I’ve successfully worked from home over the past decade. When the pandemic lockdowns came about early last year it wasn’t really a change of working pace for me, as I just kept doing what I do from my home office. Others throughout the company were not familiar with working from home and so they had to make adjustments, but after a couple of weeks we were all communicating and collaborating just fine and all went well. In fact, our company found productivity actually went up during the pandemic. Maybe it’s because people realized that working from home allows for better pacing, less water bubbler chat, and reduced distractions.
Tech companies are now finding that many of their employees want to continue working from home. Some companies are not pleased with this and are coming down pretty hard on bringing people back to the office. I attribute this to a lack of management skill or creativity; in the tech world it’s pretty easy to determine the output levels of remote employees on your team. In team lead positions I’ve rarely had an issue that needed to be addressed and on the one occasion I had someone doing something they shouldn’t have been doing during normal business hours (trying to work and drive Uber at the same time), it was easy to figure out what positions must not have really been necessary to begin with.
I’m keeping an eye on the work from home policies of tech companies and considering their practices when making tech related purchases. I know Tim Cook from Apple wants folks back in that giant spaceship they built in Cupertino. They spent billions of dollars on the place. It’s a shame a sizeable number of employees don’t want to come back to being full-time in the office. And, reducing commuting time, and subsequently the carbon emissions associated with commuting, is better for the environment.
With the right attitude, creative leadership, and a clear focus, we can help clean up the environment by reducing commuting times and subsequently reducing carbon footprints. I’m hopeful many companies will reconsider outdated practices and do better with embracing Working From Home.