COVID-19, The Future of Flexible Work.

Early 2020, mankind stays at home.

Shout out to the many key workers carrying out their daily duties to keep us alive and safe. If you aren’t a key worker, please stay home and keep these people safe and healthy!

For many this year hasn’t been easy; people have fallen sick, lives have been lost, workers made unemployed and we struggle to keep the world’s cogs turning.

What I hope comes out of this crisis is a relaxed view on remote workers and flexible working. I am not against office time, in fact I need office time to keep myself sane, however hopefully we will see a refreshed attitude to what work looks like given our shared experiences over the past 7 weeks.

Work doesn’t need to be 9-5, it doesn’t always need to happen in the office and sometimes life requires you to do something other than work for a bit. If we could all be a bit more transparent, communicative and set our expectations accordingly we should be able to continue to “work” regardless of the circumstances.

Let me caveat the above, I understand not all work can be remote and not all types of work allows for great flexibility. Doctors and nurses will always need to be in hospitals and work in shifts, however in certain industries you can be more flexible.

So how can we learn to be more flexible? Well we are experiencing first hand the difficulties of having to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, we should listen to that pain and retrospectively learn from it. There’s also plenty of companies who operate with an all-remote workforce or a partially-remote workforce. Below is an excerpt of the manifesto set out by GitLab, an all-remote company, they have insights into how to effectively work remotely:

All-remote work promotes:

  1. Hiring and working from all over the world instead of from a central location.
  2. Flexible working hours over set working hours.
  3. Writing down and recording knowledge over verbal explanations.
  4. Written down processes over on-the-job training.
  5. Public sharing of information over need-to-know access.
  6. Opening up every document for editing by anyone over top-down control of documents.
  7. Asynchronous communication over synchronous communication.
  8. The results of work over the hours put in.
  9. Formal communication channels over informal communication channels.

If any of this starts to interest you, take a look at the following guide:

Stay Safe.