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Working remotely needs to be the new default

woman using desktop computer
The conversation with a company or recruiter typically goes something like this:

The work will be 40 hours a week, the office is in a nice building downtown... oh, and we even offer remote work one or two days a week.
This is the wrong way to approach work in a post-pandemic world. In tech, we're lucky enough to be able to work in front of a computer from anywhere. Whether you spend most of your day in Microsoft Office, a code editor, a shell terminal, an email client, or pretty much any application, chances are it runs remotely, or at least accesses remote resources. We're well past the point where home broadband connections were a luxury and computer software needed extensive expertise to operate.

Instead, the ability to work from anywhere should be the default, and the precision should be for things that can't, or shouldn't be done remotely. Perhaps there's value in meeting some clients face to face. Maybe you need to go to the factory floor to handle physical devices. You might want some of the more important meetings to be in person. But for daily tasks? For day to day work, status calls and such? None of that stuff needs to be done inside of an office.

This isn't to say remote work should be mandated. In fact, maybe it should be called "work anywhere" instead. But the point is, this type of work environment should be the default. There are enough worldwide, fully remote companies out there to show that this type of environment works. If you do need your people to come in, then that should be the precision.

So let's rephrase that earlier sentence:

We ask for 40 hours of work per week, and you're free to work from anywhere. We have an open floor office that you can use if you want, or you can work from home. We expect to have you come in to the office to meet clients 2-3 times per month, with an office-wide meeting every other week.

Now that's much better.