February 27, 2024

Remote Vs Onsite & The Old Man Yelling At Clouds


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

None of us are getting any younger

We’ve beaten the Remote vs Onsite to death. So let’s drag it through the mud. Today I present “The low EQ disconnect of why everyone is the old man yelling at the clouds.”

Literally remote vs onsite debaters

2 points for background:

1. Remote and onsite are not “policies.” They are tools to accomplish a goal. Understand that some things are better remote and some things are better onsite.

(If you think one is the best in every scenario, stop reading now. Head outside to yell at the aforementioned clouds.)

2. Results Oriented Work Environments are the future of Office Dork™️ work. At least it should be.

9-5 was a factory work concept (created by Henry Ford) where time was directly tied to output. Every Office Dork™️ knows our work output is asymmetrical.

We have busy days. We have slow days. But if you think clock-watching is still a great fit in cubicle farms? Again, the clouds are waiting for you.

Everyone (senior leaders to individual contributors) should focus on outcomes. But those outcomes can be very different. And intertwined.


👉Profitability. The entire purpose of a company’s existence.

(Side note: it’s been proven that return to work didn’t improve company performance, here.)

👉Easier hiring. You can quantify both speed and quality of hires. And how they impact the business.

👉Providing a better service to your clients. Or to your employees.

Happy clients drive repeat business. Happy employees improve retention, maintaining internal knowledge and client relationships.

These are different in every org. It isn’t one size fits all.

Here is where company policies break down and the worst-of-all-worlds scenarios happen:

An onsite policy is set. Employees ask Why. And the company says “because.” <insert parent/child analogy here>

Instead of answering with a reasonable, results-based justification (which employees/new hires would understand), it’s some half-baked word salad of “we collaborate better” or “well that’s  our culture.”

A quick example of how this is done right:

I met a CEO of a custom development shop recently. 90% of their team is senior engineers. When the pandemic hit, they were ecstatic. They could crush it in hiring by going full remote. Their team is all self-sufficient producers.

One issue came up: 2-3 times a month they do collaborative sessions with their clients. White-board, brainstorming, strategy sessions to resolve issues, move the business forward, and strengthen the relationship.

But doing these full remote? Didn’t have the same impact. Sessions didn’t go as smoothly. The vibes (and results) with the client weren’t there.

Their solve? Current team stays as is, but new hires are remote first in their local area. Expectation of 2-4 days a month onsite for very specific client/team events. (Not just there to look busy.)

Everyone understood. Because they had a real answer for the Why.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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