Why I’m Building a 100% Remote Company

As CEO, I recently made the decision to build our dating app start-up, Blush, as a 100% remote company. Here’s why:

Tap Into Amazing Talent 
There is so much amazing talent out there today – and yet, when companies hire for a brick-and-mortar location, they restrict their talent pool to those in their geographic area. It’s either incredibly pretentious or incredibly naive to think that the most talented people live only in specific locales. I care about hiring the absolute best people who have the right skill set, a passion for our product, and desire to contribute to building a healthy and fun company culture – and those people could be anywhere. 

Increase Diversity 
Opening up the talent pool to anyone, regardless of location, can also help increase diversity in our workforce. I fundamentally believe that having a diverse team leads to better ideas, and ultimately better business decisions being made. We’re building a dating app that we hope will be used by people of many different backgrounds across the US (and eventually the world) –  and we’ll build a better app if we have a wide representation of backgrounds on our team.

Reduce Strain on Employees and Communities
Many companies cling to outdated aversions to remote work, even as employees suffer under crushing housing prices, long commutes, and the challenge of living away from extended family. I should know – I left the Bay Area two years ago for exactly these reasons. Tech hubs like San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Seattle are at a breaking point – they simply cannot sustainably hold any more people, and the people living there cannot withstand the further degradation in the quality of life that comes with more people moving to these locations and straining community resources. When companies are 100% remote, it liberates employees by separating the choice of the ideal job from the choice of the ideal place to live, allowing them to optimize each decision independently.

remote company

Working remotely also reduces stress on employees by giving them the opportunity to create a work environment in which they thrive, and providing the flexibility to complete daily life tasks like going to a doctor’s appointment or receiving a delivery. For workers raising children, caring for aging parents, or battling health problems of their own, remote work can mean the difference between being able to participate in the workforce or being shut out of it. I want Blush team members to have the freedom to choose both the work arrangement and the living arrangement that lets them to be happy and successful.

Embrace Trust & Responsibility
One of the things that made the biggest impression on me while working at Netflix was the culture of freedom & responsibility that’s outlined in the famous Netflix Culture deck. When companies truly trust their employees and empower them to work in the way that is best for them, I believe it leads to greater productivity and ultimately loyalty by those employees. As a manager, I always told my team members, “I don’t care where you work or when you work, as long as you get your work done.” Some managers or companies object, worrying about the small percentage of people who will use remote work as an excuse to shirk their responsibilities. But if you don’t trust your employees to work remotely, do you really trust them at all? The same technology that allows us to be effective anywhere can just as readily be used to be ineffective in an office. Many people report they are actually more productive when working remotely, without the office distractions and wasted commute time. Whether remote or in person, if the work isn’t getting done, it becomes obvious pretty quickly and there is an easy solution – fire those who aren’t pulling their weight and just as importantly, recognize and reward those who are. 

There are absolutely challenges to building and running a remote company (that’s for another post), but for Blush, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. If you’d like to join us, hit us up with your resume or LinkedIn profile at jobs@blush.co – we’d love to hear from you.

Sarah Sled – CEO

 

Sarah Sled is the CEO of Blush. She holds degrees from Cal and MIT, and spent the last decade working at Facebook and Netflix.

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