Opinions expressed by businessman the collaborators are theirs.
Elon Musk’s recent announcement that Tesla employees can no longer work from home sparked a lot of discussion. In leaked emails, Musk told staff he wants to continue working remotely that they can “pretend they’re working somewhere else.”
While he’s no stranger to making what some consider divisive statements, Elon Musk isn’t the only founder who believes that people who work from home “aren’t actually doing anything.”
Related: How leaders can get the most out of remote work
The debate about remote work continues
Some business leaders believe that long-term remote work is a financial liability. Employees who work from home lack productivity, they say. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt told CNBC, “I don’t know how you create great management virtually.” Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said the remote work culture is an “aberration” that needs to be corrected “as soon as possible.”
Still, others wonder if this is simply a smokescreen; speculating that Musk will make a decision that will undoubtedly cause a significant portion of the staff to spontaneously quit creates an opportunity to avoid the necessary large-scale layoffs. Big brands are already waiting in the wings to poach members of the expected Tesla exodus, including Amazon.
This is not such a crazy theory as many companies are restructuring and considering downsizing amid the recent economic downturn.
Remote working views aside, I believe that requiring staff members to return to the office full-time, just as fuel and operating costs for travel are at an all-time high, is bad for to business According to Global Workplace Analytics, “the typical employer can save about $11,000 per year for each person who works remotely half the time.” On the other hand, workers can pay $2,500 to $4,000 more a year working only half as much. of their remote hours.
During leaner times, savings like these could help both parties better stay afloat.
In the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdowns, many businesses found their wings as fledgling remote work operations. Although it was a move made out of necessity, more than a few decided to make the change permanent.
Twitter, Spotify and Facebook are among them. On Twitter, Jack Dorsey urged team members to work from home if they wanted to in a company-wide email sent last year, noting the positive impact the change had had on their own productivity levels.
Related: 4 Remote Work Transition Moves to Consider
Humans are comfortable with what they know
The reality is that working in an office is how things have been done for generations. Many who are now in leadership positions have progressed through this system and understand it, find comfort in it, and may assume that it is the only way to achieve anything meaningful on a large scale.
Functionally, it is easier to operate within the “status quo”. If you, as a business, have always relied on face-to-face interactions, overhauling everything to accommodate remote work can seem daunting.
As an app development company, it made sense to use the same online tools we believe in and build for our customers to run our own operations. Of course, as a first-time entrepreneur still in my teens when I started my company, I also didn’t have the experience of working in an office environment. I had no preconceived notions of how things “should” be.
It turned out that this lack of experience on my part would be a stroke of luck for Chop Dawg in the long run. Having been unpleasantly founded in the last era, we learned a long time ago to work with our first remote model. As such, the push for early lockdowns did very little to disrupt the operations of our web-based company.
Of course, working in an office has its perks, such as inspiring team camaraderie and more accessible opportunities to build company culture. But it’s also not a fail-safe solution, and simply having a brick-and-mortar doesn’t guarantee the cultivation of a strong business culture, a productive workforce, or a successful business.
Of course, managing a remote workforce poses its own unique set of challenges. All business models have their pros and cons.
Here are some of the main reasons why you should adopt remote work in your company.
Related: Don’t let remote work rot your business culture
1. Work with a diverse pool of talent
The ability to leverage global talent is indispensable. This means that a company can truly work with those who most align with its mission; without having to root them, either.
Remote work opportunities also laid the groundwork for better workplace equality and more inclusion.
Sticking to in-person work only places physical limitations on who you can hire. Many chronically ill or disabled people can thrive in a work-from-home environment.
If someone has the talent and the drive, remote work offers them the opportunity.
2. Wanting a better balance between work and family life is not a moral failure
Many studies show that shorter work weeks and less stressful environments actually lead to healthier employees, which is beneficial to businesses in a number of ways.
Employee burnout is a big problem, for example. Right now, people are leaving jobs they feel are harmful to their mental and physical health in large numbers.
People want to live their lives well, with a balance that allows them to attend to their many priorities both off and on the clock. This should be obvious, and not something that should be seen as a moral failing.
Related: Remote work anxiety is real. Here’s how to help employees who have it.
3. Not all people work in the same way or have the same intentions
Striving, striving and creating are innate parts of human nature. Most people really want to feel like they are part of a team working towards something.
When people have the opportunity to work for something they believe in or are passionate about, they really come alive. They will do their job regardless of where they are.
Of course, not all people have good intentions. That’s why it’s important to have clear expectations and follow them.
Ultimately, each business operator has the right to run their business as they see fit. And remote work may not be suitable for all scenarios, as some simply cannot perform their work duties at home.
But we challenge the popular narrative that the traditional office structure is the only valid or worthwhile one. Either model can be performed at a high level or poorly.