More and more companies are adapting the remote working lifestyle but there are those who are still apprehensive about the change. With the boom of freelance work this 2017, global leaders and everyone in an executive leadership position must learn about how to lead a remote working workforce. Check out who the top 5 CEOs of companies who are fully remote based on the top freelance website CloudPeeps:
Matt Mullenweg is one of the major entrepreneur pioneers that have helped create the Internet that we use today shares Rebel Growth. He changed blogging with open source platform WordPress, then founded Automattic, provider of WordPress.com blogs credits Forbes. People and businesses worldwide use WordPress daily to drive their businesses and this all thanks to Mullenweg. He is known as one of the richest 30 below 30 and has a net worth of 400 million dollars. The Texas native at first wasn’t even into web design and preferred music and visual arts. It wasn’t until he left CNET Networks that he started his company Automattic that paved the way to his rise to the top of the business ladder.
Joel Gascoigne is a co-founder and the chief executive officer of Buffer, a web-based platform that helps users share social media content reports Crunch Base. Gascoigne says that the idea of Buffer came to him after using Twitter and realizing he wanted to share more without having to be on Twitter all the time. Lifehacker quotes him saying “I wanted to make scheduling tweets ‘x times a day’ as easy as tweeting regularly.” Buffer has 75 people working remotely from 50 cities around the world to date. They have over 4 million users and rake in around $14 million annually. The company believes in touching base regularly and has corporate team building as often as possible.
Wade Foster has overseen the growth of Zapier since it’s founding in late 2011 at a Startup Weekend (Columbia, Mo.), through participation in Y Combinator, to over 800,000 users and a team of 30+ shares Online Geniuses. Zapier is touted to be “the easiest way to integrate the web apps you already use.” Foster and his cofounders, who all had no corporate training, started Zapier from prototypes and asking people via Skype to take a chance on their integration application. They trolled forums until they found a customer base that lasted and now they are one of the biggest companies on the market. Foster says this to Groove HQ about hiring remotely: “I also think you need to hire slowly and purposefully. If you try and scale up really fast where you’re doubling every couple of quarters, doing that remotely feels like it would be impossible. The other thing that’s absolutely critical is communication, regardless of what tools you use.”
Speaking of Groove, its CEO is Alex Turnbull, who started the company after being frustrated by customer service software that were not user-friendly. He says in his blog at Groove HQ that what he does is “I try to write the blog that I wish existed when I started my first company.” His company is reaching $10 million in annual revenue and widely known as a customer support app for startups and small businesses as per Entrepreneur. His authentic leadership has pulled his company from the ground up and continues to do so.
Basecamp was founded in 1999 and is a privately held American web application company based in Chicago. But the application itself was formed in 2004 when the founders itself started to look for a project management tool. Fried proudly shares on his blog at Basecamp that “Today, 10-years after Basecamp first hit the market, nearly 15,000,000 people have worked on a project with Basecamp! And every week, thousands of companies sign up to use Basecamp.” Fried also told Inc.com that “To me, what’s way more impressive is if people can work a normal eight-hour day or a 40-hour week, get wonderful work done, and come back Monday and be rested. I don’t want people to brag about how long they worked, but about how well they worked,” he says. Basecamp is now known as one of the easiest to use tools for training and development programs by remote companies.
More and more leaders are finding themselves in virtual boss/direct report relationships says Harvard Business Review. These 5 CEOs are great examples of how to be a virtual boss as evidenced by the success of their remote working companies. There is an expected rise in the number of remote staff as the year progresses and being part of companies where CEOs like these belong to would make work something to look forward to everyday.