5 Reasons Why The Future For Companies Like Remote Year Is Promising

5 Reasons Why The Future For Companies Like Remote Year Is Promising

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two decades, you’ve witnessed the socioeconomic impact of rapid technological change in today’s society. Technology has been the ultimate enabler of instant communication across the globe, access to endless amounts of information, a sharing economy that has broken down cultural barriers, and the list goes on. Software alone has empowered an entire generation with the tools and resources to create a better world. Every sector around the world from healthcare to finance has been drastically influenced by the implementation of software. Although we still have a long way to go in education and government, how we bridge the inequality amongst the workforce, preparing workers for the future of post automation, and implement solutions that make our world a lot more sustainable to live in — we’re certainly on the right track. Look back a century ago, and what’s been accomplished in a relatively short period of time is astonishing. We’re incredibly lucky to be alive to experience all of this.

Every new technology that’s introduced into the world evidently makes an impact on the way humans behave. The way we think, the way we act, and how we live our day to day lives is heavily influenced by technology. Take a moment to think about how your routines, productivity, work habits, and overall lifestyle has been impacted over time by software, apps, and even hardware. In today’s world, you essentially have no limits as to what you have access to at any given time. Tell the world how you feel, instantly send money to another country, share a news stories in under 140 characters, get food delivered or get your packages picked up with one tap, and the list goes on. We’ve brought these habits of instant gratification and mobility into the workplace over the years, and it’s becoming more prevalent that conventional thinking about how we work is making a shift, but it’s not happening as fast as we believe.

Sure, organizations have become more transparent, they’ve given us open spaces to work (which are incredibly distracting for most people so please get rid of them), the perks are all there to incentivize you never leave the office, but that’s not all that the next generation of workers is searching for. Although, we see the TED Talks and read the articles about the future of work, there’s very few companies actually initiating the change pertinent to how we work. What’s happened is we’ve become acclimated to the ability to access anyone or anything we need as we desire. All you need is that magic tool called WiFi, and you’re good to go. So…why the hell are we all still trapped in cubes or uncomfortable workspaces when we have the ability to work in a number of ways that makes sense for each and every one of us? Why do we still place their perceived constraints upon ourselves? It makes absolutely no sense in a world where flexibility is more attainable than ever.

I’ve been incredibly adamant regarding my beliefs about the way we work in modern day — because there’s no one size fits all for human beings. Over the years, I’ve personally become conscious as to when I reach peak energy levels throughout the day, which allow me to find that flow state where nothing in the world matters except my work for that particular period of time. Also known as “the zone”. Unfortunately, this doesn’t match up well with the traditional work schedule. I get bursts of creativity by traveling around and experiencing new environments, even if it’s just exploring coffee shops throughout the city. It’s the rush of new people, new places, and that stimulating feeling that comes from fulfilling a sense of curiosity that ignites a fire inside me. That is what tends to put me in a state where I can sit down without any distractions for twelve hours straight and have nothing but peace of mind. Most offices can’t provide that because there’s constantly people demanding your attention. There’s almost no opportunity in any office to just sit in silence knowing that no one will interrupt you. That peace of mind is priceless, and this isn’t just something that I’ve noticed alone.

After talking to employees from all types of companies for years as well as researching for years on the subject, I’ve realized that everyone has their own peak hours of flow to balance, distractions at the office to deal with, and pressures from management to adhere to. It starts with the leader of the organization who has to instill this mindset of enabling others to personalize their workday in order to best suit their individual needs. No one should have to sit at a desk just for the sake of it unless they’re going to be productive. This is more common than you can imagine. I see so many CEO’s who expect everyone to stay at the office as long as they do, or come in on Saturdays simply because they do, but that mindset ultimately becomes detrimental to the organization over a long period of time and is counterintuitive to maximizing employee performance. Why would you want someone to show up to the office if you know deep down inside that they’re going to be more productive somewhere else that day? Employees should never feel trapped to have to ask permission in order to do work how they want. They’re working to help the organization grow! Let them work however they feel is best. They will acknowledge and appreciate your ability to confide in them.

