While the executive excitement of returning to the offices for ‘in-person interaction’ over ‘productivity’ gains, was one of the major themes since March 2022, the results over the year show that the employees prefer working from home. Truth be told – this includes the executives too!
While the physical constraints preclude many areas where remote working may not be possible, we intend to dive deeper into those areas where the corporate workforce has already proven that this is an ‘existing’ reality at least since 2020!
Back in 2012, I recall companies spending extensively on Telepresence and other ways to improve the engagement factor with their global counterparts. As early as 2019, no CIO / CTO would have forecasted a future, wherein a fraction of the employees would be working remotely even for a few days in a week, before 2025.
Come 2022, the real estate prices have plummeted making it more affordable for people to live in the metros, but the governments globally pushing corporates to bring back their workforce, overlook the larger benefits.
Thus, the call for ‘in-person interaction’ wins over ‘productivity’ gains observed earlier. Reminds me of the movie “Troy” in 2004, with Brad Pitt as Achilles shouting out for Hector. You may imagine your manager as Achilles here! 🙂
In 2023, with reality settling down, governments and corporations could take a sensible and responsible approach.
What’s this new twist?
Recently, while I was taking a third-party survey on ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), my responses to all the questions were “No/ I don’t know”, but then in the comments section I added as follows:
As a 100% remote organization, probably our contributions towards ESG and CSR might be more than what can be measured with the traditional approach. We occupy zero dedicated office space, zero water usage in the office, zero energy for heating and cooling up the office space, zero pollution owing to commute, less time spent by our employees in the vehicles on the road, create less waste, paperless & inkless, zero carbon footprint, and zero overheads to ensure ESG certifications, compliance, monitoring & reporting, apart from an improved employee engagement, work life blend/balance. We believe these direct and tangible benefits increase employee happiness and retention. In a way, this accentuates our commitment to corporate social responsibility.
To add on, PromptCloud‘s story is available over the internet for similar digital companies to replicate, should they wish to. This is again, yet another big way to give back to society.
I agree that a few of the above ESG/CSR concerns would have ‘shifted’ from office to home, and a few of the benefits of reduced pollution or paper usage would be less lustrous if we relied on online food ordering platforms daily.
While each Google search contributes to 0.2gm of carbon footprint, a 10-minute Youtube video up to 1gm of carbon footprint, and ChatGPT create the same carbon footprint equivalent to that of two individuals (8.4-tonne p.a.), I understand the quizzical expressions some of you would have had while reading the above section.
But undeniably, the decentralization of the workforce has benefited the common man more than ever. And, it’s time the corporate executives, and the global legislatures make the wrong right.
In my opinion, any organization should consider the inclusion of products and services from remote-first organizations into their supply chain strategy, as a part of their CSR and ESG initiative. This comes with no extra cost, but at the same time deepens your commitment towards social responsibility.
Why is this so? And, what do remote-first organizations carry out differently?
Remote-first companies would have already taken the necessary measures to ensure their employees focus on what matters the most.
Here, the organization focuses on promoting employee well-being, hiring the best-suited candidates, training and mentoring them to be successful in their current and future roles, providing them to excel with purpose, autonomy, and mastery, inter-department and team collaborations along with setting up career progression and growth roadmaps for their employees.
What do the employees accomplish?
Each employee focuses on what adds the maximum value and creates a big impact on what they do both individually and collectively on a daily basis.
Be their contributions towards the products or the services, the biggest beneficiaries are the clients/prospects, the organization, and the employees, the complete ecosystem. That’s a win-win-win situation you want to promote and be a part of as a client/prospect, an employee, or an advisor/partner/vendor.
As a customer, this translates to superior results and outcomes.