In May of 2020, Pex officially adopted remote work as its standard and announced to all Pexers they would not be returning to an office, but could instead work from (nearly) anywhere. This was a welcomed and positive change that spurred additional changes for many people at Pex.
We certainly haven’t been alone in our decision; numerous companies have also gone ‘remote first’ since the pandemic. Others have adopted new hybrid styles of work, allowing employees to come to the office a couple of times per week or choose their own method. Either way, it’s clear 2020 has sparked permanent change for companies that can operate outside of the traditional office environment.
As a first time ‘work from home’ employee and typical extrovert I was quite nervous joining a fully remote company. How will I get to know my new colleagues? Will it be difficult to collaborate with my team? Where could I talk about #FreeBritney? Naturally, I was curious what other Pexers thought about remote work so we decided to survey the team.
I quickly realized that remote work didn’t make my role more difficult and I was even surprised by how much I enjoyed working from home. The responses from our team were overwhelmingly positive so it seems many of my colleagues feel the same. If you are thinking about making this shift, read on for recurring themes and most unique benefits of remote work that we love here at Pex.
Expected remote work benefits
It comes as no surprise that flexibility, no commute, and more time with family are key benefits that our team enjoys. That said, it was interesting to hear how people spend that extra time available to them in their day.
“I’m able to tailor my schedule. I have a clearer mind first thing in the morning and it is usually a time where I’m able to work without yet being pinged in Slack or begin meeting for the day. Before I would generally come into the office at 7am to have that uninterrupted time.”
“It’s amazing to be able to go ride my horse in the morning without having to worry that you’ll be “caught” not at your desk, or late for some arbitrary start time.”
“I’m someone who works best in productive spurts. So having to be visible at my desk from start-time to end-time generally led to me being less productive because I would have to try to will myself into that productive state of mind. Now, when I get in a rut, I can get in a quick run or workout (or make lunch, or do a chore or two) then come back to whatever problem I was working on mentally refreshed.”
“No commute means more time doing things I want to do without it taking a burden on my family, my well-being, or my work relationships.”
“Saves four hours in commuting time per day which translates into four more hours of much more productive work.”
“I love being able to kayak early in the morning instead of spending that time in my car.”
More time with family
“My family lives in another country and working at a remote company allows me to spend more time with them than if I had to be at the office all the time. It’s a huge plus.”
“I’m able to hop out and hold our 3-month-old son, even for 5 minutes or whatever time I get in between meetings.”
Unexpected remote work benefits
Working from home has many unintended benefits that don’t come directly to mind, like being more thoughtful in digital communication, creating a custom work environment that fits one’s needs, and enjoying the company of your furry friends. We couldn’t list them all so here are a few interesting ones from the team.
“Being remote helps me be more thoughtful and accountable for what I say. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, it becomes very apparent, very quickly. Also, my writing has improved considerably since joining Pex and this helps me communicate in my everyday life.”
“I find the challenges of no face-to-face interactions to actually be really interesting. I like that we have to be more creative and strategic with how and when we communicate and build interpersonal relationships with people we’ve never met face-to-face before.”
Custom work spaces
“Some offices let you tweak here and there, but being able to make your office space your own is fantastic. You can get as comfortable as you want, and can even move around your home, work outside, etc. Huge amount of flexibility that helps make transitioning to work frictionless.”
“This was the first year I felt comfortable getting a dog. Before I’d have to worry about arranging doggy daycare plans with commuting and traveling twice a month for work. Now I can easily step away to do a quick 10-minute training session or take a puppy play break.”
“I have built-in stress relief, because my pets are with me all day.”
Better meal options
“No more sad desk lunches or protein bars from the kitchen.”
“I do less meal prep on weekends now and eat different foods because I can cook lunch during the day.”
“I can control everything I eat with much more ease, making me much healthier.”
Building a remote company culture
Many that work in tech are nervous about joining a fully remote company, specifically because they don’t know what a remote company’s culture will be compared to the in-office lifestyles that garner much attention. But a remote company culture has valuable upside beyond the perks that were intended to fulfill your needs while at the office. At Pex, we think going remote has given us the opportunity to build a purposeful culture and we’ve seen that show up in our communications and how we interact with one another.
“We now have a culture of curiosity: if something isn’t clear or you don’t understand something, it’s on you to ask and clarify. And I think curiosity is a critical ingredient to success. Oh, and also being able to put oneself out there by asking the question. It’s no longer about the loudest or biggest voices in the room — the playing field is leveled.”
“I think the remote setting of the company is asking from us to be more autonomous and take charge of your own time, not waiting for someone to come in and give you instructions. As a person notoriously getting in trouble for “doing things my way,” the trust that Pex places in me is invaluable, and makes me want to be worthy of this trust – hence, putting my best efforts into achieving the best outcomes for the company!”
“I like working with folks from different parts of the country. It’s been good to get out of the California bubble and appreciate some of the differences in this country/world.”
“Working remotely means that we have a lot of unique opportunities to be more purposeful with the culture that we cultivate and build upon at Pex. With much of our communication in writing, we have more ways to measure how things are working and more flexibility to iterate on improvements. Being remote means that we have this very unique opportunity to have more control over our culture because we can physically see it now as it shows up (and how it doesn’t) in how we communicate in writing.”
Interested in going remote? We’re hiring, wherever you are.