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In a recent Forbes article, we learned that remote work is no longer reserved for the few and far between. Rather, 50 percent of people in the United States work remotely at least partially. This means that flexible hours and work days are available to more people than ever before, creating an increase in the positive outcomes of work/home rations.
When reviewing the numerous aspects of working remotely, one other thing jumps immediately to the forefront. It’s a fact that 42 percent of remote companies have female leaders, consisting of founders, CEOs and presidents. So why are so many female leaders starting or rising to the top of companies that primarily hire remote workers?
To answer this, we should first explore the inner workings of remote companies and how their environments differ from typical nine-to-five positions.
Culture of Remote Companies
Companies and other organizations who hire remote employees have unique environments that are typically based on transparency. In a standard office environment, information is usually only available on a “need-to-know” basis, meaning that some projects and accounts are only available to certain members of the team. However, in a remote working culture, this type of structure can often mean losing an entire day just to receive access to a Google document, especially if there are multiple time zones in play. Therefore, remote companies seem to exhibit more trust in their teams, which results in an obvious morale booster from the beginning, as the feeling of exclusion dims. In fact, the data that we have collected illustrates that 60 percent feel that the most noticeable difference in the culture that’s required for a remote team is a sense of trust and teamwork — from CEOs all the way to summer interns
Furthermore, the way in which a remote worker functions is also quite distinctive. With such trust also comes more individual responsibility, paired with a freedom that immediately excludes any leadership style that borders or micro-management. It’s often normal for remote workers to set their own schedules, with the unspoken rule that it doesn’t matter when or how the work on a project is conducted, as long as it is completed on time. This is when management and organizational tools like Slack, Asana, Degoo, G Suite and email clients that integrate them are not merely suggested, but absolutely imperative. Everyone can easily see what each member of the team is working on, without holding a time-absorbing meeting or making one single call.
Additionally, remote companies offer an inspiring international workplace. As already mentioned, it’s quite normal for remote organizations to be comprised of people of all nationalities. This can really expose the entire team to multiple cultures, as well as their individual business techniques. It may even be said that remote companies are able to have a cultural balance that traditional companies are just unable to achieve.
This is why there are many more positive characteristics that are deemed necessary when hiring a remote employee. Our data shows that 88.89 percent believe that self-starters and individuals who work best with minimal instruction are the best possible candidates for remote work. Other strong traits include:
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to stay focused and organized
- Willingness to collaborate and be innovative
- Flexibility to adapt to unforeseen circumstances
- Familiarity regarding new and most commonly used tech
Intersection of Successful Female CEOs and Remote Employees
Female CEOs possess a number of the same qualities as remote workers, which could be a deciding factor in why so many are drawn to lead these types of teams. Moreover, in a study by Korn Ferry Institute, it takes women 30 percent longer than men to achieve this level of leadership, so this often inspires them to make immediate innovative changes and decisions — yet another aspect shared with a remote working environment.
But what is the main reason that so many female CEOs are now running remote companies? It has become apparent that there are many answers to this question, but we have found that 70 percent of those surveyed feel that it lies in a woman’s ability to work outside of a standard office environment.
While this trait can definitely apply to women who are not mothers, the simple fact is that women can easily be considered some of the first remote workers, as they have traditionally stayed home with young or sick children, while still trying to juggle a career and complete tasks away from the office. Today, we are seeing a rise in stay-at-home dads, but the numbers are still in favor of women, and unfortunately, this often leads to them leaving the workplace. In actuality, 43 percent of working women do not return immediately to work after having children. However, remote companies make it a whole new ballgame, which is highly indicative of why so many women find being the CEO of a remote company their most beneficial opportunity.
However, we may also be looking at a situation where women are also more comfortable running a team that can be independent, as women tend to focus more on results. Remote companies also care more about the overall success of a project and not the path that led there. This creates a scenario where women may just be better at leading teams that have more personal accountability, along with the freedom to achieve a positive outcome in more out-of-the-box ways.
Whatever the reason behind this growing trend, the exciting news is that both female leadership and the ability to work remotely are both on the rise, offering numerous opportunities that may not have manifested in previous generations. This is yet another wonderful, even beautiful reason why the future of business looks bright, with a variety of adventurous prospects on the horizon.
July 1, 2019 at 06:14PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs