If we've learned anything over the past few months, it's the amount of work that can actually get done outside an office. Honestly, it's pretty impressive really.
For example, the biggest tech companies sent their workforces home to work remotely, and Facebook didn't suddenly stop working. Apple still managed to launch a handful of products. People are still searching for billions of answers every day on Google. Even Disney managed to release an animated short made entirely from home.
None of those are small feats considering exactly how much work goes into keeping the technology we're accustomed to up and running. But if big tech companies can function mostly remotely, you might be surprised how much your team can get done.
The bigger question is what happens when the pandemic is over, whatever that actually means. Whatever happens, the way we work has officially changed. The key here is to stop thinking about working from home as a temporary solution, and, instead, start shifting your mindset to an entirely remote framework.
Which leads us back to the big tech companies. Facebook now says it will allow employees to continue working remotely through the end of the year. Yesterday, Google announced the same. Microsoft has previously said it will keep its employees working remotely at least until October.
I wrote this week that as much as 70 percent of your workforce wants remote working to remain an option, and as many as 54 percent say they'd like it to be their primary way of work. This is no longer a trend. It's more like a permanent shift.
Here are three reasons you should consider keeping remote work a part of how you do business.
Sure, there are some jobs that aren't really set up for remote work. Anything that requires actual physical interaction, like repairing broken pipes in someone's basement, for example. But chances are there are a lot of things your team can get done while working remotely. Your job is to figure out how to set your team up for success.
In many ways, you might be surprised to find that your team is actually more productive when you stop measuring their activity and instead focus on the outcomes of their work. In addition, the flexibility to schedule work at the time when people are at their best, instead of simply when the office doors are open, means that you can unlock a lot of untapped productivity.
It seems obvious, but it's worth mentioning that another reason remote work is worth considering is that it opens up your potential talent pool beyond your immediate vicinity. There are many people who would be a great fit for your company who just aren't willing to relocate for an office job. Remote working opens the door to these candidates and saves your company the expense of paying for people to move.
Giving your employees the ability to work remotely gives them more control over creating the work environment that works best for them. This is especially true when many workers aren't certain that an office is a place they'd like to be without the ability to guarantee their health and safety.
Finally, enabling them to work remotely means they have the flexibility to be intentional about how their work lives and real lives fit together--which brings us back to this lesson: In the long run, satisfied team members are more productive team members. That sounds like a win-win to me.