Remote Work Doesn’t Scale … or Does It?
Adam Schwartz

I’m a fan but it only works in certain circumstances.

As you point out you have to hire people who prefer to work at home. That’s mostly introverts. Stereotypically, if most of your worker base are STEM types you have a great chance of making this work. If you have a lot of sales and marketing you’re in trouble. Many millennials who have moved to work depend on social work interaction to immerse themselves in communities.

Then you get older workers, especially those married with kids. On the surface, it may seem like a shorter commute is a benefit for the sake of spending more time with kids. In reality they become a huge distraction when home from school for example such that many employees will need to get away. So, as a 5 day a week phenomenon, it’s tough.

Other major issue is productivity. You note the productivity accelerators which are all valid. I hear horror stories of people starting up a second business from home and being otherwise disengaged for their own benefit. You need a strong performance measurement system that doesn’t feel too much like big brother hovering over you.

I’m a bigger fan of workplace flexibility vs commanding people to work remotely or at an office. I think the future will be about shared (with multiple companies) office space that is reserved and used by those needing it on any given day. They work at home when it works for them. The empowerment that comes with freedom and flexibility is one of the magic ingredients of a successful culture.

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