I was reading this article on Hacker News today about working remotely. Eric’s argument is that in the year 2013 companies should be allowing employees to work remotely and recruiters are missing out on good developers when dismissing candidates who want to work remotely.
I believe companies will start accepting these applicants in the near future, once they adapt their culture to handle remote workers better and figure out a proper way to hire candidate that can work remotely.
Companies have spent a significant amount of money making the office the place to be. Why would ever want to leave? Lunches, dinners, hair cuts, car washes, doctors, and more! All that money went into getting people into the office and loving it. With you if the office all day you have interesting hallway conversations that can catch problems before they happen. You can meet new people and collaborate between teams that no one has done yet.
All that can happen when working remotely too, but not many people have worked on figuring out that problem yet. So there’s risk there and companies are going to avoid that risk. But research will happen and HR departments will come out with best practices, perks, and programs to make remote working as productive if that’s what needed to retain/get the best talent.
Also, Not all remote workers are equal. We’ve heard the story – “I worked with this guy remotely and it was HORRIBLE. I could never get a hold of him!” Working remotely is a skill. In a world where HR departments focused on productivity in the office, how does a company know what to look for from a candidate working outside the office? Some companies got it figured out and are doing great. Other companies are lucky that their employees fit the ideal remote worker model. Until it becomes easier to spot employees with good remote working skills, I don’t see larger companies changing their policies.
Companies will adapt to the needs of their strongest assets, but not without a little fight.