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How to weigh the benefits of in-person and remote work


Anyone willing to work remotely must be in the office a minimum (I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or leave Tesla.

If you do not show up, we will assume that you have resigned.

Elon Musk sent those words in two separate emails to his company earlier this summer. His message is clear: I want you to be in the office. now.

His words may seem harsh, but they are not surprising. They show the tension between what employers want from their businesses and what employees want from their lives. This is not new a conversation. But this is one that you may be moving in for the first time.

In some areas, the nature of the work makes the way forward obvious. Surgeons and factory workers will not have the same expectations for remote work as marketers or managers. It’s more difficult when you’re managing intellectuals.

The best place to start is to weigh the benefits of in-person versus telecommuting.

Advantages of personal work

Once upon a time, personal work was commonplace. And this has brought several benefits.

Advantage 1: Collaboration

Something happens when you get people together in a room to solve a problem. Virtually trying to recreate the synergy of a whiteboard is not the same. When we are in person, there is more energy. And the result is the best ideas.

Advantage 2: Innovation and teamwork

This advantage follows the first. Innovation happens in these problem-solving meetings. But it also happens in the cracks, in the breaks between official meetings. It happens at water coolers and in side conversations. These exchanges do not occur as naturally in virtual environments.

Advantage 3: House of culture

Relational justice is more naturally constructed personally. This is what drove our team in the first months of the correction. We knew and trusted each other. We have relied on existing relationships to support our culture. It’s harder to grow a team remotely because values ​​are captured, not learned. Getting work done is not the same as creating cohesion.

Benefit 4: Facilitating difficult conversations

Part of the leadership is having the tough conversations. You must deliver bad news. You have to train. The more personal these conversations are, the better. It’s easier to understand subtle signals in person.

Advantages of remote work

For all the benefits of in-person work, telecommuting also has its benefits.

Benefit 1: Focus

While in the office you can distracting. When I need to finish asynchronous work, I work from my home office. No one interrupts me. I can control my environment more. It’s easier to be more productive and stronger in completing your tasks.

Benefit 2: Trusted message

Refusal to allow telecommuting means “I don’t trust you.” It says, “Until I see you, I don’t know you’re doing the job.” But how do you know your team is productive when they are there is in the office? Hiring people you trust means you don’t have to look over their shoulder.

Benefit 3: Returned resources

Eliminating commuting is no small victory. Commuting takes hours these days. They are tense. And as we well knew this summer, gas is expensive. An hour before or after work, your team can play with their children, play sports, cook, read, go to the doctor. It improves the quality of their lives and makes for happier employees.

Benefit 4: Productivity of virtual meetings

Virtual meetings can be more effective than in-person meetings. Especially if the meeting is more transactional or informational, virtual meetings seem to boost productivity. They’re not the best space for creativity, but they’re incredibly effective for routine communication.

Our team didn’t want to lose the benefits of in-person or remote work, so we chose the third way.

The third way: hybrid work

Full Focus was a hybrid company even before the pandemic started. This is our “both/and” answer. And our campaign Ideal Week made it possible.

Our company A perfect week provides guidance to our team regarding our expectations. On Mondays, each of our teams hold weekly focus meetings in the office, so our entire team is in one place. For creative or problem-solving meetings, we also ask people to attend in person.

But we also created “Flexible Wednesdays”. They have no meetings and are designed to work asynchronously. People don’t need to be in an office or even work normal hours. Instead, we give our team the flexibility to work the hours they want as long as they deliver results.

Most of our team is in the office one or two days each week. There are often even more managers and directors. We collaborate and innovate. We create a culture and have tough conversations. The rest of the week we allow our team to focus and do not travel to work. We have very productive meetings. And we let our team know that we trust them.

Hybrid work may not be right for every company, but it’s worth a try.

Disclosure of material affiliation: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate”. This means that if you click on a link and buy an item, we will receive an affiliate commission. However, we only recommend products or services that we use and believe will add value to our readers. We disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guidelines for the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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