If you’ve been active in the stock market, you would know that Shopify has grown its stock value by more than 2750% since its IPO in 2015. Here’s the hook; they did it fully digital, without having a physical office.
Maybe the pandemic had a part to play in the advent of Shopify’s rise as more businesses turn to them for solutions, but it is certain that it’s not down to sheer luck, and that they are doing something right.
The new normal is remote work and if anything, Shopify has proven that remote work IS possible. With digital tools readily available, it’s getting harder to justify a need for a physical office.
Modern companies should support remote work as much as they can for a variety of reasons, one of them being more savings on company spending.
These savings come in the form of lesser money spent on office space, supplies, and utilities among other costs.
Shopify’s fully remote business model allows its workers to save time by eliminating a need to physically report to an office to do a job which can be done remotely.
This also means that there isn’t a need to waste resources trying to ensure that staff check in to work on time.
Lesser time spent travelling to work = happier employees.
Shopify believes that you should only work when you’re most productive and if you think about it, it’s surprising how companies have not tapped on to this yet.
Everyone is different, and this means that people are productive at different times of the day; what if you allowed them to work when they feel the most productive?
It’s an unorthodox practice, sure. But the results are telling.
Shopify embraces digital technology to empower its employees to work remotely. It was reported that Shopify offered its employees a $1000 allowance for them to set up their home offices when the pandemic first hit.
With tools like Zoom & Slack, it’s getting easier for employees to work from home, and having an allowance helps to set employees up for success.
It’s almost common knowledge by now that Shopify has no stated work hours on paper; employees are allowed to work whatever time they prefer.
This enables them to work during pockets of time when they’re most productive, and not governing them to work at a set time daily.
Flexible work hours also means that there is a sense of give and take within the team; depending on the stage of a project, some days are long, some are short.
In order to pull off a fully remote arrangement, Shopify encourages a high trust environment within its workplace.
A high trust environment would empower employees to have the confidence that their team members will pull through when needed, and that you can depend on each other without the need to review each other's performance.
This is achieved by having a human-centric approach that recognizes an individual’s unique needs within the context of building a company that already has goals set for the next century.
In other words, Shopify treats its employees as human beings, not as cogs to a machine.
This echoes Julius Uy's quote in an AMA session we had with him: 'Take care of the people, and they will take care of your company'.
Not having a physical office also means that Shopify isn’t restricted to working on just region based projects - teams are usually involved in more global projects.
To facilitate this, developers usually communicate via Github, and also leave each other messages on virtual boards at the end of the day to check if there’s something to hand over to other team members at different time zones.
Additionally, not being restricted by a physical location allows Shopify to hire the best talent from most countries.
This encourages team diversity and also allows them to pick the best talents regardless of borders.
As we transition into a new normal in the professional world, remote working is an added incentive to attracting more talent to your business, and might just be the edge you need when hiring in the job market!
*Our source is based on an AMA session with Shopify.
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