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Reflections During a Boring Afternoon
It is cyclical. It seems that from time to time the planet has the need to wipe out part of the population in order to keep going, as if we were the actual virus and like the villain of the film, nothing good awaits us.
So far it is having a catastrophic impact on society and the economy, destroying not only thousands of non-essential jobs, but also those that, although considered important, were not prepared to face the Covid-19 outbreak. In other words, in the year 2020, the vast majority of workplaces have no plan B.
You have probably heard or read the typical line that goes something like: “But an operator on an assembly line can not work from home...”. That may be true but in 2020 it is ridiculous not to have a plan B for the rest of us who work mainly with computers. One might think that this is nonsense since there has to be a relatively easy way to approach this but is there really?
Tech companies like Starshot have adapted rapidly to this new situation not only because of their digital nature, which has facilitated the transition, but also thanks to a well-established company culture that makes the model very effective. However, the truth is that we had to spend a couple of years working on it before we reached optimal productivity levels.
A healthy remote culture takes time, determination, and a room of decision-makers that have to trust their coworkers. A well-implemented remote model is key but self-discipline is also involved and not everybody is able to work from home one day after another. The considerably reduced amount of human, physical interaction with coworkers, all the distractions at home, the trips to the fridge every 5 minutes, can make the job much more difficult.
On the other hand, there are those homebodies that don’t go out of the house unless they really have to. It comes to mind those hilarious social media posts that showed geeks finding out they were involved in a total quarantine caused by a global pandemic weeks after it had started.
Getting back to the point, it seems that a lot of tech companies were refusing to promote remote work systematically in order to ensure proper communication and motivation among employees or at least these seemed to be the most popular arguments against it. All of a sudden, guess what? Coronavirus outbreak! In only a few weeks all of those arguments didn't seem to make sense anymore.
At the end of the day, the real value of a company doesn’t come from just being able to provide the necessary material tools but also from knowing how to implement efficient and comfortable strategies and workflows, among other things, for their teams and individuals.
Coronavirus arrived and it hit the very foundation of the traditional ways of working and changed our idea of doing business and teamwork forever.
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