In this age revolution is happening all around us, almost everything seems to be in a flux since the dawn of the internet. Workplaces are no different in this aspect, especially in the post-pandemic world many are asking. Is remote work the future?
Almost everyone has their own laptop or desktop computer, internet access can be attained cheaply and easily from the corners of the globe. And with continual technology progression happening all the time. Why not remote work? What’s the hold-up?
But within such a change, there are plenty of doubts, questions that arise that must be answered. The question that seems to hold the most weight holding back this transition to remote work is…
Won’t employees be less productive doing remote work vs. working at an office?
And actually, the question should be why remote workers are more productive than office workers. Partnering with Global Workplace Analytics, the leading authority in remote work analytics, Owl labs conducted research on remote and hybrid work. Finding that 90% of employees say they were as productive or more working remotely when compared to the office.
Jason Fried also believes that remote workers are more productive than office workers, and has been employing remote workers for over 20 years. He’s the CEO and (teenage) founder of a software company named basecamp, and has never held a ‘normal’ office job. So when he started hiring employees it never crossed his mind to continue the post WW2 norm of office work. Jason says this decision to have a company where employees work remotely has been a major contributor to his companies success.
The Covid-19 pandemic provided a massive opportunity for companies to experiment in the possible future of remote work. The issue was that the pandemic came quick, and was unexpected. For most companies who previously never considered remote work, they simply weren’t prepared.
Why couldn’t these companies couldn’t transition immediately? Jason with 20 years of experience knew exactly why these companies would struggle to transition. So to help, he held a livestream at the dawn of the pandemic targeting business owners, to help ease them into this new reality. His big message that he shared with 87 thousand people was that a reengineering of how work is done must take place. Remote work does not effectively transfer as a copy paste of office work.
“There are huge advantages too remote working, and one of these is a mindset shift, it’s not about working remotely and trying to simulate what it’s like to work locally (office). It’s about giving people more time to themselves”
You can check out the full 2 hour livestream here.
Jason makes the point that people who have to use deep thinking skills to get meaningful work done cannot do that meaningful work when their day is sliced up by involuntary interruptions. Most often these are meetings, but an office environment breeds all kind of interruptions. This is the amazing hidden secret to why remote work will lead to much more productive workers. Remote work gives people more time to themselves to be able to get that meaningful, important, work actually done.
In a ted talk Jason gave called “Why work doesn’t happen at work” he says.
“Giving someone four hours of interrupted time is the best gift you can give anybody at work”
Some tips to improve your ability to transition quickly into remote work can be found in an article here.
Jason suggests many different ways to give people freedom from interruptions in a remote work setting while making sure internal communication is strong. Here is an incredible guide on exactly how basecamp does it.
This hidden secret might actually not be so secret, tv shows like the office, or parks and rec, make fun of this phenomenon constantly. And while distractions might be funny on a tv show, when it comes to your own work they are detrimental.
Basecamp’s whole website is an incredible resource to learn everything about remote work, answering any question you may have. Check it out here.