In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal I read a quote that made me exceptionally happy:
Corrado Azzarita, global chief information officer at Kraft Heinz Co. , said luring or retaining IT talent can no longer be limited by geography. “We are designing a digital employee experience that allows for hybrid, in-person or remote,” Mr. Azzarita said.
Now what was it from this article, among all of the other articles recently out there on the shifting tides of remote work, that would have made me so giddy that I almost fell backwards in my home office chair? Two things. A vision for growing talent without the bounds of geography and the intentional designing of a new work experience. The combination of a cultural mindset shift and purposeful workplace design is the most effective way to harness the lure of remote work.
No longer limited by geography
I have long been a proponent of not limiting your career by geography. I have enjoyed the latest chapter of my remote career working for employers on the opposite side of the US. Sure, a 5am meeting occasionally pops up and the office is a bit of a ghost town after 2pm, but I have structured my life around my opportunities and it has enabled me to grow in ways I never thought possible. I have never felt disconnected with my co-workers, even though many of us have never met in person. We have camaraderie, we buckle down when needed, and we excel in our jobs! But I don’t think we would have connected in the way that we did without the infrastructure to enable us.
Kudos to Mr. Azzarita for adopting and acting on the idea of a boundless workforce.
A willingness to consider remote work
Later on in the article though, David Vidoni from Pegasystems is quoted with what I consider an “old school” view of remote work as a “perk” for employees.
I believe our willingness to let people work from anywhere is only increasing our chances of getting, and keeping the best talent.
There is a considerable difference between actively building the organizational infrastructure and shifting the mindset of how you build your remote workforce, when compared to a “willingness to let” employees engage in remote work. The latter viewpoint sees working remotely as an employee perk while the former sees it as an organizational shift. An enabler of organizational awesomeness if you will.
As a remote worker I know which organization I want to work for!