Small tech companies are competing with technology giants by allowing their employees to work from home.
While the likes of Google and Apple were drivers in flexible working a few years ago thanks to their advantageous knowledge of VOIP services and cloud computing, they have been among the first to get their workers back in the office since the pandemic.
Covid-19 lockdowns saw companies that were already set up for remote working thrive at the beginning, but big tech stocks began to suffer as the cost-of-living crisis ensued.
As an article in Vox puts it: “Facing hard times, they’ve retrenched into what they knew before the pandemic, typically asking workers to come into the office three days a week.”
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal even reported that Google will factor office attendance into their performance reviews, with those who are frequently present being more favourably looked upon.
It will also send reminders to workers who are regularly missing from the office, even if they are working from home.
Big tech companies hope that having more people in the office will boost business and help them ride out this difficult economic period.
However, smaller firms have another idea. They are promoting their remote working policies as a way to attract more interest from potential employees.
More than four-fifths of small tech companies with fewer than 5,000 workers offer remote working options. However, this is as low as 26 per cent for companies with more than 25,000 members of staff.
The flexible working arrangements disparity is more significant in the tech world, which could be because small tech companies have to compete with giants like Google for the best employees.
Unsurprisingly, applicants are more likely to choose to work at the bigger businesses, thanks to higher salaries. However, offering remote working options stands in smaller businesses’ favour, making them more appealing to potential employees.
Dave Stephenson, chief financial officer and head of employee experience at Airbnb, which employs more than 6,000 people, told Vox offering remote working means they can attract more interest.
“We want to hire the best talent we can all around the world,” he said, noting: “If we narrow that definition of getting the best talent around the world to being 50 miles around San Francisco, that’s going to put us at a disadvantage.”
This has worked to Airbnb’s advantage, as it has recently marked its first full year of being in profit.
Yelp, which has around 5,000 members of staff, also promotes remote working.
Its chief people officer Carmen Whitney Orr noted: “Happy employees are productive employees and that means happy customers.”
The smaller the tech company, the more likely it is to offer remote working, as it saves them money on office rent while also attracting the best talent.
Companies that want to offer remote working options to all their employees should invest in good-quality VOIP phone systems, as this ensures communication remains open and a good rapport between team members can be built.