Great things can be done by those who work remotely. The option to work remotely empowers you to hire the best people and gives your employees the opportunity to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. It doesn't work for every business, but if you have the opportunity to give your employees the option to work from home, please consider the possibilities.
Businesses around the World are rethinking the traditional workplace environment. There are some businesses which are bringing things in house after years of working remotely, while others are exploring the new possibility of working from home.
Earlier this year, Yahoo! reversed a work from home policy, requiring remote workers to return to the office. Meanwhile companies like 37signals, Automattic, GitHub, Treehouse and many others are promoting a long held policy of working remotely. Yahoo! seems to be an anomaly in a clear move towards distributed, remote workforces.
Typethink takes a different approach. We are a creative web agency with a physical office in downtown Portland, Oregon. At the moment, our clients are based in the United States and Canada. We have a dozen employees (including a dog) and most of them work at our Portland office 3-4 days a week. At this point it sounds like a traditional office, but it's not. Every employee has the option to work remotely and most people take advantage of this policy at least a few times a week. When we're not in the office, we are in coffee shops, traveling or parenting.
Everyone in the office treats the policy differently. We aren't cogs in a machine. We are all human and we all work differently. While most of our team members work from their homes in the Portland area, our systems administrator works from Chicago and our chief brand officer lives in Poland a few months out of the year to restore his creative energy.
We understand there's a time when it's good to shake a hand and share a drink, but to work effectively those moments are the exception not the rule.