided to expand—initiate international sales and hire globally.
We immediately switched the entire company to English and began hiring abroad. The talent pool grew exponentially, presenting a challenge but also offering a lot of excitement.
- New people, cultures, and clients
- Additional administrative and HR tasks
- A new set of difficulties (to overcome)
- A significant advantage for international sales
- Broadened horizons (our goal is not limited to our capital city)
Contracts, Payments, Benefits, Communication, Culture...
We knew it wouldn't be easy, but we chose to address problems as they arose.
- Administration: Types of contracts, employment, self-employed cooperation, tax residency, insurance, responsibility, different calendars (bank holidays)...
- Finances: Different currencies, payment methods, the effects of sanctions in recent years, confirmations, invoicing, VAT obligations...
- Communication: Different time zones, languages (and sometimes language barriers and misunderstandings), asynchronous communication and work, response times...
- Benefits: Team building, workspaces, offices, contributions, days off, English lessons, administrative support, an international environment...
- Culture: How to build a culture in a remote-first company?
We still have some hubs where people can go to work. We also have clusters of colleagues and organize events for them. How can we accommodate someone living on a different continent? We thought about it and then asked for suggestions. The answers varied—some wanted money, some wanted to attend events, and others desired something else.
The most crucial aspect is communication — not only for project management but also for HR and administration. We hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with all our employees and contractors, as well as evaluations every six months. Over the years, we've developed sets of questions and areas we need to actively engage in to ensure our remote team members feel as much a part of the company as those in the office. Otherwise, they might as well go freelance, right?
We have weekly technical meetings for the entire company, and once a month, we present news, successes, challenges, and the company's direction and goals. This has become more important than ever, as times are turbulent, and we don't want to leave anyone hanging.
Hey what about the money?
- We've been in contact with numerous international tax advisors and accountants, as well as agencies providing help and support for remote companies. We created international contracts, and as of 2023, the majority of our clients are from abroad.
- We receive payments in multiple currencies, which allows us to compensate our international team members without the need for currency exchange (which can be costly).
- To ensure we have sufficient cash flow in foreign currencies, we also had to develop a system for managing currency exchanges. For instance, over the past two years, the US dollar's exchange rate has fluctuated by about 10%, which our finance team must considIt was all new to us, but we quickly realized that we couldn't have one rule to resolve everything, a policy that would handle it all. Generally, anyone wanting to work remotely is a unique case.
So, we established one rule — we would strive to meet specific needs and make our developers' lives as easy as possible.
The company provides you with work, money, tools, hardware, support, freedom, and most importantly, trust. You must be responsible. That's the bottom line, and it encompasses everything. We encourage self-managed teams; we're not here to parent you or bring you up. If you want freedom in your life, you need to learn how to prioritize and take care. We will meet you halfway in your schedule, always trying to adjust. But is it possible that you'll occasionally need to be accessible outside "normal" work hours? Absolutely. And is it likely that our project managers, team leads, or other personnel will need to respond to messages during evenings or weekends? Yes, that too.
No paperwork, contracts, or policies can replace trust, ownership, and pride in our work. We build relationships not just with clients but also with colleagues worldwide. We are prepared to make mistakes from time to time, misjudging people, companies, or even our abilities. We are also ready to accept responsibility for those errors. The successes—when everything works—are well worth it.