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  • Benoit Hardy-Vallée

On the economics, management and psychology of distributed work, with Laurel Farrer (S01E05)

Updated: May 16


"You are not going to see benefits, like true workforce diversity, more permission and freedom to live in other places, employee empowerment and higher productivity until you truly adopt remote work, instead of just allowing it. " - Laurel Farrer


A conversation with Laurel Farrer, CEO of Distribute Consulting, Founder of the Remote Work Association and a Writer for Forbes Magazine and other business publications

Listen on this blog, Apple Podcast, Spotify, SoundCloud, Anchor and other platforms.

Topics discussed:


  • The economic impact of virtual jobs and how can it benefits cities, communities and economies

  • The benefits of remote work for organizations

  • Guidelines to establishing a virtual operational model

  • How telework can improve diversity

  • The impact of remote work on mental health, and the safeguards that organizations can put in place

  • Closing the cultural gap between on-site and off-site workers

Insights:


  • Remote work opens up the incredible opportunity for people to be earning urban level salaries, but living in rural local costs and having a much higher personal profit margin. The traditional model was to attract businesses and then the businesses bring workers; but now we're seeing that reversed. Bring workers and then the workers bring industry and then the industry brings business.

  • The next barrier is not just to change the workplace, but to change operations

  • The average cost savings from taking a role from physical to virtual is between 11 and 20,000 USD per year per employee.

  • We see higher levels of diversity and inclusion in virtual workforces because virtual work needs to be managed and supervised based on results. It's not so much about interaction and personality dynamics because we have to track results. We see 40% more women in leadership roles in distributed companies than in physical-based companies and a higher equality of traditional discriminatory factors like sexual orientation and gender, age, even height.

  • There is a hybridization of the gig economy and the employment business world; we see enterprises that have large freelancer departments, and we have freelancers that are joining other companies, both in the short term and in the long term.

  • Free lancing and gig working represent an expansion and a development of how we think about workforce development - this offers multiple options for training and skilling.

  • For distributed work, the critical skill to understand, implement, nurture is self-management. A lot more is required, but if companies are willing to embrace this new model of working, there's enormous benefits for them as well.

  • The average remote worker works two to four hours per day more than an in-office counterpart, and that's partly why we see this great productivity, but it also means that remote workers are extremely susceptible to burnout. What needs to happen from both sides is that there needs to be a culture of trust that we say.

  • You are not going to see benefits, like true workforce diversity., more permission and freedom to live in other places, employee empowerment and higher productivity until you truly adopt remote work, instead of just allowing it.


Photo by Vadim Sherbakov on Unsplash

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