Technology

Going all-in on remote work: The technical and cultural changes

Artist's impression of working from home, three seconds before 10,000 important documents are deleted from your laptop by tiny hands.

Enlarge / Artist’s impression of working from home, three seconds before 10,000 important documents are deleted from your laptop by tiny hands. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty )

Welcome to the fifth installment of our Future of Business series. Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about home office ergonomics, the challenges of collaborating with remote colleagues, work strategies, and the inevitable return to the office. We’ve also asked Ars readers to weigh in on what has been working for them as they work remotely.

We’ve left the most vital issue until now: what’s needed to embrace remote work in your company for the long haul. COVID-19 may have ushered in remote work for millions on a temporary basis, but what does remote work look like as a permanent feature of companies large and small? Our grand, improvised remote work experiment has taught us so much, there’s simply no better time than now to adapt your business processes and culture to this new opportunity. Yes, it is an opportunity. But only if done well, and that means providing the appropriate resources for remote workers, as well as changing company culture from top to bottom.

We not only think this is an opportunity but an inevitable necessity. For every business with leaders whose heads are stuck in the if-I-can’t-see-you-you-ain’t-working past, there will be forward-looking competitors who are changing now—and who will be willing to snap up your employees when backward policies drive them to quit. They’ll also be saving money and enjoying greater access to exceptional talent, as well.

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