Since the pandemic struck, I have received a steady stream of emails from PR professionals offering to hook me up with clients who are experts on various pandemic-related issues—financial, medical, workstyle. Most are not familiar with The Cannata Report or our audience. They are just throwing you know what against the wall hoping that something sticks. The latest bombardment has seen multiple pitches offering to set me up with remote work experts.
I have been working remotely since 1997 and have been extremely productive since I started. I don’t need an expert to tell me how to do it.
It’s all about deadlines. You can’t have open-ended deadlines, otherwise, it becomes way too easy to procrastinate. With a deadline, everybody knows what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken with over the years who have told me they couldn’t work from home because there are too many distractions. I spent 12 years working in offices, and I know a distraction when I see one. You don’t need to work remotely to get distracted.
I’m sure plenty of business owners and managers fear that employees won’t be as productive in a remote or hybrid work environment. (I’m adding hybrid work into the discussion because some companies have or will be adopting a model where some employees split their time working on-site and working remotely.) Some of these folks are under the misconception that their employees are focusing exclusively on company business from the moment they walk in the door in the morning to the moment they leave at the end of the day. You think?
During the past three and a half months, I have been in contact with many professionals across the office imaging industry who are working remotely and are seemingly just as productive, if not more so, as when they were in the office. That gives me confidence that a remote or hybrid workforce can work.
This may sound harsh, but if an employee can’t cut it in a remote work environment, there are plenty of people out of work who will thrive in it. Most people will figure it out. A few may not.
The people who may find it the most difficult to accept are micromanagers. I used to work for one. It was the worst work environment I ever experienced. Barely an hour went by when my micromanager wasn’t calling me to find out what I was doing. And my cubicle was less than 20-feet from his office. Sometimes he’d stop by my desk before leaving the office for an offsite client meeting to find out how things were going. Less than 15 minutes later he’d be in a cab calling me wanting to know what I was doing. Every time that phone rang, it triggered a Pavlovian response as my entire body seized up. I can’t imagine this micromanager ever adjusting to a remote or hybrid workforce.
Thanks in no small part to the pandemic, we are all on the verge of becoming remote work experts. Some of us have found we are more productive working remotely while others are getting there. It’s a matter of survival. Everybody likes to get paid, and the only way for that to happen is to do your job. It’s not that complicated.
Although I don’t envision a future made up exclusively of remote and hybrid workers, this workstyle will become more prevalent in traditional offices than before the pandemic. As that becomes a reality, more of us will become remote work experts.
When that happens, hopefully, that’s the end of PR pitches offering to set me up with a remote work expert.
Access Related Content