Remote Work


By | Diary of a Remote Company, Remote Work

NEW YORK, (November 1, 2021) – Signe Pihlstrand, SanovaWorks Vice President

Does Your Company Hire Remote Employees?

Results Matter

SanovaWorks functions with a Results Only Work Environment.  When we created this policy almost a decade ago, the benefits we were anticipating took a little time to emerge. The biggest advantage under our new policy was hiring remote employees. The entire process differed from what we’d experienced in the past, hiring only from our local talent pool. We were able to staff a fully remote Team and thrive over the past decade. Fast forward to the past year and a half, since the pandemic hit, we started to see other companies adapt to a remote workforce. We responded with a series called Diary of a Remote Company, our own company’s insights in how to manage teams, and normalize video chatting.

Creating a Remote Company

First, there are more applicants – considerably more. We were already inundated with every job post, but opening up the search to include anyone that can attend meetings during Eastern Standard Time makes a dramatic difference. We didn’t just have more candidates to choose from, we had many more viable candidates to choose from. For every job opening we have, there is a certain percentage of applicants that apply that are not qualified. Another percentage has applied for the wrong position – responded to the wrong ad. Then, add all of the applicants with letters and resumes full of typos. And then all of the spam responses from recruiting companies. What we are left with is often a much smaller group than we had hoped for.

When we began to hire a fully remote team, we had less of the above percentages, and more in the “keeper pool.” We now get a very large percentage of feasible, quality applicants that have read the ad, have relevant experience, have responded with a clear, well-written resume, and if we’re lucky, include a cover letter that tells us even more about them and how they fit with the role, and helps set them apart from the rest of the group. For sure a difference is because of the numbers – more applicants, more percentage of each group, including the “yes” list. But we can’t help but notice that the percentage of viable candidates is disproportionately larger than the others. More of the applicants make the effort, and more make the cut.

Limitless Location

We focus on finding the very best people for our positions and we are not limited by location. And we are thrilled with our team members. They have varying backgrounds and skillsets, but what they have in common is that they are absolute pros at what they do, they are dispersed across the country, and we feel lucky to have found them.

Does Your Company Hire Remote Employees?

I understand all industries can’t go this route. Retail, or any company that caters to the public, for example. What experiences have you had with remote staffing?

If your industry allows, consider hiring remote workers. Recent studies show employees that who work remote or are allowed the flexibility of working remotely some of the time, are more satisfied in their jobs, less likely to quit, and are often more productive than their in-office counterparts.

And on top of this:

  • As I illustrated above, employing remote staff allows companies to use a global talent pool to fill their open positions, which provides a greater chance of finding qualified, talented and experienced candidates.
  • Employees are able to save money on work wardrobe, and eating breakfast and lunches out – and are more apt to make coffee at home instead of spending way too much for their morning joe.
  • Employees save on commuting costs, and the time it saves them results in a greater work-life balance.
  • It’s Green! Reducing the number of commuters saves fuel, reduces vehicle carbon emissions and traffic congestion.
  • Absenteeism is reduced  – employees can work in any sort of weather – snow and ice can’t keep them from coming in to work. And in general, remote workers are absent from work less: a recent study found that the sickness absence rate for remote workers was 0.9% on average compared to 2.2% who work in an office.
  • Hiring remote staff is a great way for companies that want to expand their workforce, but do not have the office space to bring in any new employees. This allows companies to grow without the increase in added overhead of acquiring additional space.

All the best,


Signe Pihlstrand, SanovaWorks Vice President


By | Diary of a Remote Company, Remote Work

NEW YORK, (Mar. 23, 2020) Signe Pihlstrand, Vice President, SanovaWorks

In the wake of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, many companies are having their staff work from home, and a great portion of them don’t have a routine remote policy or have remote processes set up. SanovaWorks has been successfully 100% remote for over six years now, and we gave ourselves many months of preparing, the better part of a year, before launching our remote work culture. These companies unfortunately don’t have that luxury and need to keep their workforce productive and the wheels rolling with an abrupt start to their remote experience. When I think about the most important things a company can do to lay the right foundation for their remote procedures, the plan for how you will communicate regularly is the first thing that comes to mind. 

Working remotely requires clear communication and clear expectations.

If your team isn’t used to working remotely, you can’t assume that everyone will be on the same page about how to connect. Setting up defined guidelines for when and how you will communicate is so important. 

  1. When – This has the tendency to go both ways: It’s not productive to be bombarded with IMs and emails throughout the day, and radio silence can leave you wondering if anything is getting accomplished. Set up and communicate a clear plan for when you expect to hear from your staff, or colleagues – for instance, a 15-minute touch-base call every morning, emails returned within 24-hours, or maybe a daily end-of-day report from your staff.
  2. How – Pick the ways that your team will communicate and get everyone on the same tools. You don’t want to have to check numerous places for messages. Plus, decide what is communicated by each. Short, occasional messages are best for IMs, while longer messages can be via email – while longer yet should be done in a conversation by video chat.

These ideas may seem obvious, but if not set up to make sure everyone has the same idea about what communication looks like, it can really wreck productivity. If everyone is left to their own devices, you could be fielding phone calls, texts, IMs, video chats, and emails from whatever program someone has on their phone or laptop, at all times of the day, or not at all. Remote working requires its own set of procedures, just like you have at the office.

At SanovaWorks we train everyone on our designated tools and procedures and make it a priority to use video chats whenever possible for the best communication and team member connections!