Podcast January 20, 2021

How payments make the remote revolution possible

powered by Sounder

The pandemic may have accelerated it, but the remote revolution is upon us.

It’s unlikely that work will ever be the same again. 

But if remote work is here to stay, we need the financial tools to fuel it. 

In today’s episode, I speak with Sahin Boydas, CEO & Founder at RemoteTeam.com, about the pros and cons of remote work and the role of Fintech in the new world of work.

What we talked about:

  • The advantages of working from home
  • What to watch out for in remote work
  • Why Fintech is essential for a distributed workforce

12% of your life shouldn’t be spent in traffic

Sahin has never understood why companies insist on offices.

A lifelong entrepreneur, he broke away from the office mindset years before the pandemic made it a trend. 

And he has some compelling reasons for doing so.

The 8-hour workday

To understand why we didn’t collectively move to distributed models as soon as the internet made it possible, it might be helpful to look at the history of work.

Until the industrial revolution, most of humanity had the same job: farming — a difficult, but decidedly non-linear, job. 

But once factories came around, we needed incentives to get people to go in and complete their work. Eventually, this resulted in the 8-hour workday. 

The idea behind it is that you spend 8 hours working, 8 hours with friends and family, and 8 hours sleeping. 

That was fine when you lived across the street from the factory — but once office work was something we spent an hour commuting to, things got more complicated. 

All of a sudden, your 8 hours a day for your family just got a lot more complicated. 

Office or prison? 

If you’re getting 8 hours of sleep, that means the 2 hours a day spent in traffic is sucking 12% of your life away. 

As Elon Musk said, it’s a soul-killing experience. 

But it’s even worse than that. You’re filled with fight-or-flight reactions to the psychos on the freeway, so even when you get to work, you aren’t really ready to work. 

You need to calm down before you can really be productive. 

Add to that the uncomfortable clothes, the exorbitant price for an apartment near work, and the perpetual feeling that you’re only at the office because you aren’t trusted…  

It’s no wonder that Sahin sees the office as a creativity-stifling prison.

Offices are the prison of the mind.” — Sahin Boydas

And if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can be just as productive from home. 

The downsides of distribution

Now, it’s not all wine and roses…

There are some definite downsides to distribution. 

And chief among them actually has to do with productivity, but not in the way that has always been argued.

In fact, it’s the opposite. 

The boundary between work and home

“There’s one danger in remote work: when they’re always at home, people work like crazy.” — Sahin Boydas

Counterintuitively, people tend to work more when they work remotely. 

And it’s understandable — that hellish commute actually does serve one purpose beyond testing your anger management skills: 

It creates a bright line between work and home.

Remote work can blur that line, leading to longer hours and more time tinkering on your computer.

But with a little discipline, anyone can figure out how to create the boundaries they need without having to scream at cars for an hour. 

The social side

The other issue with remote work is we lose out on many of the social advantages an office brings. 

Quick questions now require a Slack message, organic socialization is near non-existent, and work is done asynchronously.

But in exchange for carving back the 25% of your free time you lost in that commute, it’s a fair price to pay. 

And there are far more advantages for your company.  

Fintech’s role in the remote revolution

Remote work has endless benefits. 

Companies save money on expensive office buildings. Even if they don’t forgo them altogether, they can certainly downsize to a lease that isn’t the GDP of a small country. 

And the talent pool widens. Now you don’t need to limit your employees to the best you can find within 40 square miles of your office. 

You can hire the best you can find globally. 

Just as long as you are able to pay them. 

The revolution will be monetized… 

One problem standing in the way of the workers’ paradise the remote revolution promises is the horribly antiquated banking system. 

Legacy banking — especially in the U.S. — is often not equipped to handle payments across borders efficiently or practically. 

Domestically, payday may be predictable, but working abroad can make it a mess. 

Funds are often delayed, exchange rates and fees often chip away at your hard-earned pay and, sometimes, your money just goes missing.  

It’s not just a hassle. It can have very real consequences in the lives of the international worker.

That money is their rent. It’s how they feed their kids. It matters. 

Luckily, technology is catching up. 

Enter Fintech

One of the reasons Sahin was ahead of the curve when it came to remote work was due to his history in the tech world. 

When it comes to software, it’s about the code. It’s about getting the product working and surpassing expectations. 

So, it makes sense that Silicon Valley would be the first to disrupt the 8-hour workday. 

Add that to the long list of tech-disruptions over the years. 

And add a new one: finance. 

“Software is done. Mobile phones are done. Okay, what’s the next big thing that Silicon Valley can disrupt? Financial technologies.” — Sahin Boydas

Where legacy banking is unable to serve the needs of the remote revolution, Silicon Valley is happy to step up. 

Between instant payments, international financial options, and embedded finance, more and more organizations are turning to technology over traditional banking to harness the full power of remote work. 

And in a world where we are more connected than ever — even when socially distanced — that’s a big deal.

The way we work has already changed. 

Now it’s time for our financial tools to catch up. 

To ensure that you never miss an episode of Payments Innovation, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here and don’t forget to check out our YouTube!

Until next time!

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