I heard a great podcast on distributed work yesterday. The speaker was a CEO with three or four successful start-ups under his belt.
He said he never uses the term “remote” as it implies that that particular group was not part of the whole. He prefers distributed because his whole force is spread across the globe. Some of them work in clusters but most work completely independently.
There are people on his team are nomads and don’t even have a home base or a work base. He says people can work anywhere as long as there is wifi.
That breaks with a lot of the traditions in the Canadian workplace. Many companies are still struggling to create a “work from home” policy that says how many days people can work somewhere other than the office.
But still, we need to pay attention to these trends. As more people’s careers focus on service or knowledge jobs, working anywhere becomes practical and efficient.
Obliviously, you can’t fix cars remotely or perform a root canal virtually. Consider that two years ago, you could only order pizza for delivery. Now you can work for a fine dining restaurant and never see another customer drop a fork thanks to all the new food delivery apps.
Working with people in the same physical location will never be the same as logging into a video chat platform and meeting that way. But there are many benefits – no commute, no need for pants, no enduring colleague’s smelly lunches.
You also get the chance to work with a broader range of people and that makes life way more interesting.
In fact, this is one of the CEO’s rationale for a distributed work force. He can hire talent from all over the world without having to take them out of their home community. He also does not have to compete for the small group of talent that might be available near his corporate office.
There are more and more jobs available like this. Try it out. Ditch the pants and work from home or try working from another office. (Keep your pants on if you go with this option). It might open up a whole new world.