While offices across the U.S. are reopening and companies are encouraging their employees to return to a traditional work environment, BlueModus has taken the opposite approach and has decided to become a virtual business permanently.
Moving virtual wasn't a big jump since 60% of our colleagues worked from home before COVID and worked in over 20 states. Our early adoption of remote working years ago proved a blessing because it was pretty straightforward for our Denver office colleagues to start working remotely when COVID hit in 2020. Our team was already equipped with the required infrastructure and communication methods to succeed remotely.
Interestingly, many of us who worked from our Denver office - people who never thought we would enjoy working remotely - did. The frustrations of sitting in traffic, hunting for parking, and missing the bus were over. While we missed seeing our colleagues in person and enjoying catered lunches every day, we found ourselves more productive and felt just as connected through Zoom.
We genuinely trust our team, which is one of the things that make BlueModus special. We hire adults and give them a lot of freedom and flexibility. Flexibility also enables colleagues to choose where they work best. The answer for the majority of our Denver team was clear - they now preferred working from home. Moreover, they wanted this to continue post-COVID. As a result, we decided to respect our team's preferences and sublet the remaining office space.
Supporting our team was a driving factor in our decision to go 100% virtual, but many other benefits exist. First, it allowed us to shift more of our rent costs to our team's travel budget for meetings, training, and future in-person events, as well as professional development. Second, it removed a capacity limit in our Denver office, which pushed us to find a larger space as our staff grew in previous years. A virtual team eliminated those constraints. The number of desks in our office no longer influenced our hiring decisions. Finally, it broadened our labor pool. This year, our staff has already grown by almost 50% by August. We weren't confined to hiring Denver-based colleagues because of location. We now always hire the best of the best across the country, not just the best of the best in Denver.
Some may argue that culture and camaraderie will suffer, but I don't believe that is true. You must work hard to create and maintain a great culture, no matter how close or far apart your teammates work. Being 100% remote only means you look at culture from a remote lens. I believe that having an environment built around hiring great people, treating them with respect, and giving them the freedom to do great work and be challenged is much more important than the occasional happy hour or catered lunch. That is my hope, at least.