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How to make a distributed workforce successful for your startup — and sustain it

True startup companies are highly innovative organizations driven by opportunities for rapid growth and immediate impact. With their ambitious goals and often limited capital, cost-efficiency is valued in all aspects of the business, including talent acquisition and retention. Like co-working spaces and software-as-a-service, the distributed workforce model is quickly becoming a trend among startups and small businesses.



There are different ways to execute a distributed workforce model. You may have different offices for different departments — the accounting group in Office A, the sales team in Office B. Some of the members of each team may be working remotely. Or you may choose to set up an entire team offshore, like when companies set up their development team or AWS team in the Philippines.

This distributed workforce model addresses financial, location-based, and organizational challenges of startups.


Lower cost of talents. Compensation packages tend to get steeper when your company is located in densely populated business districts. But picking talents from locations with a lower cost of living means you can offer talent packages that are affordable to you and profitable to them.


Deeper talent pool. A distributed workforce lets you choose from a deeper pool of potential hires. Removing the limit of location opens up your world to qualified talents from all over the world. For example, AWS migration specialists may be hard to find within your city, but hundreds more are available in countries abundant with IT professionals, like the Philippines. As early as 2015, tech startups from Silicon Valley already started tapping into the highly-skilled, yet affordable IT talents in the Philippines. The high English proficiency among Filipino talents is also a huge advantage as they can communicate more easily with their teams.


Open communication and collaborative work culture. Distributed teams thrive despite distances. Because they cannot see each other all the time and cannot possibly guess how each team member is doing, they tend to be articulate and specific about expectations and responsibilities when they do sit down for a meeting. They innately value being open and collaborative in everything they do, thus starting and nurturing a collaborative work culture.


Taking advantage of different time zones. You can look at a time zone as a disadvantage, or you can look at it as having extended business hours as a whole. In doing so, you can give your customers assurance that someone will always be ready to accommodate them no matter what time they reach out.


Setting up a distributed team is not just all about fun and renting a trendy co-working space. You have to put in the work to sustain your team’s effectiveness.


Use technology — it’s (mostly) free! Don’t be afraid to lean on productivity management and collaboration apps like Trello, Asana, Clockify, Google, and Slack. Using their services are usually free when your processes and needs are still uncomplicated, which is usually the case for startups. It’s okay if your US team is just about to start their work when your Philippine team is wrapping up to go home — they can catch up on urgent matters over Slack while the rest of the team can review the logs as documentation.


Organize social events — online or in person. When your budget allows, you can arrange for some key members from your Phlippine team to join your annual business planning in your US headquarters. Or the other way around! In the short term, why not organize online group activities and games where your team members can see each other’s faces and get to know everyone outside the context of work.


How Atticus can help you build and sustain your own distributed workforce


As a startup, you need to hire people who not only have the right skills but who have the right attitude as well. Culture fit is important for an agile and collaborative workspace. It’s important that you find people who can still work productively without any authority figures constantly hovering nearby.


Our local professional network in Atticus gives us access to a huge talent pool of highly qualified IT consultants in the Philippines. We specialize in acquiring these talents and matching them with the right client and project. At the same time, we make sure that our consultants undergo holistic training to develop both their technical skills and soft skills. We invest in their professional growth, so that they can perform effectively as individuals and as part of a team.


Thinking of starting a distributed workforce? Let us show you how. Atticus handles everything from sourcing and acquiring talent, processing and onboarding them through HR, to coaching and mentoring so that they can grow as your business grows. Chat with us to know more.

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Garnet Road, Ortigas Center
Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

+61 2 9136 1600​

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