Every company should operate like a remote company

Remote companies require clarity. You need to promote communication, write down everything, define your processes with precision. These are all things that will make any company better.

If you write things down, instead of relying on things loosely said in a meeting, everybody is in the same page, the discussion is pinned down, instead of splitting in a 1000 side issues, and people’s arguments are more deeply reflected and well constructed.

Defining processes clearly leads to faster decision making, less conflicts, and clearer boundaries which lead to more effective work.

Remote companies also win in focused work time. Collaboration is essential, but overrated. You shouldn’t spend all day collaborating. You should probably spend less than 20% of your time collaborating. Collaborating is great for exchanging ideas. If you never put the time to execute on those ideas, a fundamentally lonely task, all your collaboration is a waste of time.

You might still decide to do a co-located company. You will earn in serendipity - ideas that result from water-cooler conversations, that wouldn’t otherwise take place. You can force serendipity a bit within chat tools, but it’s not the same because people miss a shared context.

What you’ll earn the most with a co-located company is a sense of community. If you work with people you really like, you’ll want to go to work every morning, and make a great job for the sake of the group. In remote work, you need to fulfill your social needs elsewhere - work can become more of a necessity than a passion.

Of course socialization is also interruption. Maybe having good friends at work is reducing your focus in achieving your goals. Plus, are they really your friends? What if someone gets fired? Is this socialization reducing your energy for socialization in other forums, which would potentially be more rewarding for your personal life?

I don’t have these answers, but I believe that a remote company has to take measures to ensure that their employees have a healthy social life, since we’ve been trained for so long to let our jobs be the guarantee for that.