I have been working as a freelancer/contractor for over 8 years now. One of the main reasons for working this way, was to give myself the freedom to determine how and where I worked, which many companies did not provide. I have stipulated with clients that I work from home during those 8 years and only travelled to offices for meetings when needed. And my productivity has remained high.
I noticed the companies who were focused on delivery, not location – and picked to work with those only. And it had a benefit on my not travelling all those years on my reduced driving. Those companies to me, were the ones with the right focus.
Now, many more companies will be becoming more open to remote or hybrid working. It has been in the news this week. So I was surprised when I spoke to someone this morning, who said her boss was forcing her to work from the office in future and she now doesn’t want that, so she has handed in her notice. She doesn’t want to get home late every day. Covid and the encouragement to work from home, has shown people and businesses, that you can be both productive and a good employee AND have a work life balance. You can go for a walk in your lunchtime and have the cat walk on your computer. Or a delivery come to the door. Or your dog is dreaming loud in the background of a video call. And companies will need to adapt to these changing demands of the post/during covid employee or contractors.
What is so wonderful for me as someone who has been doing this for years, is that now, finally it has become normal for people to ‘admit’ to having lives outside of work! And for glimpses of those to be relevant during the day. It has removed some of the pretence and falseness in life, reduced barriers. I talk with customers of my clients on video calls and we see each other as real human beings. There is a quicker bond and bonding is so much better for brands to connect with customers. It’s easier to build relationships, not harder, as pretence is removed and you can see each other for who you are and how you live life.
Being good at what you do is not about where you sit, or what you wear. It’s about your attitude, focus, organisation skills and ability to get things done. That can happen anywhere.
Let’s hope this move to remote working continues into the future and we each reduce our carbon footprint as a result.