The Workplace as We Know is Changing

When the hot Silicon Valley payments startup Stripe announced that its fifth engineering hub would be remote, it was widely cheered by the developer communities across the world as it sprinkled holy water on what has already become inevitable.  After all, doesn’t hiring the best 100 engineers worldwide make much more sense than housing the available 100 under one roof? Just look around you – coffee shops, co-working spaces, shared offices and travel hubs like airports and stations – are all full of people doing their work. And its high time that we figure out how to cater to a new generation of workers and workstyles, as Stripe has attempted to.

On a very basic level, every employee has two options –

  1. Work at an office – which entails getting ready on time, hitting the road, driving through some insane rush hour traffic, get to the office, complete the work for the day and then again battle through the traffic to get back home. There’s no denying that a big chunk of our time goes in the work commute alone.
  2. Work from home – save your time and energy, save money on commute, and potentially pollute less with fewer vehicles on the roads!

From the employer’s standpoint, the latter option alone helps them save on massive infrastructure costs. The world becomes your talent pool and employees can benefit from a better work-life balance too. The added advantage is that it gives you a more diverse workforce. The factory mentality of turning up to work at once place is slowly changing with more and more people opting to “work from home” at every chance they get – be it a weekly or monthly choice. But of course, an entirely remote hub comes with its own unique challenges. While most say it is difficult to replace the ever-omnipresent whiteboard meeting in brick and mortar rooms, we are in an age of Google Docs, Slack, Zoom and the likes. It’s just a matter of finding the right technology mix and your remote team can be as connected and engaged as their office counterparts, if not even more. The onus is now on us to find the next generation of leaders who know how to manage a truly remote workforce.

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