06 Feb Welcome to the future of work!
Remote working is the future of work
Telestax, the company behind the largest CPaaS open source platform, Restcomm, is a fully distributed, fully virtual company where everyone works remotely. It has no central offices and actual headquarters. Since it has no “home office”, there are definitely, no “HQ” versus “field” dynamics. In other words, there is no “us” versus “them”. At Telestax — we are all just “us”. In every other aspect, we are a normal company, just distributed across the globe.
There is a good reason behind that. Our company was founded out of a FOSS project, and as strong FOSS believers, we have always cared more about the quality of what we were contributing than the manner in which our contributors worked, or where they lived.
Our team now spans 25 countries and 4 continents, not counting the amazing numbers of contributors. There are people working on some task for one of our products, 24 hours a day, without necessarily having their whole team available (or even awake!) at the same time. This is true not only in engineering but also in support where we apply the “Follow the sun” support strategy.
This sounds crazy, right? How could this possibly ever work?
It does feel a little counter intuitive at first, especially if you come from a traditional 20th century work environment, where you’re used to face-to-face interaction, conference room meetings and so on. but it is this very model that has been driving open source software development for the past 50 years.
Now, if you take a step back, you’ll notice that this all sounds very much like the same kind of activity you’d expect in any open source project. Remote, asynchronous collaboration, with the code always in the foreground. That’s how our R&D team works. It’s in our nature and it’s also the reason we’re building on a telecommunications platform.
In fact, remote working is working so well for us, that most of our people say they wouldn’t ever go back to the old way of working.
How’s that for a competitive edge on hiring and employee retention?
But, let’s take a moment to acknowledge a couple of other points as well.
Remote working is not for everyone. It’s hard for junior developers to go straight into a remote job. It’s hard for people who don’t have enough workspace at home. Also, some people do not like the isolation and feel “lonely” if they are not working in an office. Others struggle with work-life balance, either obsessively working or shirking their work responsibilities.
In addition, there is a significant hit on how effective communication is.
Even with all the different ways to communicate– conference calls, video calls, screen sharing, instant messaging, Restcomm itself, Slack, Skype, and the rest– these tools cannot replace being all in one place sometimes. And this is coming from a vantage point that we are building a system for video conferencing.
Face-to-face interaction enables better team building, more bandwidth and time together, and much better audio and video quality than any solution can provide today. Technology hasn’t quite caught up with that yet, which is why our teams get to meet together several times a year for events like Restconn, or Face to Face brainstorming sessions. It reduces social loneliness and increases team bonding.
But even with these “extra” costs, the drawbacks don’t outweigh the benefits!
In a time and age where information rules and the best processing machines for it, are our brains, having the best of those – quite simply – trumps everything else. Ok, those brains are not in the same room, but if that’s how they say they want to be working, and that’s how they’re being the most effective, should you even care!?
This post will be the first of a series where we’ll explore what makes remote working… work for the Restcomm team. We’ll also be sharing pains, workarounds, solutions and our very own hints and tips about remote working in general.
If you are interested in working for a company like ours, please check out our available jobs at https://telestax.com/careers/ .
Welcome to the Future of Work (FoW)!!