In the “globally connected” world that we live in, we found something interesting when we were forced by circumstance to simply abandon offices and other close quarters working conditions.
We found out that we had already established the necessary framework to work like that. We found out that, because we had a need to communicate on a global scale, to push data, sometimes enormous amounts of it, very literally across the world, we’d already accidentally moved our technological ability far past the need of any dedicated working space.
More than one customer of ours had a need to start working remotely and asked for quotes on hardware and software needed to make that happen. Only they found they already owned it, that it was a matter of settings changes and minor software installs that took less than fifteen minutes per user. Because modern hardware and software solutions were built with remote work in mind, if only because some people literally cannot stop working and had made the demand to be able to continue to do that from anywhere with an internet connection.
One client had already been working this way for their sales and administrative team. The workaholic culture had drive then admin team to work from home after hours, and the sales team, doing what sales teams do, needed to work remotely at all hours. The same setup was put in place for every user to work from home.
A shift to virtual meetings came easy, for most, because we had already been doing them! We would say, “Oh, you can’t travel to our offices for a meeting? Too far? No problem. There’s software for this.” And that was that.
Transitioning to doing this, and this alone was always a question of work philosophy and psychology. It was never whether we could, or even should. It was about how it felt to do it. It was always about how it felt to not have a morning routine that included separating yourself from your home and family to go to work and be exclusively at work. It was always about the assumption on the part of some management that people working from home do not work, despite all evidence to the contrary.
The resistance to this transition was never about any empirical evidence, not cost or availability of implementation. It was never, once, about anything tangible. It was always about how we felt about this transition. It was an emotional resistance.
And now, that we have been forced to make it, against all resistance to the contrary, we learned that it is not so bad. People get more work done, they have more free time, and it is just safer, even without a global pandemic. We were, physically, ready almost, if not a decade ago. We just were not emotionally ready.