For some people, remote first, remote always, and never face-to-face or forced to travel for “meetups” is a doorway to being capable of working at their full potential. For me, I have pretty bad anxiety, it starts with the commute on Monday morning, and doesn’t end until I’ve burned Saturday sleeping off the stress and wake up Sunday morning. When I have to be present in an office, I get 1 day weekends for yard work, chores, and whatever non-work things need to be done.
I started working for a full remote team in 2013, and found out that the commute and working in an office was the cause of my anxiety. After the initial worry about never working side-by-side with my co-workers wore off, I discovered what it was like to get into a real flow (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)) and 100% enjoy my entire day. The environment was ROWE (Results Oriented Work Environment), so it was just get it done. I thrived and my anxiety was washed away completely. I have an off-norm sleep cycle, so working remote from Delaware for a company based in Colorado was a dream. It allowed me to sleep when it was natural for me.
There were some days I spent ten hours working, then there were stretches of days where I had two hours of real work and spent the rest of the day on growth opportunities (Flex time!). I always had the option of taking two hours for lunch. I finally had the option to adopt a dog. But I NEVER felt disconnected from my team, in fact, I never felt more connected with a team of co-workers than when I was working 100% remote and never met them. There was no pressure to be social causing unecessary anxiety (being an extreme introvert this is the ideal!!!), so when we jumped on our morning scrum, it was a sincere experience, not something forced.
As for why some companies don’t allow remote, maybe they just aren’t concerned about their companies carbon footprint (requiring people to commute is definitely contributing to whatever anthropogenic effects we are having). They probably love spending all that extra money on a larger than necessary brick-and-mortar location. The commute itself is a waste of valuable time their employees could be using on personal growth activities or getting a jump on the day — so they must love crippling their employees’ free time and causing more wear and tear on public infrastructure.
All sarcasm aside, there is one valid complaint for not allowing remote I have heard in my recent job search: Tax Nexus. Having a remote employee in another state is grounds for an unnecessary headache as some states will actually penalize business owners who allows remote workers (to or from their state). New Jersey is notoriously bad for establishing a tax nexus against a company who does ANYTHING within their state. They’ve gone so far as to boot tractor trailers owned by companies in North Carolina delivering products to Connecticut and won’t remove the boot until the company coughs up the minimum tax and registers as a business in New Jersey even though they are not doing business in that state at all. They do similar tricks with remote employees. New York is just as bad and will not exempt out of state remote employees from income tax under some sort of “Convenience of the Employer” criteria.
Until the Federal government passes protections for employing people across state lines, namely preventing state overreach to tax outside their borders (if you run a business and sell in state, you should only pay tax on revenue generated in that state, and if you work from home, you should only pay income tax on income in your home state, never to the other state). Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any traction on these valid federal concerns while they are dabbling in there special interests that are not supposed to be concerns at the federal level.
Re: Unlimited PTO
Just the opposite happens: with unlimited PTO, people do not use it. Attaching a mandatory minimum is probably the most effective. When I worked for the remote-only company, we had mandatory two weeks: Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve to New Years. Between working from home and our mandatory two weeks, I only ever needed to take three days voluntarily (although I did need to take time for family emergencies, which having unlimited PTO was amazingly helpful). The trick to managing unlimited PTO is being able to communicate opening with your team about when it’s best to go.
Re: Menstrual products provided in the restroom
I am surprised this isn’t taken care of by cleaning services. They put toilet paper and soap in the men’s room, why aren’t they putting hygiene products in the women’s room?