“Hi, how are you? Just letting you know that I am on my way to the beach with the kids as the weather is really good today. I’ll join the meeting from there.”
“Sorry for the noise guys. I’m in the garage getting my car serviced. I’ll be on mute when I’m not speaking.”
“Saw your pull request. Just finished my workout. Will review the code in 15 min after my shower.”
“I’ve sent everyone the update for their script now. Plz give me a ✅ when you read and approved. If you have comments, use the comments in the shared file directly. Don’t wait for me to respond. Do answer each other’s questions & comments.”
“Alright everyone, all bonuses are paid now. To celebrate, fill in this group order by 11:00 CET. We will have a remote meal together at 13:00 CET. Lunch for those of us in Europe and early dinner for those of us in Singapore and India 😍”
These are some of the messages from the internal chat tools of remote-first companies. Remote-first companies are work-from-anywhere companies, including the office. Their ways of working are determined by the teams and are remote by default. When their people meet in person, it’s intentional: they plan their time together as you would plan for an offsite.
Transforming to remote (or hybrid) requires a change management that few in the world know how to do. Senior leaders need to go through an intense period of training to change their value system and their mindsets. They need to change how they lead, communicate, measure, and make decisions.
Is your company willing to invest money, time, and energy into education and learning? If so, congratulations! Your company is committed to its people.
Unfortunately, when pressure and economic concerns arise, more and more senior leaders go back to what’s familiar and comfortable for them. They default to the old office habits. Executives are saying things like ‘I need my finger on the pulse of the organization’”—otherwise known as monitoring people in the office.
Look at Amazon. The CEO mandated the employees to go back to the office or find another place to work. However, the employees have been taught over and over again to “make decisions with good data.” So they asked, “What does the data say about the quantifiable value of in-office vs. remote?” The CEO replied, “I don’t have the data. I just know it.” That is a lack of respect for the data-driven culture they’d built and saying “because I said so” has stopped being effective for our parents even before high school.
People aren’t paid to keep their bums on chairs. They are paid to create an impact that matters. It is the leader’s job to create work environments in which everyone contributes to their work in a meaningful way from anywhere & any device.
Want to know how to create such work environments? Contact me and let’s start this journey together.