More than 3.5 million employees work remotely at least half the time, a technology-enabled trend that’s on the rise. Many employers claim that workers are more productive when they work remotely, but some technology companies are not considering remote workers or don’t allow telecommuting at all.
Marketing technology company Connectivity went from a 20-person company to an 80-person company in a year and a half, and it’s poised to continue accelerating. Part of Connectivity’s success stems from fostering experimentation. “We always want to hire people who are entrepreneurs themselves, and let them know that they’re not going to get in trouble for failing,” said CEO Matt Booth.
Major real estate development projects like Manhattan’s 3 World Trade Center cost billions, and budget overruns often delay construction. Enter Fundrise: The company’s technology opens doors for individuals who want to invest in local real estate developments, but maybe don’t have millions of dollars lying around. Fundrise has seen 1,500 percent growth in deal volume since May 2014.
On-demand grocery shopping and delivery service Instacart is make headway at disrupting a multi-billion-dollar industry. Driving that effort is a relentless focus on satisfying customers. “One policy we’ve implemented at Instacart is that every employee, from the engineers up to our CEO, goes out shopping once a quarter to get an understanding of being a shopper and how our service affects the customer. Everybody here does it,” says vice president of people Mathew Caldwell.
When you’re fast-growing startup company, the most important thing is hiring the right people. That means people who can do the job, and also, in some cases, people who are willing to build desks, said Justin Donnarumma, director of sales at Signpost, a marketing automation technology company that launched in 2010. “That’s the kind of scrappiness we look for in new hires.”
Changing a deep-seated corporate culture takes time. Just ask YP, where renewed internal communications, education and community-building efforts have paid off in a big way.
Non-structured employee bonding opportunities help provide a new perspective on topics that have often already been discussed at length in meetings and via email. Sometimes the best results happen naturally as employees form relationships with each other outside of work.
At WeddingWire, an online marketplace serving the wedding and events industry, its expanding employee base is providing new opportunities to fine-tune company policies, according to the company’s vice president of people, Jenny Harding.
“We only grow at a rate that guarantees that we can provide [our customers] the product and expertise that will drive that high level of customer success,” says CEO Robert Blatt. “We are growing rapidly, but we really limit our growth so we can always deliver client success.”
Dispatch grew from three employees to 25 in the past 10 months, and the company is on an upward trajectory. As it scales, the executive team is hoping to maintain the small-time ambiance of a startup while segmenting responsibilities.