Why we mix remote and office work
4Geeks technologies, my company, provides outsourced teams to a global clients, so basically, we don’t discriminate where our clients are, why we should discriminate where our collaborator are ? For me, there is no reason.
As a company we provides remote teams to clients around the world, that means that for those clients, their team is remote, is not at their office. 4Geeks teams deliver products, they communicate, they create strong relationships with our clients, and, they are not at clients office, some days people can be at our office located in San Jose, Costa Rica, the next day they can be at home, or at the beach, who knows. As manager you don’t want to know that. You only want to know that the work is been delivered, metrics are accomplish and our clients are receiving the quality we want.
We have people working hundred percent remote. Because they are from the outsides of the city, Do they do a bad job ? Totally no. Do they miss crucial decisions ? No. Do they fail on communication ? Oh no. Some people need the office, some other prefer the home location, some prefer to be like a nomads. That’s the beauty, there is no a square box defined. We are people with different behaviours, different ways to do the job. There is no reason for me do the work only in one way.
There is a huge discussion around this topic, some top managers of companies may say that if people is not at the office, we can not measure work, we can not see them work. Well, I can argue with that, why do you need to see people’s face to feel they are working their work ? Is that really the problem ? or It’s because some managers are scared, they want to control everything and micromanaged people.
If you can’t trust your collaborators to work flexibly, why hire them in the first place?
I’ve heard that phrase too many times, I really don’t know who said it first. But it makes all the sense to me. Trust is the base for a good and sane relationship.
Just because a person is at the office it doesn’t mean the work is going to be the best or actually that the person is working. The idea of you being in the bed doesn’t mean you are resting, this is the exact same analogy with work. It’s about people to know what are company goals, product challenges and client needs. If we are compromise to the cause there is no impact on where we do the work.
Personally, I like to have that flexibility, to know that if one day I just don’t want to go to the office, for any reason, my co-workers can know I’m still working, they can contact me anytime and we can collaborate the same as we do normally when I’m at the office. That’s just wonderful. Also, as a manager, I like to bring that opportunity to our teams, to give them the freedom to work whenever they want. I trust in my people, but more important I’m 100% sure they always do their best work possible, because we can see it, no matter where our collaborators are.
During these years at 4Geeks, we have been 100% remote and other 100% at office. I’ve realize that a combination of both is jut perfect. It’s just optimal. It’s just fair.
Not all people live at the city, and also, as a company we can not open office at every location posible, that’s just not an option. We have found very talented people outside the city, very outside, and they equally participate in activities, and do an amazing job. So, we don’t close our location hiring process. That’s amazing for me. Because I can really hire the best talent, not only based on location. And that’s not only based on location. It’s also based on tastes, some very talented people just prefer to work from home because they concentrate more, or the other way around people who comes to the office everyday because here they feel more comfortable.
I’ve been met people that work better from home because they can really control distractions, they create their own work space, with their needs. So, more productiviy. But, other people need to be accompanied to have a higher productivity because they need distractions time, yes that’s reality. I don’t like to say that all people need the same things.
Some people concentrate better in different ways. Sometimes at home we have lots of distractions TV, house tasks, children, etc. But also at the office, we can have people talking out-loud, music at the background. Some may comfortable with one or another. You choose which distractions you can control more.
People can say that if we are not present, company culture will have no impact on us. Over my experience, that’s bullshit. Culture is more than be present, is about understanding company statements and delivery great work.
That’s why we have communication tools. Doesn’t matter if you are at the office, or in the states. You can still participate and communicate effectevly.
We all hate traffic, spending time not worth it, finding parking spots, seeing people going nuts, etc … So, imagine one day you just check the news and they announce a BIG bottleneck near your office location. You will spend so much time getting into the office, will it be better to just wait for the traffic to be reduced ? yes, or even better, to keep at home that day, other day you can make it to the office, there is no hurry, That’s what I talk about flexibility. You just have to notify you teammates, so they can know !
At the beginning of time the humanity was nomad, moving from one side of the world to another. We can still have something of that. We can travel and at the same time work. We can attend a conferences without the need to take a week vacation, we can go to visit clients with the same reason.
We can go out and meet new countries or new beaches. There is not attach to some place.
For me, all in life is a balance. You need some times to sleep and rest, but other times to put you body active. We need to work, but also to spend time with family or friends. We can work remotely or can work at the office.
Some things happen at the office, but also, others happen on the place we want. It’s about feel comfortable, to do work and enjoy. I like to have both options. I like to have freedom on choose how do I have my best work.
We are living on a dynamic world. We all prefer certain things, let’s create a flexible world where everyone can do the best of them. Not fixed place.