What if Working from Home Becomes the Rule and Not the Exception?

I just finished reading a book from Andrew McAfee called “More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next.” McAfee argues that there is now a very pronounced trend where we’ve reached the peak of usage of energy, metals and, well, everything. We’re able to derive more use by using less and less material. In fact, the only thing we don’t seem to be using less of is moving electrons around, which is to say computing.

At the same time, I enjoyed reading “Enlightenment Now,” by Steven Pinker, which makes a strong case through data that  – despite the headlines we’re bombarded by that make us feel like the world is coming to an end – life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge and happiness are on the rise worldwide.

What both of these books have in common is a very optimistic view of where we are – a very rare thing, indeed. It may feel hard to relate to such optimism at this moment. Nonetheless, these authors believe that overall trends will be very positive and on a large scale. Hopefully, in six months or so, we will emerge from the economic and health crisis we are currently living in. The world will change and people will become more home-bound and family-oriented. Working from home will become the norm for many and less the exception to the rule.  

For several years, we saw a big swing toward cities among workers and companies. After all, it’s OK to live in a postage-stamp-sized apartment when you spend the majority of time outside, where you can walk to work and where the fun is. But now, I believe we will see more of a distributed living arrangement where people live more in suburbia or, ultimately, all over the place.

Evolving technology will make the adjustment easier

It’s going to be interesting to see the degree to which tech leaders like Facebook and Google and others say, “It’s OK, we’ll guarantee that you have a job for a year without showing up in the office, just working remotely.” Even in our offices at Roy Talman & Associates, we’ve become very accustomed to Zoom. Zoom and other technologies are so useful now versus years ago when we didn’t have the level of bandwidth to the home that we do today.

Consequently, we have much more capable communication. Instead of the sound of people talking being out of sync with the video image, it requires more computing to perform video processing.

This means that if so many more people are going to work from home permanently, we will need to think about technologies that make communication from home more realistic than ever. It could also mean more giant screens, more advanced 3-D cameras, better facial recognition software and more. When these new technologies fall into place – and we expect that to be sooner rather than later – it will bring the capabilities to do so much more from home.

Photo-Chris Spiegl


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This will bring about potential new questions and challenges for hiring managers seeking top talent to bring into the environment. In fact, what will “the environment” really entail? Will an office in a specific location define it or encompass wherever the talent has a computer and a strong Internet connection?

No, we can’t predict when a virus will end, but even when it does, we have to face the fact that some highly advanced technology professionals will not want to return to the office even though they love what they do. Or perhaps they’ll seek more of a blend of coming into the office a couple of days a week and working from home the other days.

Again, suppose a company is willing to invest the proper amount of bandwidth in an employee’s surroundings to do their job just as well at home as in the office. In that case, they may not only retain that employee that much longer due to technology. They may retain that individual due to their showing increased adaptability, trust and loyalty. Perhaps many companies will have to make such an adjustment. And going the extra mile for accommodating the more invaluable employees remotely may be an excellent thing.

How do you plan on building your team and retaining your very best talent? Talk To Talman First.

See, even now, the most respected tech firms are not waiting and hoping for great team members to beat a path to their door. They’re charting a proactive course to obtain the best of the best additions. And they’re doing it in partnership with Roy Talman & Associates. Even in a pandemic, these waters are not entirely unchartered to our recruiters. We know how to find, prepare and present superior candidates who can hit the ground running because we’ve accelerated their learning curve even before their first day.

If more than 30 years of experience have taught us anything, it’s not to just fill a position with a warm body but to help firms add the kind of unmistakable talent who can potentially increase profitability exponentially. And who couldn’t stand to see that kind of result right now?