Having spent the last three years working in an office designed to encourage face-to-face collaboration, I can’t help but note our teams got things done primarily through Slack and Hangouts. It was simply more efficient. With one office in New York and one in Park City, employees would gather into large conference rooms for company-wide initiatives – hosted on join.me. Operations lived and breathed in G Suite. New York colleagues, separated physically by lofty mountains and vast fields, were only a chat box away. We were a remote company, albeit with the requirement to be at your desk every day.
Our company’s greatest expense beside wages was rent. In Park City, recruitment was a struggle, as the 45-minute commute from the talent pool of Salt Lake dissuaded many candidates. Also, turnover was high, as it took only one snow-related traffic jam for Salt Lake City commuters to start rethinking who (and where) their employer was.
Myself, I “commuted” from Park City. Each morning I climbed the stairs of a brand-new, LEED certified office, settling into my desk with organic green tea from the kitchen, freshly showered from the downstairs locker room and gym (on a good day). I would always pause to admire my view (through floor-to-ceiling windows, no less): the 2001 Olympic ski jumps, etched into the Wasatch mountains that overlooked us.
And right before I dug into work, work that required none of these wonderful amenities, the same thought would return me to focus and begin my day: There is a better way.
For me, working remotely is a lifestyle optimization:
- Working remotely is being able to cook breakfast every morning, instead of batching it out Sunday night.
- Working remotely is not being concerned about holiday travel planning.
- Working remotely is not having a client ask if there is “a ping pong game or something” going on in the background during a call.
- Working remotely is not having to put your child in day care, or leave your pet locked in your apartment all day (OK, this one is being cute, as I have neither).
Working remotely is putting to use the reason we invented technologies – to make our lives better.