Remote Work Culture on the Rise

“Blockchain and quantic computing are on the rise, but if we’re talking about the here-and-now industrial revolution, remote work is making huge waves. It has the ability to redefine the way we work and live.”

Frédéric Petitpont, Newsbridge CTO, Co-founder

We all love a good remote-working day. Coffee is ready, pyjamas are on…you’re up bright and early, ready to crack open your laptop and get to work.

You may be working from home- but you are definitely not alone. In fact, you’re part of a network that reflects an ever- growing, global business trend.

Remote working has a string of powerful implications for the future, and they’re not exclusively work-related. Telecommuting has the possibility to change lives, break industry-specific geographic silos and boost rural economic ecosystems. It can also reduce carbon footprints and address wage inequality, all while increasing employee well-being, leading to better business results. As Newsbridge CTO Frédéric Petitpont puts it, “Remote working is the here-and-now industrial revolution.”

According to Gallup research, U.S. telecommuting has increased from 39% to 46% between 2012 and 2016: Source

According to a 2018 IWG survey covering 18,000 business professionals across 100+ international companies, 70% of employees reported working remotely once a week. Of this group, more than 50% reported that they were working more than once a week.

With a recent “start-up boom” in digital societies and change in attitude among top management regarding business practices, telecommuting is also on the rise in Europe.

Consequently, in just the first half of 2019, French start-ups raised a record-breaking €2.79 billion. This was up +43% compared to 2018, higher than its neighboring countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech at Station F’s start-up campus in 2018: Source

Furthermore, according to a study by Eurostat including more than 28 countries in the EU, almost 10% of employees are working remotely (as of 2018) compared to 7.7% in 2008.

By the same token, telecommuting in the U.S. has increased from 39% of employees in 2012 to 46% in 2016 according to Gallup. This statistic represents both startups and large-scale corporations.

For example, just a few months back, Amazon announced that it would be hiring 3,000 remote workers in nearly 20 states across the U.S. Companies like Klaxoon and Zoom are great leading examples- the ones making it happen.

Certainly, telecommuting is steadily increasing in demand as more employees seek out flexibility in schedules and work location. 

Ok…So Why Is This Important?

Business culture is evolving and times are changing.

Flexibility is no longer a check-list desire for career-seekers, it is a new job requirement for the modern working generation. In fact, in a recent Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group survey of more than 11,000 business professionals, business leaders revealed that flexibility and autonomous work were two of the highest ranked requirements when hiring top, fresh talent.  

“Remote-working Skies” Newsbridge Dev Erwan takes a photo from his home in Northwest France.

The desire for a more functional work-life balance is nothing new, but Gen Y has a new way of thinking. According to PwC’s NextGen: A Global Generational Study, the concept of workplace productivity is completely redefined. Instead of measuring business productivity by number of hours worked, they define it by “the output of the work performed” (source).

With that said, nearly 80% of millennials surveyed stated that flexibility in their work led to higher levels of productivity. This includes telecommuting, part-time schedules, alternative schedules and freelance work.

Keeping this in mind, companies are taking note, as this trend shows no signs of stopping. Although many companies consider remote working a luxury, others are beginning to understand it as a necessity. That is to say, how they will attract and retain top talent among Gen Y. These are the same businesses turning toward alternative solutions and in turn experiencing higher levels of productivity and ROI.

Newsbridge Remote Culture: On-Site or Off-Site, We’re All On-Board

As a case in point, Newsbridge is fully supportive and on-board with the changing times, happily embracing both the full-time and hybrid telecommuting culture. It fits into our mission of investing in people first to create outstanding business results later

Newsbridge Lead Front Developper Loic finds work-life balance, fishing from his kayak after a day of telecommuting.

With nearly 35% of the Newsbridge team working remotely in France and the U.S., Newsbridge sees great results with its telecommuting strategy.

In fact, one of the team’s first employees, Gil Guenon, now Lead Backend Developer, lives and works in the south of France.

Playing a crucial role as one of the platform’s foundational architects, Guenon is able to easily manage day-to-day operations. He does this via headset and laptop, in the comfort of his own home, allowing him to be closer to his family.

Newsbridge CTO Frederic Petitpont sits down for a coffee with Lead Backend Developer Gil Guenon.

So What Does That Look Like?

Engaging employees and making them feel included in all business discussions and decisions is a priority for Newsbridge management. In fact, every Tuesday the team hosts a virtual meeting in which each department shares updates and everyone is able to comment on various initiatives.

We invest in people first to create outstanding business results later.

Philippe Petitpont, Newsbridge CEO

For example- as a handful of Newsbridge employees work from home, management thought it would be an original experience to throw a virtual holiday party.

