Gallup said in a 2016 report that 43% of U.S. employees worked remotely at least some of the time, up from 39% in 2012. Startup GitLab Inc., however, is unique in that all of its employees, including CEO and Co-founder Sid Sijbrandij, work remotely and the company has no headquarters. The company has more than 600 employees in 54 countries who rely on internet-based tools and cloud-based services to communicate, collaborate and contribute to projects. Sijbrandij says that having no headquarters gives the company the flexibility it needs to cut costs and hire people worldwide, but he says sometimes investors want a central location. As collaboration tools improve, letting distant teammates work together seamlessly, some are questioning whether an office is even necessary. “Geography is less important in an always-on, constantly connected world,” says Jack Clare, chief information and strategy officer at Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. “For most digital and technology roles, our teams could be based on the moon and be just as effective.” Andrew Challenger, vice president at Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., adds that workers are increasingly asking for flexibility and autonomy, and smart companies are responding by allowing them to work remotely a few days a week.
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