5 Reasons Remote Software Engineering Jobs Are Here to Stay

Why would anyone want to go back into the office? Who is missing rush hour traffic? Well, to put it simply… many old-school managers don’t know how to micromanage everyone through zoom. Which is why some companies are requiring engineers to come back into the office.

Developers, on the other hand, want to work from home. Don’t believe us? We’ve got studies to prove it.

A recent survey of remote software engineers found that:

91% of remote software engineers reported having a better work/life balance

79% Reported an increase in productivity

and 78% agreed they had less stress when working remotely

Additional studies interviewing remote employees found that 51% of people said they would switch jobs if offered a more flexible option. While 55% of remote workers said they would leave the company if they were required to work in the office.

Looking at those numbers, you’d think it’s pretty obvious companies should let their software engineers work from home. But is it enough to overcome old fashioned workplace values and ideals like the importance of water cooler conversations, meetings that could have been emails, and the ever-important manager spying on your desk to make sure you’re back from lunch on time and not scrolling Facebook. I mean, these are pretty crucial in-person required tasks.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Tell your manager to watch this video and we’ll give you 5 good reasons remote software engineering jobs are here to stay.

#1 Expanding the Talent Pool

You don’t have to be a genius to know how competitive the market is right now. Software Engineers are hot commodities, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find, hire, and retain good people.

Here’s a new idea… get ready to have your mind blown… Hire your talent nationally.

If you don’t have to report to the office at 8am on a Monday, why limit yourself to one city or even one state? Recruit talent nationwide and you greatly increase your chances of finding amazing engineers to grow your team.

Not only does this increase your access to the overall talent pool but also to a diverse range of engineers. Tired of your team looking rather homogenous? Ready to live up to your company’s motto of supporting diversity and inclusion? Consider remote work. You’ll better your chances of finding diverse individuals if you aren’t limited to sticking within a driving radius of the office.

We understand, some may argue having employees scattered across the country doesn’t make team building easy. And that’s true it isn’t easy. However, it is doable with a little extra effort. Afterall, we did just survive the year from hell so a few zoom happy hours wouldn’t be the hardest thing in the world to pull off.

Pro Tip: Try a Lunch-and-Learn for your next company zoom meeting. Send your team an UberEats, GrubHub, or delivery company of your choice gift card and have at it!

If you’re looking for further inspiration of how other remote 1st companies have managed to pull this off, stick around to the bonus at the end of the video! We’re going to share with you 3 companies that were 100% remote before 2020 and a few words of wisdom from their founders.

#2 Reduces Turnover

The biggest problem for growing tech companies right now isn’t finding talent, it’s retaining talent.

A tremendous effort is put into finding software engineers with the right skillset, the right culture fit, the right level of experience, etc etc etc only for them to quit less than a year later.

PGI reports that “decreasing turnover by 25% could easily save your company $10,000 this year—and that’s a realistic number that you could achieve by implementing a telework policy.” In their recent studies, the impact of remote work on employee retention is among the least controversial findings. Their study also shows that 95% of employers agree remote work has a high impact on employee retention.

It probably has a lot to do with that earlier statistic of 78% of employees reporting less stress when working from home. If going to work isn’t stressing you out, there’s a good chance you won’t start looking elsewhere.

#3 Productivity Boost

We already know you’re not going to believe us. But hear us out anyway, the numbers don’t lie.

A study conducted by Indeed found that 72% of companies with remote employees say employee productivity increased after switching to a remote model. In the same study only 3% of companies reported employee productivity decreasing, and the rest thought it was equivalent effort.

It’s important to note that this study asked the companies (aka the managers, directors, and overall higher-ups) and not the employees.

#4 Lower Office Costs

Depending on where you’re located this can really be a huge factor. If you’re a startup in San Francisco or New York, you know that real estate costs for an office are no joke. After the 2020 pandemic many companies have shifted to remote work models or hybrid models and are now seeing the cost saving benefits of making that transition.

