Written over eight hours on a flight to Barcelona, this article is a living embodiment of the remote work lifestyle. It was created using only a laptop, a comfortable set of headphones, and an endless supply of coffee.

The freedom to work from anywhere is one of the great advantages of the modern world. But with this freedom comes responsibility—responsibility to stay connected, motivated, and productive.

And since the pandemic hit, it's been a freedom that has allowed businesses worldwide to evolve, adapt, and flourish in ways they never thought possible.

Us included.

What Does Remote Work Really Mean?

Last year, Gallup reported that 45% of employees in the US workforce were working remotely either full-time or part-time. Around the world, 16% of companies are fully remote.

The meteoric rise of remote work has been driven by several factors, including the ever-growing gig economy, the need for businesses to be more flexible and agile, and the increasing availability of high-speed internet access.

And as younger entrepreneurs start businesses from their laptops, scale them with limited budgets, and scour the world for global resources and talent, this number will continue to shoot up.

But what does "remote work" really mean?

In essence, working remotely means having the ability (and freedom) to work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection.

Of course, this doesn't mean that working remotely is easy. It takes discipline, focus, and a willingness to embrace new tools and technologies.

It also requires a different mindset—one that prioritizes collaboration over competition and recognizes that the best ideas can come from anywhere in the world.

At Codelitt, adopting a remote-first team wasn’t a response mechanism for the pandemic. Unlike most companies, we’ve been fully remote from the start. And while this comes with its own set of challenges, it has also been an opportunity to build a more inclusive, diverse, and global company. Our team is distributed across more than 10 countries across the Americas, and Europe, meaning we're constantly working across time zones and cultures.

But this isn't a hindrance—it's one of our biggest strengths.

"Cultural diversity has played a huge role in our success as a remote team. We've been able to draw on the unique perspectives and experiences of our team members to build a strong foundation for our company."

Omar Altoubah, Human Resources & Operations Manager at Codelitt (Tampa, FL)

Remote Work Significantly Benefits Both Employees and Companies

There are plenty of advantages to working remotely. At first, they seemingly pay off only in direct employee benefits, but eventually, these advantages come back to the company tenfold.

Employees aren't tied to a specific location.

The most obvious benefit of remote work is that it gives employees the freedom to work from anywhere. This is a game-changer for working parents who want to spend more time with their kids, people with disabilities who have difficulty commuting, and introverts who prefer to avoid office politics.

It also opens up opportunities for talented workers who live in rural areas or small towns, where good jobs are scarce.

Commuting to work is a thing of the past.


7 years ago, the average one-way commute time was between 23 and 56 minutes, depending on where you lived. In larger metropolitan areas, this number was closer to an hour.

With the rise of remote work over the last half-decade, employees are no longer wasting hours each week sitting in traffic or crammed into a crowded subway car.

With remote work, employees can say goodbye to their long commutes and the stresses that come with them. Not only is this great for employees' mental health, but it also saves them time and money.

"Especially when I’m building teams, I always want to hire people that are smarter than I am."

Victoria Jaime, Integrator and Chief Design Officer at Codelitt (Bristol, England, United Kingdom)

Employees can take advantage of global resources and talent.

When you're not limited by geography, you can tap into a much wider pool of resources and talent. This is great news for companies that want to build diverse teams and give their employees the opportunity to work with the best people in the world—regardless of where they live.

For us, this has enabled us to build a team of diverse, world-class developers, designers, and marketers, who are constantly pushing each other to do better work.

For Vicky, our Chief Design Officer, building a skilled design team means finding designers who are "smarter than she is." To find top design talent, she looks beyond her immediate network and casts a wide net—allowing her to hire the best designers from around the world.

Happier, healthier employees produce better work.

Open-plan offices reduce productivity by at least 15%. And with the significant mental and physical health issues attributed to commuting to one, it's no wonder that so many employees are looking for a way out.

When employees are happy and healthy, they're more productive. And when they're more productive, they produce better work. It's a simple yet powerful equation.

On an individual level, this is because individual employees can design their own workspace, set their own conditions, and work their own hours. And on a team level, it's because remote teams have more flexibility.

There are plenty of ways to ensure your employees are happy and healthy, but one of the most effective strategies for us has been to give them the freedom to design their own workdays.

This could mean letting them start their days later or take longer lunch breaks. It could also mean giving them the flexibility to take a few hours off in the middle of the day to go for a run or take a yoga class.

Companies become more diverse, encouraging new thoughts and ideas.

Omar, our Tampa, Florida-based HR and Operations Manager, oversees the daily outlook and business needs at Codelitt, stating, "cultural diversity has played a huge role in our success as a remote team. We've been able to draw on the unique perspectives and experiences of our team members to build a strong foundation for our company."

When you have employees working in different time zones and from different cultures, you're bound to get a more diverse range of thoughts and ideas. This is great news for companies who want to encourage creativity and innovation within their teams.

It also helps to build a more tolerant and understanding company culture, where employees are encouraged to respect and learn from each other's differences.

We've found that this diversity of thought has helped us to build a more well-rounded and effective team, who are better able to solve problems and come up with innovative solutions.

Managing a Remote Team Isn't Without Its Challenges

In many ways, managing a remote team is just like managing any other team. There will always be challenges, and there will always be areas that you can improve on.

But some unique challenges come with managing a remote team. These include:

Communication difficulties

Certain nuances can be lost in translation when communicating with someone across the world. And with so much depending on clear and effective communication (especially with a project-based business like ours), this can sometimes lead to a disconnect between team members.

It's important to be aware of these differences and to try to bridge the cultural divide by ensuring that everyone is on the same page. This could mean setting up regular video calls or using a chat tool like Slack to keep team members in constant communication.

