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Software startup InVision has no physical headquarters and all 700 of its employees work remotely



InVision’s 700 employees. The company doesn’t have a
physical headquarters — every employee works


  • InVision is a software startup that has 700 employees,
    but no office space.
  • The company was founded on remote work. 
  • InVision’s chief people officer Mark Frein explains how
    the company makes it work.

When InVision was founded in 2011, its CEO and
founder, Clark Valberg, knew that he’d
have to get creative to maintain a competitive edge. Google had
recently increased its presence in Manhattan, making it all the
more difficult to snag coveted East Coast tech talent.

To open an office in New York’s punishing real estate market
wasn’t an appealing prospect. It seemed wasteful to shell out
money for office space when InVision’s core product — a software
focused on augmenting the work of user experience designers —
could be built entirely from a laptop. 

So, why not do away with an office altogether? 

Valberg decided to do exactly that.

Now, seven years and 700 employees later, the company has yet to
open an official headquarters.

“People always ask, ‘Where does Clark go to work?'” said InVision
chief of people Mark Frein. “Well, he goes to his desk to work.
Sometimes at a coffee shop. Sometimes at his home. It’s a very
important piece of the puzzle for us, to make sure we all operate
the same way. The culture is very strong about leaning into the
remote model.”

‘It’s about results, not where your IP address is’

InVision’s employees work from all corners of the world,
including England, Israel, Australia, Argentina, and Nigeria.
Despite the difference in time zones, the company still maintains
official office hours between 10 AM and 6 PM EST.

But even with official hours, Frein says that InVision provides
for plenty of autonomy, and that it’s more about proving yourself
through the quality of your work than showing up at a certain
time everyday.

“It’s about results, not where your IP address is,” said Frein.
“We care about what you’re able to do or achieve. If you’re able
to achieve something great while working wonky hours, then that’s

It also provides for greater flexibility. At the time Frein and I
spoke, he was working while traveling to New York on vacation
with his family. 

“This is what my family gets to
do,” he said. “It’s lovely for us. If you have kids, you’re not
held down during the school break. The freedom and the
flexibility are the most satisfying reasons for being at

When Frein tells people about InVision’s remote work policy, he
says that they’re typically incredulous. They often ask how he
gets anything done, and how he makes sure that people are doing
what they’re supposed to be doing.  

But having employees show up to an office every day doesn’t
necessarily guarantee they’ll be working anymore than if they
were remote, said Frein.

“After all, when you walk down the aisles of a standard company
these days, people are on YouTube, social media,” he said. “The
modern knowledge worker, the technical worker, is going to focus
on what engages them in an organizational culture that engages

InVision employees met each other for the very first time at an
event the company hosted last February.


All or nothing

Still, running an entire company remotely is not without its

For instance, establishing a rapport among coworkers who never
see each other can be difficult, said Frein, and he recognizes
that InVision is at a disadvantage in that way. To help solve
this problem, the company works to help enable those
relationships by having employees practice empathy, and
encouraging them to ask their colleagues lots of questions. 

InVision also hosted a week-long, company-wide retreat last
February where employees could connect face-to-face. 

“Some people had never met each other and had been working
together for years,” said Frein. “People were laughing and
crying. It was an incredible experience.”

Frein said that there’s one key takeaway he’s learned from
overseeing a company that encourages remote work: it’s all or

“One of the most important factors for our success is that we do
it with everyone,” he said. “If you have an office and yet a
bunch of people work remote, it can be problematic, because the
work experience of the people who work remote is often
impoverished compared to the people working from the

He also said that it’s given
InVision an edge over the competition. After all, with no
geographical restrictions on hiring, the company can bring in
talent from all over the world. Additionally, InVision says it
saves many millions in overhead every year by not renting out a
physical space. 

But most importantly, Frein said,
it helps them build a better product.

“We’re a software company that
builds tools for designers,” he said. “It definitely helps us
think about our product, since we’re all designing remotely

Ultimately, though, Invision’s remote work policy succeeds
because, for its employees, there isn’t any other option. 

I think the key part of our model is that we
made ourselves figure out how to do it, because there is no place
to go,” said Frein. “

have to make it work because we don’t have the choice of walking
into an office every morning.”

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