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Editor’s note: This press release is sponsored by Remote Staff and was handled by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial team participated in the publishing of this piece.
For many, remote work is a new concept brought about by the COVID pandemic.
But not for Remote Staff. This company has been helping Filipino remote workers find long-term remote jobs with Australian companies and thrive in their remote working careers since 2007.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how Remote Staff came to be.
Remote Staff’s beginnings
The story of Remote Staff started in 2006, when the company’s co-founder, Chris Jankulovski, survived major brain and kidney operations. Wanting to heal, he decided to take a year off and travel the world.
When he visited a friend staying in the Philippines, he had a chance to work with a Filipino team. He was impressed by their work ethic and proficiency in the English language. During his visit, he met Rica (co-founder of Remote Staff). Eventually, the two fell in love and got married. They now live in Sydney with their two kids.
Upon returning to Sydney in 2007, Chris began to work for a wealth creation company as a marketing consultant, where Rica also worked as a telemarketer. Here, Chris started hiring Filipino writers and SEO specialists for his marketing team. Rica also hired Filipino staff from Davao City to help her with telemarketing and formed an all-Filipino IT team to build the wealth creation company’s in-house booking system.
Soon, the people in their network began asking Chris and Rica to find them Filipino remote workers. It eventually became clear to them that small businesses in Australia are in need of readily available human resources due to the country’s small working population. And the Philippines, with its large working population, can help fulfill this need. With the high number of skilled Filipino workers available, their cultural compatibility with Australians, and their competitive rates (thanks to the AUD-PHP rate), small businesses in Australia can grow without breaking the bank.
With this need, Filipino remote workers became much more in demand. The more Filipinos get hired, the more people experience the benefits of working remotely. These benefits include saving time on daily commute to work and money for transportation, spending more time with their family, and establishing a better work-life balance. Since then, it has been Chris and Rica’s personal mission to bring remote opportunities to Filipinos.
And just like that, Remote Staff was born, with Chris taking care of the Australian side of the business and Rica serving as the bridge between Remote Staff and its Filipino remote contractors.
Remote staff through the years
For 15 years, Remote Staff has advocated for remote work as a legitimate and sustainable alternative to office-based work. In addition to providing remote work opportunities, what makes Remote Staff’s support for their remote contractors different from other platforms is its Payroll Guarantee Policy, End-to-End Recruitment, After-Hire Support, and Re-deployment Program.
The Payroll Guarantee Policy ensures that Filipino remote workers get paid right and on time—no matter what.
With its End-to-End Recruitment, Remote Staff takes care of the entire recruitment process from start to finish, so its Recruitment Team is there for the clients and remote contractors every step of the way. This guarantees that remote contractors are matched with the right client and the right job.
Besides this, the company provides ongoing After-Hire Support for its remote working relationships. Remote Staff Support is composed of experts that smooth over the impact of cultural differences between Australian employers and Filipino remote workers. These experts assist remote contractors with tax compliance concerns, salary negotiations, communication training, remote working tools, conflict resolution, and other remote working issues that might arise while working with an international client.
The Three-Hour Working with Foreigners Training Program, in particular, is designed to help new hires prepare for working with Australian clients, giving them the lowdown on things to expect and tips for a successful working relationship.
In addition, its custom-built remote working technology helps promote trust, transparency, and accountability, ensuring that each remote worker receives the proper compensation for every hour worked.
But how exactly have these features of the Remote Staff service affected the lives of Filipino remote contractors? Here are four remote contractors and their stories that provide insight into what it’s really like building a remote working career in the Philippines.
Catherine, Marketing Manager, 4 years with Remote Staff
As a single mom, Catherine wanted to find a stable online job that would allow her to attend to the needs of her children while studying and building her career. It was her discovery of Remote Staff in 2018 that led her to find the perfect online job – a marketing manager for an Australian-based mergers and acquisition advisory firm. And she is proud to say that she’s still working for the same client four years later. Since then, she has had a steady income and is able to send her two boys to good schools, provide for their needs, and take family trips once in a while.
As a marketing manager, Catherine is mainly responsible for brand-building initiatives, content and email campaigns, and other online marketing channels. She leads the expansion efforts of the company in North America and Europe. Moreover, she manages the research department and the on-boarding of new firms.
Apart from the problem-solving aspect, Catherine loves her job because her CEO is easy to work with and is very understanding, especially at the onset of the COVID pandemic. Her employer and Remote Staff have allowed her to work on a flexible schedule to be able to balance mommy duties, online school, and work. For this reason, she sees herself working with the same client for the foreseeable future, rolling out more effective lead generation and brand-building activities, creating more content, and helping her client’s business expand in the US and in Europe.
Catherine did encounter challenges along the way as a remote worker, but her biggest struggle is managing her time well. Fortunately, Catherine receives support from her Remote Staff Account Lead, who is always on top of things, responsive, and helpful. She is also accessible and that helps Catherine a lot for the rare moments that she has to be away or offline or if she needs to extend her work hours. Remote Staff’s new BIR tax service is also super helpful for Catherine as it has given her a more convenient and efficient way to pay her monthly taxes, saving her more time for her kids.
