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The future workplace

Meet the fully remote workforce, Buffer

From San Francisco’s tech hub to a fully remote workforce; we explore the story of Buffer's forward-thinking officeless culture.

From a bedroom in Birmingham to a $10million turnover company; Buffer, has been powered by a fully remote workforce ever since making the bold move of ditching office life entirely in 2015.

Today, Buffer, the social media management platform, is trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals all around the world, to help drive meaningful engagement and measurable results across social channels. 

Starting up from his bedroom in 2010, CEO Joel Gascoigne quickly secured funding from a US-backed initiative which led him to San Francisco. However, American visas soon came to expire, leaving Joel and his two co-founders no decision but to make hires from the other side of the globe back in the UK, sparking the beginnings of a distributed workforce. 

Today, Buffer is a fully remote workforce of more than 80 team members, spread across 45 international cities and 11 different time zones.  

There are no advantages to people coming into an office every day. No disadvantages to staying at home to get your work done.

Jason Zimdars

Designer at Basecamp

The challenges & benefits of a remote workforce

Of course, a distributed workforce comes with its challenges, and Buffer relies on a bevy of tools and practices in order to streamline their everyday operations. One of the biggest challenges of a distributed workforce is being able to maintain effective and consistent communication across teams.

“It’s top of mind for us to make sure that employees feel connected to one another” – Hailley Griffis, PR Executive at Buffer.

This is why one of the most important values that Buffer promotes is to communicate with clarity, and they work hard to keep their team feeling united through a collection of digital communication and collaboration tools that include the likes of Slack, Zoom, HeyTaco, and Trello

To make officeless working a success, the company embraces a whole new approach to work ethic, with strong prioritisation of asynchronous communications along with regular meetups – in person and over video call, with the latter being favoured during the current climate. This has proven to be highly effective in bringing team members much closer together and strengthening communication. 

“If it weren’t for online tools, there’s no way we could do what we do at Buffer” –  says Courtney Seiter, Director of People at Buffer. With video conferencing being particularly important during recent times, especially for those in the coworking or coffee shop camp, who usually make use of Buffer’s flexible policy to work from wherever employees feel most comfortable. Buffer cover all expenses when it comes to internet connectivity, technology, and a comfortable work setup – putting them ahead of the game in recent circumstances, where many office-based organisations faced the unwelcome prospect of a more abrupt transition to the remote lifestyle.

One of the most notable benefits the company has witnessed since going officeless, has been the high levels of productivity. Buffer encourages self-motivation and productivity through a variety of digital tools and unique employee benefits, enabling staff to work from wherever they feel inspired. Without restrictions on working hours or location, employees can focus on a shared vision of results, balance and sustained productivity – while enjoying a life free from tiresome commutes, extra time with the family, and ultimate flexibility.

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