You might be surprised to learn that, according to the International Telecommunications Union, about half of the global populace now use the internet. Those of us residing in (relatively) developed countries view internet access as a human right and a vehicle for promoting economic growth and social equity. Interestingly, fully 84% of the worldwide population has internet provided to them, and a fair chunk of that demographic primarily have mobile access. If so many of us have mobile internet, why are we still tied to our desks for work? As a company, how can we broaden access to the “digital dividend” for everyone? Questions that we asked ourselves this year.
In a mobile world where talent is a global resource and web businesses aim to aggregate the “long tail” of their dispersed global customer base, the sky’s the limit, right? You have to think global and agile from day one. I live in sleepy, rural New Zealand, but manage a company with around 100,000 customers from all over the world. Only a few weeks ago, I was dispensing with a few operational matters while speeding across France in a train at 320 km/hr. Remote work is taking over the world – or so they tell us.
Confronted with this reality, it was with a tinge of sadness that we closed our New Zealand office recently. Based in the bustling, bohemian Cuba precinct of our Capital city Wellington, it was our home for five years. A place where we enjoyed the comradeship that arises naturally from toiling together on a worthy project. More than a few homebrews were imbibed and hot curries consumed at Vivian Street after a hard day’s coding, and I think that might be the most endearing memory for me. That and the fact that we often opened our doors to tech and startup groups from our local community. The future may be global and remote, but there’s nothing like the welcoming buzz of a group of techie nerds in full song at Friday drinks in the office.
However, with a few Kiwi team members moving on in their careers and our various founders all setting up homes in the provinces over the last few years, the economic justification for retaining a physical office space in our beloved Wellington has gradually faded. We’ve committed ourselves fully to the digital nomadic worker lifestyle while re-dedicating our company to being the best enabler of digital domain presence in the market. In fact, if you fancy yourself as a remote worker in the global tech industry – we’ve got a job going right now! Become part of the new wave of companies building amazing global businesses with the help of distributed teams.