Gerald, Email Support, 5 years with Remote Staff
Gerald was first introduced to remote working after his wife had a miscarriage in 2017. He did not have the heart to go to work every day, leaving his wife all alone while still recovering from surgery, and not to mention, trauma due to the unfortunate incident. It was his wife who suggested working from home via Remote Staff, and soon he landed a job as Email Support for a furniture store based in the UK. His role entails providing primary customer support related to the store’s customer order issues.
Five years later, Gerald is still working for the same Remote Staff client, and he could not be happier with his decision to work remotely. He loves being part of a team where he feels respected, recognized, and valued. In fact, he sees himself working for the same client for many more years to come.
All in all, Gerald is satisfied with Remote Staff’s solid support system and stellar service. According to Gerald, ever since he started working remotely with Remote Staff’s support, he was able to see progress in his work standards. He became more focused at work and more motivated to do more than what’s expected of him to help his client.
Remote Staff has truly helped him achieve a better work-life balance. He loves that he is able to earn an income while being around family most of the time and that he does not have to deal with the unnecessary stress and hassle of traveling back and forth to work every single day.
The regular paycheck is a huge perk for Gerald. He said that nothing beats the feeling of safety and security in knowing that he will be paid for the work he has done.
Karl, Customer Support, 7 years with Remote Staff
For Karl, the chance to be able to work from home and establish a better work-life balance made Remote Staff a very interesting choice for a recruitment partner. In 2015, he stumbled upon the Remote Staff website while looking for a remote job, and soon enough, a Remote Staff client based in the UK hired him as a Customer Service Specialist Email Support (German). He is responsible for providing support in customer transactions and stock management.
Seven years later, Karl is still working with the same client. He is greatly motivated to constantly deliver high-performance as he is proud of being part of a top-notch team. Every day is a challenge and never boring. He wants to continue working for the same client for the next five years and become a part of the company’s success. He believes that by honing his skills, he can help the company grow as well.
Karl values his relationship with his employer and colleagues, so back when he was still new to the job, he had to ensure that he got along well with his co-workers in order to increase his job satisfaction. And according to Karl, his Remote Staff Account Lead played a huge role in helping him maintain healthy working relationships with his employer and colleagues.
Over the years, Karl has seen how Remote Staff has grown and how it has improved its support services for its remote contractors. Despite the challenges of remote working such as isolation and setting boundaries, Remote Staff has helped him gain more time with his loved ones, making these challenges more bearable. And with his improved working relationship with his employer and colleagues, he has become a trustworthy and valuable member of the team.
Katherine, SEO Writer, 9 years with Remote Staff
Sometimes, it takes just one person to help us discover what we are meant to do. This was exactly the case for Katherine. Nine years ago, Katherine’s friend referred her to the Remote Staff website, urging her to give remote work a try, and so she did.
At the time, Remote Staff was the only platform she thought offered legitimate online work. It looked pretty easy to sign up despite the number of questions to answer. Instead of feeling discouraged, she figured those questions were necessary for matching her with the right client/s. In October 2013, Katherine’s patience paid off and landed her a job as an SEO Writer for an international client. Their work relationship lasted for five long years.
Katherine started working for another Remote Staff client in 2018, putting up product pages for the company website and doing administrative work from time to time. She has been with her current client for four years now, but Katherine said that she sees herself working with her current client for more years to come. Furthermore, she believes that she can still grow her career with the help of Remote Staff. She really loves what she does now, seeing new products, marveling at cool tech, and observing how technology advances one product at a time.
Interestingly enough, despite having worked remotely for nine years now, Katherine has not experienced any major challenges. She even mentioned that she does not remember having to make that many adjustments when she was just starting out as a remote worker. What she does remember, though, is how Remote Staff has been able to improve its services over the years.
Working with Remote Staff has provided her with a more relaxed working environment. Things are not as hectic as they are when working in an office. She does miss being around her colleagues, but she prefers the work-from-home setup. This is by far the best benefit she has received working with Remote Staff. She is really able to build her savings as she doesn’t have to spend on gas or transportation.
Looking back to move forward
Remote Staff has been bridging the gap between Filipino workers seeking employment and Australian companies searching for quality remote talent for 15 years. The company has supported over 8,000 work relationships, including some that have been active for over ten years, and aims to go further.
The company has no plans of stopping there. Remote Staff has plenty in store for the future and aims to be even more competitive than ever. Today, Remote Staff still exclusively hires Filipino remote talents and receives over 3,000 job applications per month, which necessitates the company’s move to seek new heights and expand to the US and the UK. This expansion is also a must in making the company’s vision “to be the remote staffing provider of choice for international SMEs and Filipino job seekers” a reality.
Remote Staff is developing a new and exciting website in America to market Filipino talents to US SMEs. This new website will represent our service offerings for the US market and will be the first step towards global representation for Remote Staff. Chris and Rica are also building a new business unit focused on Remote Staff’s US efforts to fast track and begin the process of getting more Filipino remote workers hired by American companies.
Remote Staff is committed “to supporting businesses and Filipino remote workers to reach a new stage of success working together.” It aims to bring more jobs to aspiring Filipino remote workers, making remote work a viable option for all Filipinos and improving the quality of their lives. With more available remote workers, the needs of the company’s clients will be better fulfilled. So stay tuned, Remote Staff is gearing up for loftier heights on its 15th anniversary. – Rappler.com
Disclaimer: The names of the employees have been changed to protect their identity and privacy.