I Would Google Hangout 500 Miles: Part 2

January 20, 2017 • Posted in Red Thinkers

Jen lives in Annapolis. I’m out in Loudoun County. Fiona lives on 13 acres atop a mountain and our millennials favor Arlington. Molly lives in Jacksonville, Fla. Brandon lives in Montgomery County, Maryland. I have no idea where Juan lives. Just kidding.

The true fact of this successful Red Thinking endeavor is that it would not have been possible as little as a generation ago. Thankfully, technology has produced the tools that allow us to produce no matter where we are in the world.

I could not have spent 10 hours on a phone call in 1996 listening to a designer describe a design concept. In 2016, I can hop on a video call, collaborate through any variety of online tools or avail myself of the numerous online collaboration platforms for communicating in a new world. And those conversations happen as the circumstances dictate.

What has that freedom allowed us to become? It’s allowed us to become a nimble, agile team that moves quickly to produce stunning work. Our team is eternally grateful for the trust and ability to work remotely, to save them from the eternal commuting headaches, and to do the best work where they feel they can do the best work.

Beyond that, the ability to collaborate from anywhere has broadened our pool of applicants from the Washington D.C.-Metro region to the entire globe. We aren’t just pulling the best talent from the area. We are pulling the best talent from anywhere in the country. It wasn’t always this way, honestly. But as we’ve embraced the tools available to us we have quickly come to realize that working from home is the same no matter where that home is.

I have a dear friend who muddles through the daily commute from our suburban Loudoun neighborhood, through the worst the Beltway has to offer every day, and into Silver Spring. On a good week he’s trapped in the car for only 10 hours. On a bad week it’s closer to 15. I’m not his boss, but I can’t imagine what is so important that he needs to be sitting behind a desk for eight hours a day—and not working at all for any hours he spends pumping the breaks in bumper-to-bumper traffic—just so I know he’s down the hall. It’s 2017. We are all available at a moment’s notice.

I love my team. I love their faces. When I get to spend personal time with them it’s a reward, not an obligation.

And I will never have it any other way.

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