Remote Success: Keeping the things you love close at hand
Not long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my employees who, at that time, had worked at Clevertech for two years. We were talking about how the flexibility of working remotely had allowed him to ask himself, Where do I want to live? How will that shape my life?
This employee loved to surf. When thinking about his ideal life, he wanted to be able to surf every day, but not have to travel a long distance or be too far away from his hometown. So he found a place in Spain, right on the beach. Now, he’s able to surf whenever he wants, see his family, and stay connected to his history. His schedule looks like this: He starts his day surfing, comes home, has breakfast, works for the day, and then in the evening surfs again. Take a look at his day here.
Working remotely gives employees an opportunity to design a life that works best for them and their families. This might sound too good to be true for people currently stuck in the grind of a “regular” 9-5, with a commute each way. But it is possible and, we believe, better, for both companies and employees.
Why It’s Beneficial
Working remotely gives people a chance to focus on what’s important to them. At its most basic level, remote work can create time we don’t even realize we’re missing. For example, many of us accept a commute as part of working. You accept the sacrifice of that hour (or more!) every day when you’re just driving. But what if you got that time back? What more could you do with your family or in your job if you had that extra time every day?
What if you could go see your child’s play or game or recital without taking personal time, instead making up that hour or two earlier or later in the day? Or simply take advantage of a beautiful day to take a refreshing walk or shop at a market?
When people have time to do the things that provide meaning in their life, they find deep satisfaction and increased happiness.
When people have time to do the things that provide meaning in their life, they find deep satisfaction and increased happiness. But does that really help businesses? It absolutely does.
According to Remote.co, “a two-year study by Stanford University found that there was an impressive increase in work productivity among people who worked from home. The study of 500 people who worked both remotely and in a traditional setting concluded that the productivity among home-based workers was equal to a full day’s work each week” and that employees were less likely to leave the company.
So working remotely is good for employees and businesses.
How It Works Best
At Clevertech when we say remote, we’re talking about maintaining very high, professional standards while still being close to the things that provide meaning in your life, both personally and professionally.
We don’t expect our employees to be workaholics. We want them to feel that their work helps give their life meaning, particularly when the work allows them to express themselves and decide how they want to change the world.
What is the strategy to allow for deep meaning both at work and with what you value personally? Removing distance. When what you value is close at hand, the easy access results in doing more of what you love more often.
Now, there are challenges, of course. Having your kid run across the screen while you are on CNN is a definite danger. But the rewards to tuck in your kid with a bedtime story, far outweigh the dangers.
Now, this doesn’t mean employees work less—we’re not talking about a 4-hour workweek. There’s a pervasive attitude that working remotely=working a lot less. But there are industries that require a high level of dedication, attention to detail, and hard work (i.e. working consistent 8-hour days) that can also be effective as a remote work environment when everyone is committed to providing an exceptional level of care for both clients and employees.
How Does Clevertech Do It?
To make a remote environment work, you need people who want to build their “ideal” life—both at home AND at work. For us, that starts with taking care.
We expect our staff to have a professional level of care for our clients, which we in turn extend to them. It’s a loop of care. We don’t ask people who work for us to punch a time card when they start the work and finish the work. We’re not going to track hours or see how many lines of codes are produced in a day. Other companies look at that data because they think control and success are correlated. But they’re not. We ask them to simply provide a high-caliber level of care to our clients.
Care and success are highly correlated when the standard of care is high. That success is in the domain of client services and extended into the domain of personal commitment and community service. It is in this way we support our staff’s lives.
We believe we’ve built a unique and powerful workforce here at Clevertech. We value staff who find tremendous satisfaction from challenging work, forging connections with strong colleagues, and building themselves up, all while working from wherever they want in the world, creating a life that provides them with meaning.