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June 28, 2023

Power Play: Empowering Remote Workers in the Ever-Changing Workplace

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Meet Jesse Chambers, Founder and CEO at wrkfrce:

Jesse Chambers is the Founder and CEO of wrkfrce, a pioneering media company that focuses on remote work and empowers individuals to shape their careers around their lives. Jesse’s journey in building wrkfrce began before the remote work trend took off during the pandemic. As an executive in various tech and media companies, Jesse inadvertently became a remote worker while based in San Francisco, collaborating with colleagues and bosses in different cities. Recognizing the value of flexibility and autonomy, Jesse realized that remote work was integral to his professional success and personal fulfillment. However, he found a void in the market upon seeking resources and communities dedicated to remote work. Instead of succumbing to frustration, Jesse, drawing from his company-building and media branding expertise, seized the opportunity to create a solution. Thus, wrkfrce became the first and only digital media company exclusively committed to remote work.

Jesse’s passion lies in educating people about their future work, assisting them in finding remote jobs, and fostering a culture that encourages career-life integration. With wrkfrce, Jesse strives to empower remote workers and the businesses that employ them, envisioning a world where individuals can design their careers to harmonize with their lives, rather than the other way around.

Watch Now: Vit’s In-Depth Talk with Jesse Chambers

Quick Read: Jesse Chambers, Founder and CEO of wrkfrce, Interview Highlights

What advice would you give remote workers who feel unsupported by their companies and want to continue working remotely?

Summary of Answer: Jesse acknowledges the swinging pendulum of remote and office work, mentioning that the shift towards remote work has empowered employees to expect flexibility. He advises remote workers to recognize their power in the situation and push back against mixed messages from leadership. Additionally, he emphasizes that companies lacking marquee names will need to offer the flexibility employees desire to attract and retain top talent.

“The companies that do not have those marquee names are going to have to offer the kind of flexibility that employees want if they hope to attract and retain top talent.”

Do companies make different hiring choices due to the uncertainty of remote work’s future?

Jesse explains that managers and leaders are also facing a lack of clarity regarding remote work. He highlights that the future will trend towards more flexibility and that long-term talent should be the focus of hiring decisions, regardless of location. He encourages companies to consider the best talent for the position rather than being constrained by zip codes.

Is flexibility still a strong selling point for companies competing for top global talent?

Jesse states that flexibility is a stable expectation for top talent in any role. He highlights that flexibility should be seen as a benefit rather than a perk and that it encompasses various forms of remote work, such as working from a home office or shared workspace. He also emphasizes the importance of face-to-face interactions, team building in person, and flexibility.

What obstacles might companies face when offering flexibility, especially when dealing with globally based employees?

Jesse mentions that technical limitations are not as challenging as bureaucratic limitations for companies offering flexibility. Smaller companies may find it harder to navigate legal and onboarding processes for globally based employees. However, he points out that solutions are emerging, such as HR-based services that streamline these processes. He also highlights the challenge of intentionally building company culture in a distributed environment.

Is cost-saving a major reason why remote work continues to be a trend?

Jesse acknowledges that cost-saving motivates companies to embrace remote work, especially in reducing expenses like salaries, insurance, taxes, and office spaces. However, he also emphasizes that talent acquisition and globalization are significant factors. He emphasizes the importance of responsible practices in compensating remote employees and attracting the best talent.

How do you stay updated with the latest trends in global hiring and remote work? What resources do you recommend for entrepreneurs entering the global hiring space?

Jesse recommends reading wrkfrce to stay updated on remote work trends. He highlights that wrkfrce provides content for both remote workers and businesses, including specific guidance for remote operations. He also mentions the value of open-sourced playbooks from leading remote-first companies. Additionally, he suggests creating user guides and fostering an open-source environment within companies to enhance communication and collaboration.

What are your top three recommendations for companies exploring global hiring?

Jesse offers three key recommendations. Firstly, he advises companies to practice acceptance and embrace remote work as a permanent aspect of the future of work. Secondly, he emphasizes obsessive documentation’s importance and creates an open-source environment for practices and documentation. Lastly, he encourages companies to measure output rather than input and focus on hiring and retaining the best talent, regardless of their location.

“Measure output, not input. Identify, hire, promote, and retain the best talent, regardless of their location.”

Listen Up: Jesse Chambers, Founder and CEO of wrkfrce — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify

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