Dear tech companies,— Rodolphe Dutel (@rdutel) September 15, 2018
Employees don't need ping pong tables or beer fridges at work. ??????????????
Employees need flexibility to do their best work and enjoy life. For instance, working remotely. ??????????????
Please offer trust, not toys. ????
Early in 2016, I left a great (office based) job purely on the basis that my eldest son (now 3 years old) had just arrived and I got to see him mostly in the middle of the night but if I was lucky, for a good 30 minutes per day on top of that as well.
Whilst we all need to work to live, spending 2 hours per day crawling through traffic getting to and from work didn’t seem right to me when I could be spending that time with my young family.
My next gig came about after I spotted an advert for a fully remote job and so I applied and before I knew where I was my study became my new place of work. To say some initial adjustment was needed would be an understatement however it soon morphed into the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had.
Time Savings - Chances are you’ll have at least an hour back in your diary each
day. Maybe more. Spend time with your family, chill out or start a hobby.
Commute Cost Savings - You’re not shelling out an appreciable chunk of your monthly take-home pay on rail passes or fuel. And that’s not to mention wear & tear on your car.
Lack of Distractions/Efficiency - You can usually achieve in 5-6 hours what I find would take at least a full working day in an office. Periods of deep focus are more easily attainable.
Increased Choice - because you don’t need to commute to your employer’s premises each day, you can cast the net for your next job search to a wider geographical area.
Trust - being trusted to work autonomously and manage your own workload is a tremendous feeling.
There’s another very key benefit that if you’re a parent, you can be around your children growing up. You can’t put a price on that!
It wouldn’t be fair to conclude this article without at least mentioning some of the challenges that face those new to remote working.
The main one I’ve found is communication. However tools such as Slack (and competitors) used together with video conferencing software such as Google Hangouts/Meet and collaboration tools allow seamless communication between team members.
Being able to share your screen and present your work/ideas to others works really well - and always seems much less awkward via video conference than in person.
Then there’s the remote solution to what previously would have been done with a whiteboard in a room when thrashing out ideas. There’s tons of great tools to facilitate that though, and after a while whiteboards feel antiquated.
Security needs a bit of thought, but the challenges can be easily overcome, with many colleagues I know in highly regulated sectors able to work remotely successfully.
Benefits to employers of allowing your team to work remotely surely outweigh the drawbacks.
To answer the original question posed in the headline of this article, what happens when you let your team work remotely?
In all of my experience - increased employee satisfaction, work/life balance and retention. What’s not to love really - give it a try!
WRITTEN BY JAMES THOMPSON
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