Talento | Employers

What Elon Musk Gets Wrong About Remote Work: Why Hiring Remote Software Engineers in LATAM is a Viable Option

by Carlos A. Vázquez    |    August 22, 2022    |      7 min read


remote work

In the past few years, remote work has been a topic of intrigue for many companies. In the summer of 2022, the debate surrounding remote work received a healthy dose of controversy when—in a leaked email— Elon Musk told Tesla employees they had to return to the office or consider themselves without a job. Musk has been an outspoken non-supporter of remote work and his comments, along with others, have fueled the debate. And yet, for companies looking for tech talent, hiring remote software engineers and building remote teams is an exciting and viable option for growing their company. 

So for those on the other side of the debate, there is a strong case to be made for the possibilities of remote teams and what some call a ‘global workforce.’ Thanks to developing technology and previous success stories, companies have tools and a knowledge base at their disposal for building successful remote teams. 

Tech companies have been at the forefront of the remote work revolution. Here’s why remote tech teams can be an asset to innovation.  

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An Overview of the Remote Work Debate 

In recent months, the work-from-home debate has raged on with high-profile business leaders weighing in and new research making its way into the conversation. Remote work has evolved in the last few years, as companies have found what works, how to manage remote teams, and how to implement tools and structure to maintain productivity. 

Working from home, however, is nothing new. As early as the 1980s, companies like JCPenny allowed some of their call-center employees to work from their homes. In the late 80s, certain jobs—such as customer service and sales— were possible from a remote location. Once wifi and the internet became almost ubiquitous, working from remote locations seemed a logical progression.

As the pandemic eases, many large companies wondered how to proceed and whether a full return to the office was necessary. On one end of the remote work debate are the companies that chose the back-in-the-office model, claiming that productivity and company culture suffer with remote workers. For example, companies like Tesla required workers to return to the office a minimum of 40 hours. 

Productivity and Remote Work

Yet, it is very much possible to maintain productivity and innovation with remote teams. Data shows that if an employee was productive in office they will continue to be so at home. After evaluating millions of data points, Prodoscore detected a five percent increase in productivity during the pandemic. 

As one Owl Labs report outlines, the pandemic evolved and shifted employee expectations. This shift meant that some workers chose better work-life balance and flexibility over a salary number. According to the survey, 90% say they achieve the same productivity level or higher when working from home and 84% say they are happier and willing to accept a pay cut for the option of working at home.

Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt told CNBC that as a traditionalist, he was glad to have employees return to the office. Even then, however, Google implemented a hybrid work arrangement, which expected employees to be in the office three days a week. Other large companies such as Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit have opted for providing employees with permanent remote work or hybrid options

So while there is a spectrum to what a ‘hybrid work arrangement’ means, it outlines one critical takeaway from the pandemic: workers want flexibility and freedom when it comes to their schedules, location, and hours. 

According to CodersLink independent research, for example, schedule flexibility and a work-from-home option are some of the top reasons why software engineers in Mexico switch jobs. 

Remote Software Engineers, Tech Companies, & Remote Teams 

Companies have several options when it comes to building their workforce. In addition, the tech talent shortage has companies in a fierce war for qualified software engineers and developers. Having access to a global talent pool is a big draw for companies in search of innovative workers. Regions like Latin America have gained traction in their status as viable tech hubs with talented software developers and engineers. 

Countries like Mexico have invested in their cities to foster a rich tech ecosystem for startups and investment firms. With a vetted remote software engineer network of 20,000, CodersLink has guided dozens of companies toward sourcing and operating committed remote teams. 

Benefits of working with remote software engineers in Mexico: 

  •  Working with a diverse group of talent: Companies see the value in having a diverse workforce. 
  • No need to worry about relocation costs. For in-office positions, companies usually offer generous relocation assistance to attract the best talent. Today’s young workforce might not want to relocate to a big city or a place with a high cost of living. 
  • Not limited to local talent. With a remote work model, companies open themselves up to a global talent pool. 
  • Employees report good work-life balance and better productivity. With many employees seeking flexibility and work-from-home options, this model can attract talent that prefers this way of working and is more productive with this model. 
  • Lower cost. Depending on where your company is located and where your team is, having a remote workforce can be cost-effective and allow you to offer lucrative benefits and incentives that draw in the best talent. 
  • Similar time zones. Hiring a LATAM software engineer means that person is only one or two hours difference. Flights to Mexico are frequent and direct, taking only a couple of hours. This facilitates the occasional in-person meeting or company gathering. 

Remote Collaboration is Possible and Evolving 

This is not to say that remote work is completely free of challenges. Managing a remote team requires some understanding of how remote workers operate and what they need to be successful.  

For example, online tools have enhanced the way teams operate remotely. Around the mid-2000s, for example, tools like Slack developed and gained traction quickly—emphasizing the fact that there was a great demand for remote communication and collaboration. Slack was born somewhat accidentally— as a byproduct of a failed video game. Nevertheless, the idea was instantly attractive: team communication in one place, available through various devices, and instantly searchable. In only about three years, Slack went from 0 to 4 million users. 

Teams communicate in disparate ways, often needing instant replies or need easily traceable conversation threads.  Several of these tools have served remote teams well and helped companies create seamless communication among team members in various locations.

Now that several companies have had success with remote team-building, there are approaches out there that can help a company start off on the right foot when building its remote team.

If you are looking to expand your remote tech team in Mexico, download our free tech teams guide. 

CodersLink Can Help You Hire and Manage Your Remote Team 

After years in the remote work front, CodersLink has gained valuable insight and knowledge about how tech workers operate and the inner workings of recruiting top talent. We can help you build a high-performing engineering team from day one. From initial outsourcing considerations to the hiring process to onboarding and consistent remote management, CodersLink partners with companies that need skilled developers but are not sure how to reach a vetted network of worthy candidates. 

Want to learn more about finding the right tech talent in Mexico? Connect with CodersLink and learn more. 



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