Time zone differences

Working with others in different countries is much easier when they're in the same time zone as you. But when they're not, it can be difficult to coordinate meetings and calls.

As a Tampa-based company, communication is easy for our Brazilian developers. But for our QA analyst in England and full-stack developer in Berlin, connecting takes a little bit more flexibility and creativity.

When time zone differences are an issue, the best thing you can do is to be patient, respectful, and understanding. You may also want to consider using a tool like World Time Buddy, which offers a quick way to help team members see what time it is in different parts of the world.

Lack of face-to-face interaction

At the end of the day, we're social beings. And taking away the opportunity for face-to-face interaction can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The lack of face-to-face interaction impacts our business in a few ways:

  • Less personalization makes it harder for new employees to bond with the team.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to build trust with someone you've never met in person.
  • Some teams operate in silos of one another, and getting everyone on board for a project can take extra time.
  • Without the ability to take an "all-hands-on-deck" approach, sprint cycles and other deadlines can be more difficult to hit.

For companies to find success with remote work, they need to make sure that their team members feel like they're part of a community. This could involve setting up weekly video calls or company-wide chat rooms where everyone can socialize and bond with one another.

It's also important to encourage employees to take advantage of networking opportunities, whether that's through attending conferences or connecting with others in their field.

It's Up to Company Leadership to Make Remote Work a Success

If remote work is going to be a success for your company, it has to start from the top. Leaders need to be on board with the idea and committed to making it work.

A few core tenets we've learned firsthand from managing our completely remote team:

Whether you're a contractor or full-time employee, you're equal in our eyes.


In McKinsey's recent American Opportunity Survey, researchers found that 36% of the American workforce is self-employed, which equates to about 70.4 million workers. On a global scale, this figure is considerably higher (46.4%)

What's more, the rise of the gig economy is only going to continue. By 2027, it's estimated that over half of American workers will be independent contractors.

This is a trend we're seeing at Codelitt as well. We have a mix of full-time employees and contractors, and we give everyone who wears the Codelitt name the same benefits including competitive PTO, expensed travel to meet global team members, and the freedom to work from wherever.

Competitive PTO is great, but we hold our team accountable for it.

Unlimited PTO seems to be all the rage. It's been trending on LinkedIn, discussed among innovators for company culture, and written about in the Harvard Business Review.

The problem is that, when it's not managed correctly, unlimited PTO can lead to employees feeling overworked and stressed. With the wrong company culture, it can cause employees to feel guilty for taking time off or feel like they need to justify their vacation days.

At Codelitt, we offer 30 days of PTO to our entire workforce (freelance and full-time), plus the week off between Christmas and New Year's Day.

To hold everyone accountable, we don't force it down anyone's throat, either. Instead, we've created an environment where people feel comfortable using their PTO, and they don't have to feel guilty about it.

Work hard, sign off.

One of the best things about working remotely is that you're not tied to a desk. You can work from wherever you like, as long as you have an internet connection.

But remote workforce models can actually lead to overworking, as employees feel like they need to be "always on."

We trust our team to get their work done and respect the time they need to do it. We also know our team members work to live, not live to work.

Especially when working with contractors and freelancers, expecting availability at all hours is commonplace. But If you want your employees to respect your company's time, you need to respect their time as well. That means not expecting them to be available 24/7 and not sending work-related emails outside of normal business hours.

Collaboration tools are critical, but there’s no substitute for human interaction.

We follow the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) model to provide structure, and we hold weekly L10 meetings to help with goal setting and accountability. These efforts help us stay on track and remind our team that what they do makes a valuable impact.

We use Slack for unified communication and collaboration, and we manage our projects with Jira.

But our tech stack isn't our secret sauce—our people are.

Even with the best tools, there's no substitute for human interaction. That's why we make sure to humanize our interactions with each other, whether it's through video calls, in-person meetups, or just sending a funny meme.

  • We have special Slack channels for fun interactions. Channels like #fun-pets humanize our workforce and help us stay connected, even if we've never met in person.
  • We host company bonding events and happy hours via video chat. We even host Codelitt Con every year, which has been a way to bring our team together virtually for a few days each year.
  • We’re taking organizational steps to unify our team across the world. Codelitt Con is a multi-day event that includes games, presentations, and breakout sessions designed to help us get to know each other better and build relationships. This year, it’ll be in person with five different groups based on geographic location.
  • We expense travel for our team members to meet each other in person. We believe that, even though we work remotely, we should still act like a team. That means getting to know each other on a personal level and building relationships that go beyond just work.

And while there will always be a place for in-person interaction, we've worked tirelessly to create the next best thing.

“One of the ways that we make remote work successful is by constantly having a pulse on employee sentiment”

Gregory Wood, Head of Operations at Codelitt

Employee feedback is critical for continuous improvement.

Nobody gets it right the first time, and predicting employees' needs and values is impossible. Through Lattice surveys, we consistently iterate and build on our company culture and autonomy through employee feedback.

Had it not been for the Lattice, we wouldn't have had as clear of a view of what our employees were looking for and where we could improve. By measuring KPIs and feedback data, we've made informed decisions to invest in what our employees need.

Workforce Management Is Not Just a One-Time Activity

Employees are more than just a cost of doing business. And creating a positive culture involves more than just adding a company happy hour or flying someone out to meet the team.

It’s a constant feedback loop that involves listening to employees and taking action to improve every step of the way.

Remote work can be a great way to attract top talent, but it’s not a panacea. Significant challenges come with working with a distributed team. But by following our core tenets and implementing the right systems, we’ve been able to create a culture and way of working that allows us to thrive—no matter where we are in the world.