Over the last year, DX has collectively realized – we’re not going back to the office.
It’s not that we don’t want to go back to working in an office, we have determined that we don’t need to go back. Like many other companies, since DX started working fully remotely in March 2020 we’ve realized we now can hire the best talent from around the globe. We no longer are required to hire talent local to our base – or those willing to move to a commuting distance from our headquarters. Of course, we have grown over the last 25 years by utilizing the amazing talent right in our home marketplace. We know first-hand that there’s amazing talent in Norway, where DX began.
But as we aspire to grow internationally in new markets, we see the advantage of expanding our workforce to include a diverse group of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and working styles. It’s helping us to build a better company.
Let’s take a look at how working remotely has helped members of our team.
From Sicily to Milan
Working remotely has allowed Damiano Condorelli, one of the product managers at DX, more time to spend time with his family – especially since a distance of over 1000 kilometers separates them. “I'm currently based in Milan, where I moved years ago to study and start my career,” explains Damiano. “I'm originally from Catania, Sicily, where my family lives. Remote working gives me the flexibility to go back often and meet them while working from there. In the past that was harder because I needed to wait for the holiday periods, or go for a weekend, running back to be at the office on Monday morning and spending money on expensive flights.”
From New Mom to New Job
Jenny Sidorova, Head of Marketing at DX, also had concerns about how long and far her previous job took her away from her newborn baby. “I had to leave my previous job after having a baby because I didn’t want to commute to Paris, a four-hour and 45-minute train ride from the city where we live,” she shares. “My husband and I decided that we would be those people who choose where they want to live and create career opportunities rather than living somewhere based on career opportunities.” Luckily, at that time Jenny was able to find promising opportunities offering fully remote work, including her current position at DX.
Why Fully Remote Works for Us
We’ve learned that there are some challenges and misconceptions that businesses commonly associate with working remotely pre-pandemic. Mainly, that working remotely “doesn’t fit our models,” i.e., the way the business was run pre-pandemic.
While that may seem true at first, perhaps your business model needs an upgrade. Remote work – which in many cases was forced by pandemic restrictions – boosted the value of talent. If they are skilled, dedicated, and strong enough employees, they can bring value to your team from anywhere. It’s also a generational shift – many employees under the age of 35 are already accustomed to working online, and a substantial number who have college degrees have taken at least one online course that required interacting online and submitting work remotely. That comes on top of the significant amount of time that they’ve spent socializing online and collaborating with others online through social media and games. This is a skill that individuals who are teenagers now are even more adept at – in fact, many of them are more comfortable with online interaction than in-person interaction. Remote companies might find that their workforce is much more comfortable “showing up” as themselves outside of the confines of traditional office culture.
Yet remote work still gets a bad reputation in some aspects. Take, for example, the idea that individuals working remotely would not devote enough hours to working – the thought was that remote workers would spend their time “on the clock” running errands, watching television, or doing anything but the actual work they were being paid to do.
As it turns out, in many cases the opposite is true – businesses have to keep a close watch on remote employees to ensure they aren’t working too much. Remote workers are less likely to take sick or personal days and work, on average, 1.4 more days a month than in-office employees.
While supervisors love productivity, they know the challenges of burnout. Even if supervisors are from a previous generation who managed in-office collaboration for 10, 20, or even 30 or more years, they are familiar with the challenge of asking too much from an employee – particularly a younger one who may have many personal responsibilities, like a young family, or individuals with medical issues that sometimes prevent them from leaving their homes.
More Options for Employees
One other key way that working remotely has helped employees is by not just giving them more options with where they would like to live but also working somewhere that they feel more connected. Before, people who didn’t live near a major center of commerce may have faced limitations in the type of work they could pursue. Younger generations have been increasingly more passionate about pursuing work that they find meaningful and purpose-driven. They want to work for something that they care about – and since remote work opens up more options that they can pursue, they can now live somewhere where they can be with people that they care about as well as pursue a work-life in a field that they wish to grow in.
In-Person Creates Unforgettable Moments
But the DX team hasn’t resigned itself to not ever seeing each other in person again. We completely understand the inherent advantages in communication and team-building that comes with in-person work – but now we look forward to it much more since it happens only on special occasions. For example, our management team gets together to set quarterly goals for our company and bond three times a year.
But we don’t want to leave the rest of our team out on all that fun. We hold a DX Summit once a year for all of our team members, and we held our first one in 2019 just weeks ago in Bodø, Norway – where our company began. It was an incredible experience for our team members who gathered from ten cities in six countries to celebrate all things DX, with many of our team members meeting for the first time in person. As our CEO, Martin Berg, says, “If you’re trying to tell me we can’t build a strong team culture as a remote-first company, I’m not listening.”
Now we see working remotely as key to the global expansion of our company. We can’t wait to discover where on the planet we’ll find our next great employee.