I’ve been interested in Work From Home for some time – about twenty years. I’ve done it now and then for over fifteen years, and as of late all the time (involuntarily, admittedly). So can people work from home, well my answer is obviously yes.
Let’s look over what we have:
- We’ve had email for decades, and we’ve used that for business for the same.
- We’ve got multiple possible chat programs.
- We’ve got multiple possible conference programs.
- We’ve got tons of collaboration software, from things like Google Docs to Jira to Rally.
- We’ve had the phone for how long? We can just use that sometime, even if to most people “phone” means “handheld PC” by now.
Honestly, there’s no reason not to at least try to have every office, admin, coding, executive, etc. job from home. There’s no reason to drag ourselves into an office or even have one. We can do it, and reap all the benefits.
The barrier is that some are reuluctant to switch over to work from home as you have to do things differently. Schedules change. Methods change. Record keeping changes. Moving to work from home requires people to rethink how their work is done.
I think there’s some reluctance to admit WFH is possible as so many people pushed back against it for bad reason. Many people who’d faced illness, family challenges, or disability have asked for it – and gotten rejected. If we head for more WFH, it will require a moral reckoning.
This is scary enough, but truth be told business processes and job methods probably do need to be thought over. Why are things stored a certain why, why is some business done in person, why did we turn down this request, etc. It’s a good idea to ask if what you do works anyway, and when you look at Work From Home, it requires you to rethink everything. Work from home just requires asking a lot of uncomfortable questions all at once.
The thing is during COVID-19, people seemed to have answered those questions, removed those rejections, and modified those processes pretty damn fast. The Pandemic has proven we can restructure work and work processes in an emergency, so we might as well run with it.
We’ve been able to do this for years. We proved we could. Let’s go do it.