Not all remote companies are equal. From hybrid to async, a breakdown of different types of remote work
4 min read

Not all remote companies are equal. From hybrid to async, a breakdown of different types of remote work

Here's a breakdown of the different types of remote work that companies offer. Identify what kind of remote work you're engaged in!
A women engaged in her remote job
Photo by Dessidre Fleming on Unsplash

Companies around the globe claim to have gone remote since the wake of the pandemic. Although it’s true, remote workers should be wary of what kind of company they’re getting into!

In this article, we break remote companies into 3 different types, from remote-friendly to remote-first. The differences between them might directly influence the benefits they offer, and the work processes they operate.

This is why you need to understand what type of remote company you are applying to, and how it can impact you as a remote worker. Find out now which of these 3 types of remote company is yours.

Local + Sync

Employees working in an office
Photo by Israel Andrade on Unsplash

These are companies that are most common in the post-Covid remote. They hire talents locally, preferably within cities around their office, but allow their employees to work from home.

Local + sync companies notably follow the exact same processes as before. The only difference here is the added perk of working from home, although these companies still follow the sync processes as they did before when functioning inside the office.

Local + sync companies are more exposed to back to office and hybrid policies since, from a management point of view, the only change was exactly the location where people do their job. Their processes kept the same, and you might find their employees constantly in meetings.

These companies are only remote-friendly, not remote-first.

Pros of Local +sync companies:

  • Won't suffer a mass resignation like **back to office** companies
  • Existing employees will stay since they enjoy working from home without the need to commute
  • No admin overhead, given most processes and headcount stayed the same as before

Cons of Local + sync companies:

  • Talent pool is constrained to local talent
  • Inefficient synchronous processes that mostly mimic the office tend to exhaust employees
  • Employees who move to another city will still churn as before
  • Misses out on most of the remote work opportunities

International + Sync

Two woman working together
Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

These companies hire employees internationally, but keep following their sync processes as before. International + sync companies are a growing segment post-Covid.

Such companies in the US started hiring all across LATAM. But not from Europe. Similarly, International + sync companies in the UK started hiring in Southern and Eastern Europe and Africa. But not from Asia or the Americas.

International + sync companies successfully acknowledge remote work as a big shift to the employment system worldwide that decouples work from location. These companies identify this as an opportunity and are ready to work towards leveraging it.

Pros of International + sync companies:

  • Won't suffer as much turn over, and will probably attract employees from companies returning to the office
  • Great retention tool, since employees have the freedom to relocate to surrounding countries
  • Great hiring tool, since companies expand the talent pool considerably

Cons of International + sync companies

  • Sync processes and team spread across time zones means meeting fatigue and lots of dependencies, which tend to exhaust employees
  • Sync processes confine the talent pool to just a few time zones away, since people need to overlap
  • Still not fully cracking remote work

International + Async

A women engaged in her remote job
Photo by Dessidre Fleming on Unsplash

These are companies hiring international talent while mostly working through asynchronous processes and communication flows. Unlike the previous companies, international + async companies have almost no restrictions on where they can hire employees, thanks to the asynchronous processes that allow every remote worker to work to their own schedule rather than a shared company’s schedule.

This means that their processes involve employees communicating to a colleague when they are blocked or need input. But, as the colleague could take several hours to respond, they move on to their next task. These companies optimize workflows around this concept, and the time spent in meetings is minimal. Ultimately, this is what we call a remote-first organization vs mere remote-friendly companies.

International + async companies are still a fringe within the remote work landscape. Building asynchronous processes that allow for a fully round-the-clock operation takes significant effort and purpose.

As such, these companies are perceived as the best places to work and learn.

Pros of International + async companies

  • These companies are like a magnet for talent, everyone wants to work there
  • Ultimate retention tool, since employees have the freedom to nomad around the world
  • Will likely absorb churned employees from other companies that roll out unpopular post-covid policies

Cons of International + async companies

  • These companies make significant investments in building processes and training materials to onboard new employees into these asynchronous processes

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