Here's how I built a work from home multi-million dollar company: PC Matic CEO

Since day one of our operation, all PC Matic employees have worked from the comfort of their own homes

Amid historic job losses and an ongoing health-pandemic, the American economy is beginning to boom again. In a jobs report just released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May 2020 – the largest jobs increase for a single month ever.

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As more Americans continue to return to work, there is a question that should be at top of mind for every company and its leadership team – what did we learn from this?

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Among many other responsibilities, as the CEO of my company, PC Matic, it is my responsibility to lead. While there are many components to leading, one major component incredibly relevant to a company’s success – and our nation’s recovery from this pandemic – is figuring out the best way to execute.

In 1999, when I started my cybersecurity firm, I wanted to do business in a less traditional form.  So, rather than working with a real estate agent and searching for a company headquarters, I decided to build a company where our employees worked remotely.

Yes, you read that right – since day one of our operation, all PC Matic employees have worked from the comfort of their own homes.

Like most business owners, I only want to employ the best. By working remotely, all geographical barriers are removed, affording me the flexibility to hire the most talented applicants regardless of their physical location. It’s truly amazing.

In recent months past, thanks to COVID-19, this concept has been deployed nationwide by companies big and small.

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For some, it was quite challenging, while for others not so much.

Regardless of the initial experience, it is my hope that through this time they have seen some of the benefits that our company has seen over the last two decades.

First and foremost, from an entrepreneurial stance, running a remote company eliminates one of the biggest barriers to building a successful company –finding the best employees.

Like most business owners, I only want to employ the best. By working remotely, all geographical barriers are removed, affording me the flexibility to hire the most talented applicants regardless of their physical location. It’s truly amazing.

Additionally, from an employee stance, there are several benefits including a better work-life balance, increased productivity, and no commute!

Now, I can hear some employers scoff when I say increased productivity, but it is true.

When you have an employee that is able to work from home, they will exceed your expectations in terms of production.  There isn’t the “water-cooler” chit-chat, they sit down and focus on the task at hand.  Not everyone can do this, but it should be a skill you look for.

I promise you, there are people who can do this.

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The reality is, over the last 20 years, I have been able to build a multi-million-dollar company completely from my home office by hiring remote employees without a geographical barrier, all while enhancing their work-life balance. In fact, when individuals have the opportunity to be a successful remote employee very few choose to gain employment elsewhere.

Beyond my own views of success, outside outlets like Comparably have recognized PC Matic’s remote employment success by awarding the company Best Leadership, Best Management and Best Professional Development Awards.

As many business leaders have experienced lately, moving to remote operations can lead to a transition phase – a learning curve for employers and employees if you will.  However, once the kinks are ironed out and each has had the opportunity to develop a new normal, you cannot leave employees or employers in the dark.

Because you are not in the same building does not mean you can function in a bubble. Maintaining open lines of communication is key. Additionally, employers who are able to identify which employees excelled while working from home, should grant them the opportunity to continue doing so.

Realistically, COVID-19 has changed the way we do business in several aspects. With the probability of there being a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall, employers must learn from this global health pandemic and begin implementing flexible work-from-home policies now.

Business leaders have already had to take a reactive approach once. I urge you to learn from this experience, use this as an opportunity to be proactive, develop the proper policies and training, and build a strong remote workforce.

Rob Cheng is the CEO and founder of PC Matic.

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