This article introduces Matthew Mullenweg and talks about 2 benefits an employer may experience from having a distributed workforce.
The global pandemic has made it necessary for most businesses to adapt to the changes that have happened within their operation and are continuing to occur. While many of these adaptations are seen as forced or negative, there are some new changes that may have a positive impact on how businesses are run today. One of the positive results of these changes is that some business owners are realizing they are able to have employees work from home and are discovering the benefits to this approach. What are the benefits of working from home? Sure, it works for some businesses, but can my business support employees working from home? These are some of the most common questions business owners have contemplated during this time of change.
Matthew Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic and founding developer of WordPress, calls the business approach of having employees working from home a “distributed workforce.” With such a broad, temporary push for work-from-home, it is easy to forget that many companies were already heading in the direction of working from home or using remote workspaces, just like Automattic. In the 4-minute video below, Matthew shares his views on having a distributed workforce, along with some tips on how business owners with an office can integrate his philosophy.
Who is Matthew Mullenweg?
Matthew Mullenweg was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He is now 37 years old and started WordPress when he was only 19! Matt loves taking photos, writing code, prose, and music, and also records podcasts. Matt is the CEO and founder of Automattic, and the Founding Developer of WordPress. Automattic is the company behind WordPress, which is a free and open-source content management system that powers over 42% of the web. The company name Automattic is a play on Matt’s first name, and their mission is “to make the web a better place.” While WordPress is changing the way the world publishes on the web, Automattic is changing the way we work. As Matt puts it, “We are a company that works on, and for, the web.”
Automattic is an entirely distributed workforce – meaning they have over 1,600 employees working from 86 countries around the world with no physical headquarters! Matthew explains that he uses the phrase “distributed workforce,” as “remote” workers can give the impression that there is a core group of employees that are more essential, while the others are not present and are therefore less important. A distributed workforce reinforces that everyone is on an equal playing field within the company.
Benefits of a distributed workforce as an employer:
1. More Employable Opportunity
When supporting a distributed workforce, many opportunities open up! These opportunities are not only for current employees in a business, but also open up the potential for new employees across the globe. When employees can work from anywhere they would like with a good internet connection, you are able to connect with people all over the world, not just in your backyard. Matthew Mullenweg beautifully explains this concept in the following quote:
“I believe that talent and intelligence are equally distributed throughout the world, but opportunity is not.” – Matthew Mullenweg
This quote can be supported with the age old saying “there are plenty of fish in the sea.” There really are plenty of employees with a variety of talents out there and finding them no longer requires a physical trip! With the internet, finding, recruiting, and hiring employees has become that much easier. The world really is at our fingertips.
2. Cultural Diversity
Being able to hire employees from all over the world also means being able to expose a company to many more cultures. Rather than having an employee who has left much of their culture behind in Indonesia, for example, to be employed in Canada, it’s now possible for an employee to stay fully immersed in their culture while working from their home in Bali! Encouraging cultural diversity within a company can come with many benefits such as:
- Greater range of ideas
- Wider range of skills and expertise
- Boost in problem solving capabilities
- Improved creativity
- Increased happiness
- Increased productivity
- Higher employee engagement rates
- Improved cultural insights
With the fast-paced and ever-changing world we live in, we are constantly having to adapt; especially when it comes to keeping up with the busyness of business. More employable opportunities and cultural diversity just scratch the surface of benefits that may be experienced as an employer with employees working from home. After reading the benefits described in this article, perhaps it is time to consider the distributed opportunities that could benefit your company if you were to distribute your workforce after all; there really is an entire world of potential employees at your fingertips.
If you are interested in more information about a distributed workforce, you can access Matthew Mullenweg’s podcasts and website at Distributed.blog.
For Part 2 in this series, we explain the benefits that an employee can experience from being part of a distributed workforce and working from home.
Download this resource The Benefits of Working From Home: Part 1 – Benefits as an Employer.