work remotely

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“Will I be able to work remotely?”

It’s a question I get 20 times a week. And not just over the past 12 months.

“I’d love to work for them, but I’m in Chicago; I can’t move to New York.”

“The role is perfect for me but I can’t commute from Central Jersey to Rowayton, Connecticut.”

The one decent outcome from the last 12 months is that everyone has had that question answered definitively. Yes, you can work remotely. But is this sustainable? Is it the most effective way for companies to build teams and do their best business?

Over numerous Zoom calls, fire pits, and socially distant gatherings since last summer, I’ve noticed a trend. What started off in April as “I’m never taking the train again,” has morphed into, “You know, I miss that quiet time on Metro North.” People have figured out how to work from home, but they do long for that normalcy of a separation between work and home. A la Seinfeld’s George Costanza, worlds have collided for a year now, and that may not always be a good thing. It depends on the person.

Understandably, people want the best of both worlds. They like sleeping in and not standing on a train station platform in February at 6am. But they also miss seeing coworkers live and lunch at Wollensky’s Grill. That said, everyone I’ve talked to seems to agree that some kind of hybrid that would keep them off the train five days a week – yet still effective and engaged – is an achievable goal. BUT will your company let you work out of a remote location or disaster recovery site one town over two to three days a week? Or is the idea of an empty $200/sq ft office space in Midtown as many choose to work remotely too much for them to bear?

As each day passes, we read in the Wall Street Journal of different firms giving different target dates for a return. Regardless of your own return to in-person-at-the-office date, one thing is certain: as the workforce gets vaccinated, there will be some return to normalcy. The big question is: what will normal look like in the latter half of 2021?

Interested in talking further about your job and your career? Contact the Executive Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.

 


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