This year, the team participated in the annual White Elephant Christmas Exchange via webcam (and yes a lot of coordination went into this endeavour!).

The Newsbridge team supports full-time and hybrid remote work culture and is composed of both on-site and off-site workers. Here’s what a typical team meeting looks like.

Many thoughtful gifts and laughs were shared, along with the occasional webcam lag, but the gesture was loud and clear- that the Newsbridge team, on-site and out-of-sight function and succeed as one. And this rings true not just during the holidays, but every day.

As one employee puts it:

“Being part of a high functioning remote-work culture is a dream. I love what I do, and from the beginning I never had to compromise my life. It’s a great feeling to get my work done, and then head out fishing after a long day.”

Loic, Front End Dev Lead

The Newsbridge remote team aims to visit the office every couple months for an “in-office” touch base.

A Couple Questions for the Newsbridge Remote Team 

Now that you know a little bit more about the remote work culture here at Newsbridge, it’s time for you to hear from our remote workers themselves. During the holidays we sat down with our team to hear what they had to say about their telecommuting experience.

Q: How does remote working change the way you work?  

Marina (Product Manager): As a mom, my schedule needs to be flexible. It is great knowing that I have the ability to work from home when I need to. This flexibility changes the way I work, because I can work calmly at home and get things done efficiently.

Q: Why did you decide to work remotely? 

Olivier (Dev Ops): Work life harmony, efficiency/flexibility and remote-culture intrigue were the initial reasons I chose to telecommute. For me, work is really about adding value to the company, less about how many hours you spend in the office. It is also a direct display of trust between the company and myself- and this is something that should never be taken for granted.

Q: What kinds of collaborative tools do you use to communicate with colleagues? Are they efficient?

Pierre-Yves (Dev Front): Here at Newsbridge we all use Slack, a collaborative software that allows us to chat and work in parallel on various initiatives. I am also using Meet for weekly project meetings. These meetings aren’t always work-related. Sometimes I like to pop-in and say hello to my colleagues.

Q: In what ways does Newsbridge make you feel like you are ‘in-office’?

Erwan (Dev Perception): Working for Newsbridge remotely, I definitely have the impression that I am “at the office”. When working with both the on-site team and other remote workers, we organize video conferences, identify objectives and exchange via our internal workflow: Slack. For me, there are a lot of benefits of working remotely- like avoiding traffic, eating my breakfast in peace while working. It also helps that I’m working with subjects that interest me. To be honest, I would say that I have a higher quality of life, because I love what I do and am able to do it at home, all while living close to the sea with my family. I feel more creative and productive, and that’s all thanks to Newsbridge.

Q: Why is remote working an important option, in your opinion?

Loic (Lead Dev Front): Having been a remote worker for more than 15 years, I can tell you that telecommuting is the future of working, and has serious productivity benefits. Here at Newsbridge I believe that professional fulfilment goes hand in hand with personal fulfilment. That’s why remote working is integrated into our daily business culture. Newsbridge’s rapid growth and new tech advancements require specialized profiles with many years of experience. But it’s not uncommon that these individuals leave metropolitan areas for family or personal reasons. Placing quality first, Newsbridge sought out these individuals and built a successful team because of it. Finally, remote working helps combat the challenges of our time, leading to a smaller ecological footprint, for example.

Q. Could you describe a day in the life of a remote worker? How long have you been telecommuting?

Gil (Lead Backend Dev): I’ve only been working remotely for a couple months now- as before I was on-site. What I can say about this new experience is that I have an office dedicated to my work- which is my own “Newsbridge office”. This allows me to physically and mentally separate my personal and professional life. So for me working from home is like “another day in the office” except the commute is a bit shorter. To start off the day, I like to connect with the team via hangout (on our slack channel) to chat with others while having a coffee. To me, it’s really important to keep this connection with the team.

Remote Working: Win-Win

While remote working allows employees to experience a better work-life balance, telecommuting also allows companies to attract highly talented and niche profiles that would otherwise have gone by the way-side due to proximity issues. 

The Newsbridge team is 65% on-site and 35% off-site, but 100% in sync.

In the case of our employees at Newsbridge, we are happy to have everyone on board, near or far- as we believe in employee quality over office quantity.

If you’re interested in joining our remote-friendly team feel free to send us your resume via Welcome to The Jungle.

About Newsbridge

Newsbridge is a cloud-based solution offering video indexing tools based on multimodal Artificial Intelligence (AI) contribution for publishers and broadcasters.

Taking into account facial, object and scene recognition with audio transcription and semantic context, Newsbridge provides unprecedented access to content. Whether it be derushing, archiving or investigative research- the solution allows for smart media asset management.

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