Think about unlimited vacation policies. Almost every tech company has one, and almost no employees leave for months at a time without doing any work. Why? Because inherently humans want to contribute and be productive in society, and especially to the organizations they belong to. It’s part of the human condition, and every employer needs to understand that. As a former employer, I’ve come to the realization that if you’re going to hire people to work with you, then you need to have faith that they believe in the vision of the company, and give them the ultimate freedom to work however feels best for them on their terms. While you can certainly set guidelines and expectations, if they want to work 7pm to 6am everyday and then go surf for the majority of the afternoon, then let it be. You’re going to get more results, lower turnover, increase job satisfaction, and see a massive shift in your organization for the better. Trust them. If you don’t, then you’ve made a bad hire. Only they know what’s best for themselves, and most of the time it’s not what you expect. It’s been proven time and time again, yet most employers are still reluctant to open up to this type of culture because it doesn’t align with what their personal beliefs look like. It’s time to adapt.

Now, you obviously can’t change an employer’s mindset from one day to the next. The same way I’m adamant about my beliefs, employer’s are about theirs as well with all due respect, which is why I mention a company like Remote Year in particular. From the surface, Remote Year appears to simply be synthesizing work and play. This is the way it always should’ve been. I’m a firm believer in that. For the first time ever, remote employees have the opportunity to gather together as a community to travel the world. A concept that would appear so far fetched ten years ago, yet today is increasingly popular. Imagine getting to experience everything the world has to offer with unique individuals from all walks of life, while being employed by your organization. Incredible right? Sure is.

While it certainly is redefining the way we think about work, that’s only the part that’s sexy, and that’s why the company has seen its consumer demand grow exponentially since they’ve launched. I can tell you right now, almost everyone I know has heard of this program somehow. There’s more to this company that meets the eye though. This is just the first step of what I believe will become a work revolution. The way I see it is that Remote Year as a program itself is an initial test to see how they can influence the mindset of employers to empower their teams and individual employees with the freedom to not just travel (which is the best form of experiential learning — something any employer should be willing to understand), but to begin the process of personalization of workdays for every employee in the workforce. Once you’re able to justify to employers that the results are beneficial to their organization, and they’re able to clearly see that, then you have them on your side forever. From that point on, you’re able to propose and implement a plethora of tools, resources, and experiences in the form of a platform that they’ll trust will improve their company. Ultimately, this will make Remote Year the pioneer for the future of work. A name change might be necessary though at that point of time. This will make a lasting impact, not just a year worth of change.

While companies like 37Signals have been promoting these methodologies for years now, I believe a company like Remote Year is better positioned due their experiential component in the real world. Not everyone can work for 37Signals or participate in their company culture. I’m an advocate for Jason Fried, and what his team has accomplished from this standpoint, and think everyone should listen to their content as well as read the books the team has published such as Rework. Traveling around the world is just one piece of the puzzle though for Remote Year. Think about Remote Year evolving into an organization that is comprised of multiple types of programs and individualized work experiences based on an analysis of your skills, personality, type of work environment you thrive in, or simply utilizing personal interests and passions.

These are just a few small steps that will allow Remote Year to hopefully gather enough data that displays increases in overall productivity, employee satisfaction, and happiness levels across any company whose employees have participated. As an organization, I believe they have a unique opportunity to develop a mass market platform that enables everyone to work on their own terms, and encourage employers to rethink their values for the next generation workforce. Excited for what’s to come, and to witness the impact they make on the way people view their relationship between work and life.

Props to the team at Remote Year!

***Disclaimer — I have no affiliation to Remote Year

Source: Medium:Remote Working
5 Reasons Why The Future For Companies Like Remote Year Is Promising

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