I agree, I have noticed that people do seem to be more aware of when someone else is trying to talk and how they might have interrupted or stepped over them. We absolutely should make time for just socializing. One of my biggest pet peeves about the argument that remote workers just don’t connect as a team and collaborate is that it is possible if you simply intentionally create the space for it. We should trust our employees enough to multitask during the parts of meetings that aren’t really relevant to them, and by all means, we should consider having fewer meetings.
Still, I think it’s clear that opening up the hiring process to people who don’t live in the immediate area creates a more diverse pool of talent to choose from. That we have to go out of our way to tell people that makes me question what companies are doing, or really care about, when they talk about being diverse.
The only thing preventing most offices from being fully remote is simply a lack of know-how, or an unwillingness to commit to that change and design the workplace around it. Once you do that, what you’ll find is that rather than hoping for some magic collaboration, you decide who to invite to the table, and ask for their input, on purpose. Intentionally.
Yesterday I attended a meeting that lasted 3 minutes.
At the time I was happy to have not wasted any more time in a meeting than was absolutely necessary and get 27 minutes back of my day.
So, good for us for not wasting time and filling the half-hour time slot.
On the other hand, if ever there was a meeting that could have been an email, this was it.
You know, I think there is one thing that prevents this from being an even higher number. Health insurance.
If you’re young, looking for flexibility, and not really finding it, working freelance might look like a pretty attractive option. But, your health insurance costs might be pretty manageable, especially if you’re in relatively good health. Those of us who are older, or have some health issues that cause the price of getting a health insurance policy on our own to be rather high, might have a more difficult time making this decision.
I have had conversations privately, so some people already know this, but while I’m not necessarily for, or against, Universal Health Care, (I think it’s a really complicated issue that we refuse to talk honestly about, from both sides) if the US ever gets to that point, I will be planning my exit from Corporate America the next day.