March 29, 2023

Remote work at Black Winch

Life at Black Winch

At Black Winch, our customers as well as our team members are truly worldwide. We are a group of highly experienced experts and there is no way to find such expertise in a single city, let alone a single country. This is why Black Winch functions fully remotely. 

In order to live the remote experience to the fullest, it is important to have a mindset based on usage and not ownership. Indeed, in order to be able to easily change one's place of work and life, it is essential to be extremely flexible and therefore to focus on the sharing economy and not on ownership. For example, we use shared working spaces, we use car sharing platforms.... As advocates of servitization models, we have to take advantage of these types of services to be even more relevant in our expertise. This naturally goes hand in hand with remote work.

As-A-Service and remote work are very intimate friends. There’s a major shift from focusing on what you have/own to what you can experience. Value is not created by possessions. Living new experiences that no one can ever take away from you is true value. Magic happens when you crave more headspace and less stuff. You change your perspective of what you value and prioritize in your life. You embrace a whole new way of thinking.

In this article, we explore what remote work means for an employee, then for the employer and finally, how sustainable it is for a company like Black Winch.

From the employees and collaborators perspective

First and foremost, remote work provides greater flexibility in terms of work-life balance. Employees who work remotely can more easily manage their personal and professional responsibilities, including caregiving and household chores. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress levels. Commuting even just 1 hour a day means that 20 hours in a month are lost in transport. The absence of commuting saves time that people can use to contribute to their local community, to work on their wellness (sport, yoga, artistic activities, or to dedicate time to their families).

Remote work means that the office is where the laptop is. It can be the bedroom, the kitchen, but also the local coworking space or by a family member’s home who lives far away. Thus, it eliminates the need for a daily stressful and time-consuming commute.

Finally, remote work can improve employee health and wellness. Employees who work remotely experience less stress, better sleep quality, and improved mental health.

The most important factors for employees to choose remote work are:

  • A better work-life balance
  • A flexible work schedule
  • A flexible location
  • A greater company culture
  • A professional challenge
  • Career progression
  • The possibility to follow trainings and improve skills
  • The reduced travel time

What it means for Black Winch

At Black Winch, we have decided to work remotely.

  • We don't have any offices and never plan to.
  • We live and work anywhere in the world, our colleagues live in and/or work from Canada, Europe, Southeast Asia, South Africa.
  • We choose a creative and dynamic life and workstyle. Remote work can also increase employee productivity compared to working in a traditional office setting. This may be due in part to the fact that remote workers have greater autonomy and can more easily manage distractions. It allows us to be hands-on, and when necessary, we still arrange face-to-face meetings.
  • We have the opportunity to combine our dreams with our work because this flexibility allows us to thrive both in our personal and professional lives.
  • Our customers as well as our recruitment pool is truly worldwide. We are a group of highly experienced experts. There is no way to find such expertise in a single country, let alone a single city. Remote work helps us attract and retain top talent. Many job seekers are looking for flexibility and work-life balance, and offering flexible work options can help employers stand out in a competitive job market.

As a Black winch employee or customer we still have a few face-to-face interactions from time to time. But the large majority of our work is online. We still value in-person engagement. So we have biannual team sessions. We always choose inspiring destinations. Last October 2022 for example, we had a seminar in Lisbon (Portugal), where we combined work and play while creating unforgettable experiences with our colleagues.

Work & Fun Lisbon October '22

Working remotely has numerous benefits, these are listed in a great book that has been an enormous source of inspiration for our founders: “Remote, no office required” by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried.

Lastly, it can reduce overhead costs, such as rent and utilities. By allowing employees to work from home, employers can save money on office space and other expenses.

A sustainable way of working

The environmental impacts depend on employer and employee behaviors, from travel to energy use, to digital devices and waste management.

Perhaps the most significant positive impact is the reduction in carbon emissions from commuting.

When we built Black Winch with this work model, we believed in its many benefits. To be sure of the positive environmental impacts, we did the following case study:

  • We supposed that Black Winch had offices in Amsterdam where 50% of the employees come by public transport and 50% come with their own car for one hour trips per day. 
  • Adding to this, the energy needed to heat the offices, based on 3m² per employee.  
  • In total, this is equivalent to 36.29% (a total of 8.39 tCO2e). Since we work from home, this pollution from commuting does not exist.

While no employees and collaborators commuting to a physical office means lower carbon emissions, it doesn’t mean zero. Global e-waste is a growing issue. At Black Winch, as the world's exclusive authority in As-A-Service solutions, we encourage our team members to rent their equipment instead of owning their own. In this business model, equipment enters the circular economy because they go back to the manufacturer where they are reused, recycled or refurbished.

In conclusion, remote work offers a number of advantages for both employees and employers, as well as for sustainability. As more and more companies adopt remote work policies, it is likely that we will see continued growth in this area.

We hope you will be inspired by the way we see how work should fit within our lives. We believe our remote-work-fuelled enthusiasm is contagious towards our ecosystem.

Working remotely helps solve the work-life balance crisis many face. Why always be stuck in buildings, in big cities? Why not work from your best friend's place? The one that you never have time to connect with. Why not work from your brothers or sisters or parents’ place? To reinforce the family bonds lost in our noisy lives?

Working at Black Winch means to surround yourself with people who made the conscious choice to pile up experiences and not possessions. People who have the freedom to live and work where they want at any time.

This is the Black Winch life and workstyle. Welcome to our world.

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