Employees Need Trust, Not Toys

Employees Need Trust, Not Toys.jpg

By Rodolphe Dutel

I joined Twitter eight years ago, tweeting several thousands times.

Last weekend, for the first time ever, one of my tweets went viral. I mean, truly viral — it struck a nerve:

Folks went crazy. That tweet was seen over seven million times! Tech professionals hailing from everywhere reacted, shared and commented.

Tech companies must offer trust, not toys, to attract and retain talent.

What’s wrong with toys? Sure, they get you more candidates, but a few issues may come up, such as:

  • Lack of diversity. Candidates watch what you are doing, not what you are saying. Relying on branded hoodies to hire a team will only attract more of the same candidates. Check out why the Buffer team thought process removed the word “hacker” from their job description.

  • Compensation acts as a beacon. You may offer a competitive compensation package. The same thing can also be said of others. But relying on compensation to attract talent means that more money is bound to divert your staff at some point. Compensation attracts, trust retains.

  • Work flexibility. What happens when your best engineer walks into your office and says “I’d like to relocate to Montana.”? What will you tell her? Will you still require her to come to the office or else resign? Hundreds of companies will pay her six figures to work remotely.

Why am I pushing for work flexibility?

Back in 2011, I was working at Google. Many of my colleagues commuted for 1.5 hours each way from San Francisco to Mountain View. I loved the company and my colleagues, yet commuting 3 hours per day sounded crazy to me!

I ended up resigning. I left those fun offices and toys. I started to work remotely and never looked back. Thing is, resigning was tough and finding a cool remote job even more so.

That’s why I started Remotive, because remote work is awesome AND tough. In 2018, remote work is more popular than ever. Check this tweet out:

Tech employees want flexibility and working remotely helps. I loved reading another tweet that said: "This is especially true once you get older and have children. After work socials and toys just aren’t a priority.


Most people crave flexibility in order to spend more time with their family and to work in a way that makes sense to them. Maybe they are early risers or night owls and wish to embrace the rhythm that makes them happiest and most productive.

Over the summer, I was giving a talk at a large corporation. Someone in the audience asked me the following question:

Remote work isn’t a quick fix for all companies. It only works in a high-trust environment. It will almost always fail in low-trust ones.


Over To You Now: Time To Tweet

Does your company offer trust or toys? Or both?
How much trust do you feel there is within the company?

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About Rodolphe Dutel

Rodolphe Dutel is the founder of Remotive.io and a public speaker. Prior to that, he was Director of Finance and Operations at Buffer.com and worked at Google.

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