πŸ“‘ The Case for Letting People Work From Home Forever

Bookmarked The Case for Letting People Work From Home Forever by Jaclyn Greenberg (WIRED)

Do you want happier, productive, more engaged, and more fulfilled employees and coworkers? Well, you should campaign to let them work remotely. Here’s why.

Jaclyn Greenberg makes the case for a permanent move to working from home. She argues that at home we are more productive, it allows for flexibility, and provides more work-life balance. In addition to that, Greenberg argues that office spaces are conducive to social interruptions and office politics.

Regardless of your job or where you live, a commute to the office can take up large portions of the day. The average American commute in 2019 was 27 minutes each way, which adds up to approximately 200 hours per year for a full-time employee. Aside from the actual commute, getting out of the house at a specific time in the morning in an effort to avoid traffic can be stressful. Instead of worrying about rushing to the office on time or needing to leave early for personal obligations, employees are more productive when they work remotely, have fewer sick days, and take less time off.

Cal Newport pushes back on work from home, continuing his exploration of remote work. He suggests the distractions of the home do not create the right environment.

The home is filled with the familiar, and the familiar snares our attention, destabilizing the subtle neuronal dance required to think clearly. When we pass the laundry basket outside our home office (a.k.a. our bedroom), our brain shifts toward a household-chores context, even when we would like to maintain focus on our e-mail, or an upcoming Zoom meeting, or whatever else that needs to get done. This phenomenon is a consequence of the associative nature of our brains. Because the laundry basket is embedded in a thick, stress-inducing matrix of under-attended household tasks, it creates what the neuroscientist Daniel Levitin describes as β€œa traffic jam of neural nodes trying to get through to consciousness.”

He instead suggests near-home locations. This reminds me of Bill Ferriter marking in McDonalds or John Spencer doing creative work at Starbucks.

In other pieces on remote work, Sean Blanda argues that it becomes about tasks, not times, while Gideon Haigh questions simply reproducing the physical office.

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