The Freedom to Choose Between Remote and In-Office is Priceless, Healthy, and Green.

As Morgan Housel puts it in his book, The Psychology of Money; “The ability to do what you want, when you want, and with who you want, is priceless.” After all, one of the reasons we want to make money is to have the freedom to do exactly what we want, when we want, for the rest of our lives. And when you can choose between remote or office work, you’re already one step closer to this freedom.

They'll never take our freedom gif

I’ll start by saying that even though Remio is a remote international team, I still would have loved to be part of an office-based team. Not because I think it would be more productive, but because I think it would be more fun and make us happier. And although the dream of getting our current team together in person is becoming increasingly difficult (more on that later) I still hope that we can all meet in person one day. 

 

 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard many complaints about companies mandating that teams return to the office pronto. Many of these employees joined the company specifically because they could work from anywhere and now that they are forced back into the office, they are immediately looking for new, truly hybrid/remote, jobs. This somewhat autocratic and unnecessary (in my view) approach may cost companies more than they expect.

The perfils of not oferring a hybrid model graph from Harvard Business School

Effective remote work is a reality and people know whether remote or in-office is more productive for them. As many have stated before, companies should treat their employees like adults and allow their input into what works best for them. In No Rules Rule, Hastings explains why a high talent density, shared vision, and individual autonomy result in the best companies and best products. Each teammate will know whether they are more productive from home with a better work-life balance, or whether the office reduces distractions and motivates them more. The result is a happier, more productive, team.

 

If we ignore the question of whether this freedom of choice is good or bad, we still have to re-evaluate how companies get teams back in the office. I’d argue that it’s better to inspire teams to come back instead of forcing them to come back. A large percentage of the workforce prefers office work over remote work, 38% of the US workforce to be exact. If it’s visibly evident that people in the office are having a better time than those who remain remote, the remote employees will start feeling FOMO and eventually join their in-office colleagues. Focus on making the in-office environment a place where people choose to be and not a place they are forced to be. And if your team is spread too far apart, or they simply prefer remote work, then you can always use a tool like Remio to get the weekly dose of bonding and relationship building (read banter and laughs).

 

Our company is fortunate to be able to grab the best talent we can get regardless of location, but this means that meeting in person is difficult. There are the obvious challenges of global travel such as cost and time, and travel restrictions resulting from pandemics and armed conflict, but in addition to this, we also have a responsibility towards the environment and the work-life balance of our employees. For Remio, for example, the  war in Ukraine has meant that a highly valued and principal developer could not leave his country, and we could not visit him. Lastly, for truly global enterprises or when your team simply grows beyond a certain size, meeting up in person becomes a logistical nightmare and Remio VR a valuable mitigation.

 

After living through the last 2 years with our team, I am extremely grateful that we’ve had VR headsets and the Remio app that facilitates the fun spontaneous in-person connections you’d get from being under the same roof. If Zoom had been our only option, I might have lost my mind. Thanks to Remio, we were able to share multiple laughs with our American, European, Ukrainian, Polish, South African, Irish, Pakistani, and Turkish teammates while hanging out in BarVR or challenging each other to some Paintball.

People playing around in barvr in Remio

I don’t want in-person business interactions to go away and I think they will always be the best way we can interact; the same way in which nothing beats a company retreat to an epic surf spot for me. I also don’t think video conferencing (or phone calls) would ever be replaced because it’s highly effective for many types of conversations. But, for those scenarios where you cannot be in person and you want to socialize or share an experience with someone, VR is the answer, because it brings us pretty close to an in-person experience and sometimes even allows us to do more than what you could do in person.

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The Freedom to Choose Between Remote and In-Office is Priceless, Healthy, and Green.

As Morgan Housel puts it in his book, The Psychology of Money; “The ability to do what you want, when you want, and with who you want, is priceless.” After all, one of the reasons we want to make money is to have the freedom to do exactly what we want, when we want, for the rest of our lives. And when you can choose between remote or office work, you’re already one step closer to this freedom.

They'll never take our freedom gif

I’ll start by saying that even though Remio is a remote international team, I still would have loved to be part of an office-based team. Not because I think it would be more productive, but because I think it would be more fun and make us happier. And although the dream of getting our current team together in person is becoming increasingly difficult (more on that later) I still hope that we can all meet in person one day. 

 

 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard many complaints about companies mandating that teams return to the office pronto. Many of these employees joined the company specifically because they could work from anywhere and now that they are forced back into the office, they are immediately looking for new, truly hybrid/remote, jobs. This somewhat autocratic and unnecessary (in my view) approach may cost companies more than they expect.

The perfils of not oferring a hybrid model graph from Harvard Business School

Effective remote work is a reality and people know whether remote or in-office is more productive for them. As many have stated before, companies should treat their employees like adults and allow their input into what works best for them. In No Rules Rule, Hastings explains why a high talent density, shared vision, and individual autonomy result in the best companies and best products. Each teammate will know whether they are more productive from home with a better work-life balance, or whether the office reduces distractions and motivates them more. The result is a happier, more productive, team.

 

If we ignore the question of whether this freedom of choice is good or bad, we still have to re-evaluate how companies get teams back in the office. I’d argue that it’s better to inspire teams to come back instead of forcing them to come back. A large percentage of the workforce prefers office work over remote work, 38% of the US workforce to be exact. If it’s visibly evident that people in the office are having a better time than those who remain remote, the remote employees will start feeling FOMO and eventually join their in-office colleagues. Focus on making the in-office environment a place where people choose to be and not a place they are forced to be. And if your team is spread too far apart, or they simply prefer remote work, then you can always use a tool like Remio to get the weekly dose of bonding and relationship building (read banter and laughs).

 

Our company is fortunate to be able to grab the best talent we can get regardless of location, but this means that meeting in person is difficult. There are the obvious challenges of global travel such as cost and time, and travel restrictions resulting from pandemics and armed conflict, but in addition to this, we also have a responsibility towards the environment and the work-life balance of our employees. For Remio, for example, the  war in Ukraine has meant that a highly valued and principal developer could not leave his country, and we could not visit him. Lastly, for truly global enterprises or when your team simply grows beyond a certain size, meeting up in person becomes a logistical nightmare and Remio VR a valuable mitigation.

 

After living through the last 2 years with our team, I am extremely grateful that we’ve had VR headsets and the Remio app that facilitates the fun spontaneous in-person connections you’d get from being under the same roof. If Zoom had been our only option, I might have lost my mind. Thanks to Remio, we were able to share multiple laughs with our American, European, Ukrainian, Polish, South African, Irish, Pakistani, and Turkish teammates while hanging out in BarVR or challenging each other to some Paintball.

People playing around in barvr in Remio

I don’t want in-person business interactions to go away and I think they will always be the best way we can interact; the same way in which nothing beats a company retreat to an epic surf spot for me. I also don’t think video conferencing (or phone calls) would ever be replaced because it’s highly effective for many types of conversations. But, for those scenarios where you cannot be in person and you want to socialize or share an experience with someone, VR is the answer, because it brings us pretty close to an in-person experience and sometimes even allows us to do more than what you could do in person.

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