Working Remotely: The Future Is Here To Stay

Those of you who still cannot get your head around allowing some of your people to work remotely are limiting yourself. If you are stuck on having people in your company offices fulltime, you are truly limiting yourselves when it comes to hiring the best people.

Of course, there are line workers who cannot work remotely and that’s fine but what I’m talking about are the ones who can, and frankly that’s most of your office staff from your customer service people, to your designers to methodizers to CAM people to general office staff; most on those people can work remotely and in most cases should.

One of the great by-products of the Covid Pandemic has been this move to working remotely.

Here are some facts that will and should surprise you:

  • Most people who work at home say they are much more productive. This is not a surprise when you think of all the distractions that come from working in the office. Everything from Monday morning, or every morning, “water cooler chatter”  to attending meaningless endless meetings so some windbag can take up your time pontificating about something or other while your own work goes undone.
  • Most people who work remotely say they are actually working more hours. And are more productive. They are  much more engaged since they work at their own pace in their own private space without interruptions. I know a number of people personally who work late into the night, because they can, because the office is down the hall, not an hour or more away.
  • Oh yes, then there is all of that commuting time. Talk about a waste of time. Get this: A in a survey done  by research firm Owl Labs, it was  calculated that commuting time was reduced by 62.4 million hours per day with aggregate time savings of over 9 billion hours starting from the middle of March 2020 to the middle of September 2020. Never mind the money that was spent on fuel and of course the damage all those cars in traffic for all those hours does for the climate.

Then there is the talent pool. You have the entire country in fact the entire world to hire from. Instead of being constrained by the boundaries of your own commuting geography, you can now choose people from anywhere in the country to fill your positions. This means that you can find the best of the best to fill your critical positions. This is especially useful when hiring for positions like customer service, estimators, and front end engineers. These are all positions that have to be filled locally since companies do not go to the expense of offering relocation packages for people in these jobs. 

This is especially important with those more paranoid among us who live in terror of not getting their dollars’ worth from every employee. As stated above the best and most professional people will give you much more of their time for your dollars than those working in the office.

People who are living where they want to live are generally much happier than those who have to go to the office every day, especially if that office is located in an area of the country that has become so expensive that they can barely survive there.

As one of my friends likes to joke (well it’s almost a joke) “with the new trends towards working remotely people in California are able to sell their double wide for a million and a half dollars and take that money to Utah or Arizona and pay cash for  a beautiful three thousand square foot home for five hundred thousand dollars and live happily ever after with a much better quality of life to boot!”  Now that I think about it it’s not a joke at all. In fact, it’s a great thing!

There are just too many advantages for both the company and the employee to ignore hiring remotely. In the right circumstances it’s the right thing to do.

I also believe that this is a trend that will not go away. People are more independent now; people do want to live where they want to live, and they want to raise their kids in good communities with good schools. This means that in the very near future, if not this instant, the best people are going to insist on working remotely.

And this is only the beginning. I predict that the next phase is going to be people becoming independent contractors, 1099’s as we call them. Then the prediction that guru Tom Peters made in 1999 of everyone being “You incorporated” will come true. It’s only common sense.