How to make remote working operate efficiently
Marissa Mayer might have put an end to Yahoo’s work-from-home policy, but working remotely is alive and well in many other organisations, according to Jason Fried in his book Remote: Office Not Required. A company that embraces remote work gets access to the best talent and frees its workers from soul-crushing commutes, and if remote work is managed correctly the company can gain significantly increased productivity.
Arguments which the author presents in favour of remote working include:
- Work in an office is often unproductive due to constant interruptions
- Commuting wastes an enormous amount of time, energy and resources
- Technology now allows highly effective remote working
- The shift to asynchronous collaboration accommodates everyone’s availability
- Remote working allows you to base yourself anywhere in the world
- Expensive office rental costs can be avoided
There are, of course, issues that need to be addressed for remote working to operate efficiently. It appears that employees of the author’s organisation do work of a type which is readily measurable, so that it is easy to ensure that people are doing the work they are paid for. A business could quickly deteriorate if work results were not measurable or if some employees started feeling that others were not pulling their weight. It is also important that employees have a sufficient level of interaction with each other, and the book provides a number of strategies to address this.
In my opinion this book will be very useful for any organisation which is thinking about allowing employees to work remotely, as well as for any organisation which currently has some remote workers but needs to improve its remote work management processes.