First, let’s be honest about working this way:
Besides the purely technical reasons why working on a laptop on a beach doesn’t work, like the lack of power, lack of internet, glare from the sun, sweaty lap, etc… most of us who work “remote” don’t do it to work on a beach. That’s not really our experience, and that’s not why Remote First is how we do things at ITX.
Working remote, for many of us, looks like this:
It isn’t glamorous or exotic, and it’s definitely not some kind of working vacation like we see in the magazines. And while for many people, remote work means spending time traveling while working from remote or exotic locations, it means something very different here at ITX. For us, it’s about ordinary folks getting things done by utilizing their autonomy.
For one thing, it acknowledges that life doesn’t end when work begins. Being able to work from home while waiting for a contractor to show up at their convenience is a great way to continue delivering to our clients while avoiding added strain on our team’s home life. And choosing to stay home when feeling a little under the weather means that the rest of the office stays healthier, which results in more productivity for everyone else. And, of course, we’re all safer staying home when the roads are too bad to drive on.
Research also shows that many people have mixed work preferences – a project manager might be able to benefit from working at home for 2 days per week, avoiding meetings on those days and getting “focus time” to work on planning and other thought-intensive exercises that they can’t do as effectively in an office environment, where there are more likely to be disruptions and distractions. Being able to work from home and change the environment to match one’s own working patterns can be a boost to productivity and job satisfaction.
In addition to the convenience of providing full-time locals access to part-time remote work, our Remote First policy supports us being able to hire anywhere in the world, and this ability to access a global workforce is a huge benefit for ITX, for our clients, and for our own team. We get the best individuals to work within our teams, and the likelihood that we will find amazing people who are available to work, will work at a rate that we can afford, and have values that work with our existing culture, are greatly increased if we pursue a talent pool with no geographic restrictions.
Our Remote First policy goes beyond this, not only supporting remote workers but making it a primary problem to be solved in each of our business and collaboration processes. When we look at implementing any solution, process, or tool for our organization, we make it a point to understand how things would work for a fully distributed team, then once we understand if that’s workable, then we can consider other features or functionality that we might need for our business.
Sarah Kessler (2017, February 16). The Happiest Worker Spends About One Day a Week in the Office. https://qz.com/908116/the-happiest-worker-spends-about-one-day-a-week-in-the-office/