Jason Fried wrote this for the Signal v. Noise blog back in July:
The enlightened companies coming out of this pandemic will be the ones that figured out the right way to work remotely. They’ll have stopped trying to make remote look like local. They’ll have discovered that remote work means more autonomy, more trust, more uninterrupted stretches of time, smaller teams, more independent, concurrent work (and less dependent, sequenced work).
They won’t be the ones that just have their waste-of-time meetings online, they’ll be the ones that lay waste to the meetings. They won’t be the ones that depend on checking in on people constantly throughout the day, they’ll be the ones that give their employees time and space to do their best work. They won’t be the ones that can’t wait to pull everyone back to the office, they’ll be the ones that spot the advantages of optionality, and recognize a wonderful resilience in being able to work from anywhere.
I’m lucky that OrionVM is run by people who think like this. I’ve been able to work from the San Francisco office, and remote back in Singapore for a while. And now we’re already thinking that when the worst of this pandemic is over, we may all continue working remote for a few days a week, or more. We already had the infrastructure in place, given some of our colleagues work remote from Auckland, Wellington, and Seattle.
I do like having an office to go to sometimes, if only so I can meet my colleagues face to face again. But a part of me wonders if we could do without entirely, and just meet sometimes in a co-working space, or even a coffee shop. I know plenty of people who do exactly this.
It’s way too early to see if our current WFH world will have any lasting effects. I suspect most people will be expected to jump back on the peak-hour commute. But I hold out hope that this flexibility fostered upon us has demonstrated that it hasn’t been the hindrance to productivity that micro-managers used to argue.