Are Startups Cultivating a Work From Home Culture?

01/20/2017 11:56 am ET Updated Jan 21, 2018

Is there a trend around funded startups with a work from home culture? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Anne K. Halsall, CPO & co-founder, Winnie, on Quora:

There are many thousands of funded startups, and without public data about their team composition and office life, it's hard to say whether there is a trend one way or another. However, here are a few things which are trends:

  • The SF Bay Area is still the heartland of venture capital.
  • It is very expensive to live here.
  • It is very expensive to have office space here.
  • Traffic in SF, the East Bay, and the Peninsula is worsening, while public transit is overloaded and underfunded.
  • The funding climate is tightening and founders today will have to do a lot more with less.
  • The area is flush with unicorns who shored up all the venture funding and can afford to pay outsized salaries.

I like to think a responsible founder, considering all of these points, would absolutely consider remote workers and build support for distributed teams into their processes & culture.

At Winnie we planned for this from the beginning because we knew we would find amazing contributors outside of the Bay Area and we wanted to be able to hire them. We also knew this same culture would benefit team members with care responsibilities such as children, sick partners, elderly parents, or very needy pets. (Just kidding on that last one. Sorta.) It just seemed like an obviously good thing to do, for a number of reasons.

No founder today is going to make it without being very thrifty and very creative. So yeah, it's a smart move to spend as little of your funding on rent as possible (either via employee's salaries or office space) and use it instead to build better products and value for your customers.

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