I Would Google Hangout 500 Miles: Part 1
Let’s video chat at 2:30, does that work? No, I can WhatsApp you, or maybe just send you a text. If you’re busy we can Google Hangout with the three of us at 3:00. No? Let’s just FaceTime at 4.
In an era when there are more tools available than one day we as a people could ever dream of, I still hear whispers from time to time that a virtual team cannot truly be collaborative day in and day out. I often walk away flummoxed that people still believe working remotely translates to working on an island, free of interaction from colleagues and clients.
I’ve spent plenty of hours commuting in my life and can truly report that face-to-face meetings serve their purpose. Truly they do. But for the regular daily motions of everyday office society—the time that dominates 95 percent of time—there is zero reason people should need to sacrifice time away from home to do the same thing in a pinstripe that they can do in yoga pants.
Choosing this approach to work culture—not just allowing our employees to work from home but encouraging and embracing this work/life balance—isn’t just a bottom-line business decision. It’s shaped by the theory that happy employees work harder, work better, and produce better results. In my years at Red Thinking, this has overwhelmingly proven true. And not once have I thought to myself the proud work we’ve done would be improved if we buried ourselves in a typical fluorescent-saturated office in an arbitrary office park.
If we need a face to face meeting, I arrange one. But can you imagine the hours of hassle we are freeing our employees from when they can spend the typical commute time in the comfort of their homes working on an important project, putting in later hours because they aren’t waiting for the clock to hit 5pm, or even, yes, sleeping in after a late night editing proofs.
If anything, we collaborate more as a team, and as groups working on a project, than we would in any office anywhere in the world. We know that a non-traditional work locale dictates more effort to make sure we aren’t all silos operating on our own. We are a team, through and through, and we are all dedicated to a common goal of staggeringly creative and beautiful work.
We know we are in this together. We know we cannot do this on our own. We know we need the team.