On Remote Work

For the past few days, work has been torturing. The very act of going to work – a 1.5 hours commute each way – in a crowded bus and train – is enough to leave me jaded upon reaching the office.

That’s 3 hours of precious time spent travelling each day. 15 hours a week. It’s massive. The more I think of it, the more I realise it doesn’t make sense to mandatorily report to the office daily. My work could be done remotely, without any hiccup. The reasons why the higher-up are not keen in taking up the idea is probably due to trust, unbalancing the company structure, and habit.

I picked up Remote, written by the founders of a company I admire deeply in 37signals/ Basecamp. Sped through the book in a couple of days and mostly agree with what they said. However, some company’s culture is so conservative and deeply-rooted with resistance to change, it’s like facing all odds to even get them to consider this shift.

Even experimental change like working a few days a week from home (gauge the result, tweak it, and measure it again) is being rejected. Productivity should be measured against the progress and output of individuals, not against the number of hours our butts are in the office. Creatures deprived of meaning will eventually turn into undead.

I don’t want to turn into such soulless being with nothing to look forward to.