Monday, June 19, 2023

Why Working from Home Makes Sense

I've been working from home for over 20 years now, and I love the fact that the world is finally catching on to this phenomenon. However, I find the constant deluge of companies, and even individuals, pushing to end WFH disheartening. If you look at who wants to end it, it is the large corporations and people with huge investments in office buildings. Well, that makes sense, since they want people back in the office... it's all about power and control. This is more about their inability to be effective leaders, not employees lack of results.

What the leaders and management don't understand (or choose to ignore) is the fact that by not micromanaging people and letting them create and accomplish the tasks assigned to them in the manner they choose, they improve corporate creativity, productivity, and value. The benefits to employees, such as no commute, no childcare required, flexibility in schedules, less cost for work clothing, ability to work for anywhere, and many more, all make the work environment much more enjoyable and can improve employee retention.

For a management perspective, we as leaders need to learn to manage by task, and not by hours. Give someone a task to do, set a deadline for when you want it done, and then keep tabs on the progress. Maybe that means a daily 15-minute standup, or maybe just a weekly report. It depends on the task.

Of course all of this means that we also have to be more involved with understanding what it is that needs to be done, and better at estimating the time to do it. Getting feedback from employees and communication is key, and of course reviewing accomplishments or missed deadlines to find root causes.

It's all a matter of perspective. Although WFH is not right for every job, it is NOT going away, and corporate leaders need to accept that fact