Cactus Communications (CACTUS), a technology business has chosen a remote-first approach allowing all of its 1,200 employees in nine locations across the world to work remotely.
It is one of the first organizations in India to join a small but increasing group of companies around the world that are embracing remote-first—companies that have offices but don’t require their employees to work from them.
“Three hundred and twenty people joined CACTUS in the seven months leading up to October 2021, and 50% of our new hires are from locations where we don’t have physical offices, such as Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, and many others. Remote-first does not mean that we will not have offices or that our people can’t work from an office. It means that in everything we do at work, we will adopt a remote-first mindset, making sure everyone, regardless of where they are working from, has an equal voice and visibility in the organization. We believe that talent is everywhere, opportunity is not. We are now no longer restricted to specific geographic locations, and we can provide opportunities wherever we find the right talent. In fact, our people are currently spread across 14 countries and 165 different cities. In India, our employees are currently working out of more than 130 cities.”
Yashmi Pujara, Chief Human Resources Officer at CACTUS
CACTUS will extend its recruitment efforts around the world and to pioneer new post-pandemic working patterns such as work from home, asynchronous communication, and more. CACTUS also hopes to create jobs in smaller towns where such chances may be limited, reducing the various issues faced by worker migration to overcrowded larger cities and contributing to a more fulfilling and sustainable future for employees, organizations, and the world as a whole.
“While the world was forced into an 18-month experiment with remote work, we’ve been thinking about embracing remote-first for a long time. The primary reason behind our adoption of a remote-first culture is our evolution as a global company. When too many people are concentrated in a specific office location, the loudest voices are the ones closest to you. With customers in over 160 countries, we want to be close to them and responsive to their needs. We also want employees across the globe to contribute equally to the direction of the company.”
Abhishek Goel, CEO and Co-founder, CACTUS
The organization conducted a poll of employees to better understand their work preferences and issues in order to establish a remote-first approach. Employees desired freedom in how and where they worked, according to leaders, with 38 percent preferring full-time remote work. To learn best practices, a core team benchmarked other remote-first startups and interacted with industry thought-leaders. To get insight into what would work best for the organization, several pilots on various work patterns were introduced. This encompassed everything from virtual water cooler events and whiteboards to crafting a communications charter, appointing remote champions, establishing asynchronous communication norms, and launching a remote-first manual. In addition, the business created a new position, Head of Remote-First, and hired Jason Morwick to spearhead the transformation.
“For many people, working remotely during the pandemic has highlighted just how much of a rethink working practices need going forward. Businesses cannot replicate what they used to do face-to-face over a video call. Before the pandemic, people would gather in a room in front of a whiteboard to discuss an idea or problem, but that rarely works over a video call. Now, we are revising the process – how we are developing solutions. If done correctly, we believe that we can accelerate our business decision-making while engaging a larger number of employees.”
Jason Morwick, Head of Remote-First at CACTUS
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