One of the positives that came from COVID-19 is that companies are more open to employees working remotely. It’s a huge advantage for any job applicant because it was so much tougher for applicants. I remember just a few years ago, if you didn’t live in the city you were applying for, that was a noticeable disadvantage. The hiring manager may see that and skip your resume. And if you did get the job, you were expected to come into the office in-person everyday. There was little to no possibility of working from home or traveling while working. The latest generation of job applicants are luckier than ever before since companies have gotten more open to remote work after being forced to make employees work 100% remote and seeing how productive they are.
Here are the lessons I learned from Jason Fried’s book Remote. He lead one of the first companies to successfully pioneer a remote-first culture, long before COVID-19.
- The 9 to 5 timeframe is not the best hours for everyone. Allow people to work when they work best.
- A lot of very large companies offer hour flexibility, like Cisco, AT&T, and Intel.
- What matters is the work.
- Have real person meetups occasionally.
- Do exceptional work and make noise to get noticed. You can’t go ignored.
- Reduce interruptions
- Start small to test it out to see if things fall apart
- Build it into the culture early
- Culture can be built through actions people take, how you talk to each other, how you treat customers, and so on
- Talent isn’t bound by hubs or location, so don’t only hire in local locations.
After reading Richard Branson’s books, I’ve really learned a lot about how he treats his employees and customers, which ends up helping him make more money.
He doesn’t have boring corporate meetings in an office. If he does have a meeting, it’s somewhere fun and tropic, like on the sands
of his island Necker Island.
By allowing your employees to have a soothing, fun environment, it increases their satisfaction, happiness, and productivity, which increases the profitability of the company
and makes them treat the customers well, which also increase profitability.
Most people work 9 to 5, tolerating their work environment, and finally get to retire to do what they want after 40+ work years. But is that the best way?
Innovative companies like Buffer and 37 Signals are flipping that on its head by letting people work in the place they want.
Is it always ideal? Not always.
There are pros and cons to it.
I think some level of working in person with others can be important for certain industries.
At what point is it too much? Google spends a ton to give their employees massages and gourmet food. When should you realize not to go
overboard and burn a hole in your company’s bank account?
I think a healthy medium with smart, innovative ways to better treat your customers without overspending may be a good start. Either way, thanks to COVID-19, the thoughts in this book have become more relevant than ever as the pandemic has revolutionized how most businesses think about operating. Many companies are considering giving their employees a lot more remote and virtual flexibility moving forward. Some are offering to let employees work remote 100% of the time, something they never would have considered because of false assumptions in productivity lost. Even job hunting and job hiring has changed since some, not all, companies are more willing to find and hire talent all across the country or world, whereas they used to only hire people within a local geography because they assumed they needed in-person talent only.