Quite a few customers are weighing the options between continuing to work remotely or returning to an office in a post-COVID restricted world. You may be asking yourself the same question– Should we return to an office full-time when it’s safe to do so? Should we continue to work remotely? Is a hybrid remote/in-person work culture the best option?
Kin has been a remote company for several years now, and we’ve worked hard to build and fortify a strong remote workplace culture that fits the needs of our employees and of our business. If you’re facing a looming decision to keep or eliminate full-time remote positions, take a look at what some of our coworkers here at Kin have to say about the benefits of long-term remote work. Perhaps it can help you make the call to stick with remote work in the future.
“I like remote work because it tightens up the workday and enables me to spend more time w/ my family, and more concentrated time at work. I also love that it implicitly invites our “non-work lives” into work, which helps us all see the whole person behind the screen – that builds better empathy, and richer work relationships (let alone better work).” – Craig, Founder and CEO
“The best thing about remote work culture is the freedom. If you’re mentally stuck on a problem or issue you can physically move to another space or location, which can help give you new views.
If you want to go work in a whole different town to escape winter you can do that. I had an on-location job between two remote jobs, and being actually, truly stuck at my desk was so hard to get used to, it felt unnecessarily constrictive.
For some reason for me it makes it so much more exciting and productive the few times we actually do get together in person. We look forward to it, plan for it, get hyped about it, and then we finally get to meet and it’s amazing.
And this company, in particular, is earnest about recognizing that we have lives outside of work, pressures unrelated to our jobs, and we are trusted with the independence to take care of what matters.” – Molly, Project Manager
“Generally, working from home gave me the ability to take responsibility for my surroundings as well as time management. Oftentimes in an office setting I found it difficult to create an environment that allowed me to fully focus on a mentally challenging problem that required serious brain juice. Being able to foster that focus at home is a huge help.
…That, and doing laundry whenever is pretty rad.” – Anthony, Product Lead
“As someone who finds it difficult to focus in an extremely noisy workplace (and who gets anxious over small talk). Working remotely lets me set up my workspace in a way that works best for me. It’s easier to focus without people talking “over my head” across cubicle walls.
Working from home allows you the freedom to “walk away from a problem” a lot easier than in an office. If I’m feeling frustrated or stuck, I can move to my kitchen and make a cup of tea, or play with the dog for a few minutes. Anything that allows me to recharge.
Lastly, I enjoy the flexibility to work from anywhere! Quiet coffee shop, beach house, couch, vacation spot, etc…” – Connie, Project Manager
“I love working from home! Some of the most common phrases I hear are, “I couldn’t do that.” or, “How do you get anything done?” That’s when I smile and say, “You haven’t worked remotely have you?”
Then explain how I get up in the morning and prepare myself every day just like people that work in a physical office. I’m lucky enough to have a spare bedroom we have converted into an office. So, when I am ready to start my day, I go into my office and close the door behind me. Lately, I have been migrating around my house to change up the scenery. If the weather is nice, I’ll work outside. You may also find me using my kitchen bar as a stand-up desk.
The best part of being a remote worker is the flexibility. I can work wherever I want to, within reason, and wear the clothes I’m most comfortable in. If I’m feeling professional or have a big meeting, I’ll throw on a dress shirt and shoes. If I’m feeling stressed or need to think through a complex challenge, I can take a walk or play some guitar.
Sometimes it’s hard to shut work off. Most of my best ideas come from when I’m engaged in something unrelated. Then I may feel the need to jump online and stub out my concept. I’ve been practicing resisting these urges lately since I want to focus on being away from work when I am.
Being remote also requires excellent communication. We all reach out to one another constantly. It’s the only way we can keep track of all our requirements. Plus, it’s nice to hang and chat every once in a while.
Overall, I don’t think I could work in an office full-time ever again.” – Grant, Director of Technology
Of course, I have my own thoughts: Since working at Kin I moved cross-country — twice.
One of the best things remote work has done for me personally is to remove worry about employment when big life changes happen. I took some time off to move, and picked up where I left off with work when I was settled. And, if I need to travel for family reasons, I can bring work with me.
Other than that, I’m way more productive in my own environment than I had been in the past working in an office. It’s easier for me to concentrate on work at home with fewer interruptions, and I can be in an environment that is appealing to me.
Kin’s remote culture is pretty great, and communication is a central part of it. Remote workplaces can fall into the trap of employees being on an island and feeling isolated, so I love that we put such an emphasis on communicating with each other. I have meaningful interactions with my coworkers daily, and that helps us to be better coworkers.
Is remote work right for you?
This is a unique opportunity to assess how impactful your workplace has been over the last year before bringing everyone back into an office. If your team has thrived despite all of the changes hurled at us over the course of the pandemic, perhaps continuing to foster a remote workplace is the way to go. It’s not right for every workplace of course, but starting with a quick check-in with your employees may help you to see the benefits they’re experiencing before making a decision.