Here are a few quick examples to further illustrate this point:

  • Aetna shed 2.7 million square feet of office space, resulting in savings of $78 million per year.
  • McKesson has saved $2 million per year in its real estate costs
  • IBM reduced its real estate costs by $50 million.

Why lease a building no one wants to go to? Save the money and invest it into team building activities for your remote team, re-invest it into the business, or give everyone a bonus since they are more productive from home anyway!

#5 Save the World

Captain Planet’s motto is, “The Power is Yours”. And it’s in your company’s power to reduce its carbon footprint by making this one small change of going remote.

According to a 2019 study by Global Workplace Analytics, if everyone with the ability and desire to work remotely did so just 50% of the time, “the greenhouse gas reduction would be the equivalent of taking the entire New York State workforce permanently off the road.” Imagine what it would be if people worked from home 100% of the time! Avoiding that commute isn’t just about saving gas or time in rush-hour traffic. You could be saving the world!

On the flip side, if there were no remote workers and every employee was commuting to work, we would have to plant 91 million trees to offset the resulting emissions.

Employers can make a serious contribution to better air quality and sustainability by allowing workers to work from home.

So if you don’t like saving money by closing your leased office space, and you don’t like reducing turnover, you don’t like finding amazing diverse talent for your team, and you don’t like increased productivity, then you should at least care about saving the world and should for that reason switch to remote work if you haven’t already.

Chances are, you care a great deal about finding the best people for your company and want to find ways to retain them and save money while increasing productivity. And if you get to help save the world too, well then that’s just the icing on the cake.

Software Engineers have the kind of job that’s often conducted alone-but-together. They can perform their tasks from home so long as they have access to the right tools and you foster a good support system with open lines of communication. Again, it may take a little extra effort, but if it does everything the studies have reported, you’re going to win in the end.

Proven Track Record of Success

Working remotely isn’t a new concept. Many companies have been 100% long before 2020. Here are some tips from a few companies that were remote before 2020 and a few words of wisdom from their founders.

#1) Git Lab

Git Lab has been a remote-first company since it was founded. Co-founder and CEO Sid says that coming into the office just wasn’t needed because they weren’t getting any information in the office they couldn’t receive from home. With the right tools (Slack, Zoom, and Google Docs to name a few) everyone could get their job done.

#2) Automattic

Automattic is one of those companies you may have never heard of, but you’ve definitely heard of their work. They’re the company behind wordpress.com, Polldaddy, and Simplenote to name a few. They have over 500 employees across 50 countries. How do you keep them all on the same page? Here’s their secret sauce: They require great written communication skills, use tools to maintain schedules and communication, and have an annual week-long retreat as well as department retreats to make it all work.

#3) Zapier

Zapier helps people to easily connect and automate the apps they use. Partners — including Salesforce, Intuit, Google and Dropbox — use Zapier to offer their customers integrations with more than 1,000 apps. They’ve been a distributed team since Day 1 of their company. The 3 founders started Zapier as a side project and bootstrapped it before working with Y Combinator in 2012. After their experience with Y combinator they decided to remain a 100% remote company since they continued to see positive results despite being in different cities. Now they have over 300 employees in more than 15 different countries. They love working remotely so much that they’ve written an in-depth guide on everything you need to know about remote work. We’ve got the link below in the description so you can absorb their words of advice as a company that’s been-there and done-that.

Next Steps

If you enjoyed this blog make sure to share it with your management team or founders you know. Knowledge is power and working in pajamas is basically the definition of work life balance. Check out our other blogs on remote work: How to Find the Best Remote Software Engineering Jobs or How to Find a Remote Software Architect for Your Startup.

Kofi Group is proud to be a source of knowledge and insight into the startup software engineering world and offers a multitude of resources to help you learn more, improve your career, and help startups hire the best talent. If you are interested in learning more about what we do and how we can help you then get in touch or watch our Youtube videos for additional information.