The pandemic has accelerated pre-existing trends toward remote work.
No, it didn’t. That’s B.S.
There were no pre-existing trends toward remote work for us. We had all the favourable criteria that would have made working from home an option and we weren’t even considering it. In retrospect, it feels like we actively avoided it.
Why? Who knows?
- We do knowledge, communication and creative work;
- We collaborated and communicated through online tools and tech at the office;
- We had control over our work environment (we could have made a decision to explore remote work on Friday and implemented it across the organization on Monday. In fact, we did to keep everyone safe, last March).
We just didn’t do it before we had to.
We don’t know why. We have a pretty bangin’ social dynamic and so maybe that was it - we like each other?
But now that the pandemic has forced the experiment upon us, here’s what we’ve learned:
- Working From Home Encourages Constant Communication: No more picking up the low down via office osmosis. If you want your colleagues to understand what’s what, you have to work together to get the message across, sometimes in multiple channels. Competent communication can no longer exist as an afterthought.
- Working From Home Humanizes Us All: Kids, pets, partners, power outages, deliveries, renovations and muted mics. No more seeing your colleagues as atomotons, even for the most grizzled of middle managers. People are people. And it’s in your face everyday. And it’s a good thing.
- Working From Home Is A Massive Leadership Opportunity: Leading from home sounds weird, but it’s a remarkable opportunity. Our tech tools (Slack, Asana, The Goog) allow us to lean into flatter organizations. That means the people that want to lead, can lead. You can organize your peers, leverage old commuter time to connect and innovate on tired approaches. Leading from home can lead to new opportunities and impact for organizations and employees. And it’s hella rewarding.
Obviously, remote work doesn’t lend itself to every opportunity. Let’s face it, the core values of companies and how they execute on them are often two different things. But for those that can, remote work is an opportunity for you to show up and contribute to culture in a whole new way.
So embrace this new journey and make the most of it - no matter where you work.