Let's discuss here some of the benefits of working remotely - and why now it's the best time to get started.
Working at the office is distracting: interruptions, endless meetings, and an environment that might not suit your needs. All those factors get in that way to do meaningful work. By working remotely, you can adjust your environment according to your needs - without forcing the whole team to have the same environment, becoming more productive.
Remote work alone won't make you magically focus and do great work. It needs a culture change. If you just keep having endless meetings, then your experience will be a nightmare. But remote work allows you to realize that most meetings aren't necessary. By doing so, you'll develop a different habit: writing things down. This way, everyone in the organization understands what's going on. Your practices become more organized, and people know what to do.
Writing things down requires another change: asynchronous communication. Everyone communicates in their own time without interrupting others. Nothing is "too urgent," as managers might tell you.
Asynchronous communication also allows for more flexibility. People don't need to work at the same time. If you're an early bird, just work in the morning. If you're a night owl, then just work in the evening.
It also gives people more freedom. They can travel without taking a vacation. Employees can spend more time with their families and friends. Haydn Mackay, from GitLab, mentions those benefits:
The flexibility makes family life exponentially easier, which reduces stress and makes you more productive and motivated. You can’t put a dollar value on it – it’s priceless.
Traditionally, we organize our routine around our work. When working remotely, it allows people to build their work around their life.
Most people don't like commuting. It's a waste of time. Some people spend up to three hours per day commuting. That's 720 hours (30 days) per year. Yes, some workers spend a whole month inside a bus, car, or train.
Commuting isn't just annoying. It's also associated with obesity, high blood pressure, insomnia, and other health problems and it's bad for the environment. By working remotely, you're also taking care of yourself, your employees, and the planet.
By working remotely, your company can hire the best talent from anywhere in the world. If you claim to "only hire the best", then we shouldn't restrict yourself to a tech hub. By hiring remotely, you also end up attracting self-motivated people.
Even though some companies pay different wages depending on the city their employees live, working remotely shouldn't be about saving money. It's about freedom. However, you can always save money on other things like office space and commuting. It also makes it easier for your company to grow as you're not limited to office space.
The COVID-19 pandemic made clear another benefit: healthcare. By not sharing the same environment with other people, you have less exposure to germs from sick coworkers.
When working remotely, people have to focus on getting things done. It's very clear when someone is underperforming. This reduces office politics and interpersonal drama because employees focus on results rather than politics.
It allows you to work with people from all over the world, increasing diversity by having people from different cultural backgrounds.
Remote work is much easier today because of technology. We have tools to do most of our jobs from our home, having just a computer and internet connection. We have a chapter to cover the best tools to make your life easier while working remotely.