Just a very quick, back of the envelope calculation re: fully office vs. fully remote; Even with a generous travel budget, you still can potentially save money by being fully remote
- Assumed a 50 person company based in an expensive US city (SF, NYC or LA)
- Assumed 4x annual in-person workshops for the fully remote case, but should be able to slash the cost a lot more in real life scenarios. You don’t have to fly out everybody every single time; US domestic flights are much cheaper than international flights; there will always be those who can’t or don’t travel (as they’re local); etc.
- However, if you’re locked into a long term office lease, there’s only so much you can save there – you pay fixed costs no matter what
- The biggest cost differential comes from payroll. Being fully remote allows companies to hire globally, which significantly lowers average payroll
- This is just a dead simple, back-of-the-envelope calculation, so it’s not counting many variables, e.g fully remote companies might operate small regional shared offices for meetings, or office-based companies might have regular offsite events and spend travel expenses for those events, etc.
- Of course payroll is a big unknown too; in some cases you might have to pay tier 1 US cities salary to non-tier 1 markets to win talents
I’m not suggesting remote is the way to go; I personally believe nothing can beat in-person collaborations especially when you’re starting new projects. But from a purely cost perspective, you can potentially save a lot by going fully remote and being able to hire globally vs. being in expensive cities like SF and NYC and hiring locally