Dear CEO, I Demand We Keep Working From Home

 


WFH means Work From Home… but I didn’t have to tell you that — you already knew.

But most people weren't familiar with this acronym until the pandemic happened. Now it’s in everyone’s 240 characters, hashtags, and status updates. It’s become part of the zeitgeist of 2020 and beyond.

Those of us lucky enough to keep our jobs during the pandemic and begin working from home remember the beginning of this new era fondly.

It was exciting and new, and for those of us with the means to WFH comfortably, we soon realized that this was literally the best thing that could have happened to us.

But then something terrible happened. Managers, CEOs, and other corporate decision-makers made it a point to say that this is temporary.

Well, It’s too late, you’ve given too many people a taste of the good life and many will refuse to go back, including me.


Fuck That Morning Commute

How many of us had to drive 20 to 40 minutes each morning and evening to get to the office? Probably around 60% of us and the other 40% probably 40+ minutes.

As it turns out, the average, according to the census bureau, was 27.1 minutes and rising!

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That’s an entire hour of your day gone! Meanwhile, you're not earning money, you’re not enjoying the traffic or the a**holes laying on their horn at every person that merges into their lane. You don’t get joy at the thought of paying your car bills, insurance, gas, and maintenance; and you definitely don't look forward to your next visit to the DMV.

That hour each day translates to 9 entire days in the year you spend driving to and from work. How many vacation days do you get per year, again?

What’s more, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average annual cost of owning a car amounts to around $10k per year.

And guess what, commuting is actually bad for your health! It doesn’t surprise me that the same 30-minute commute 262 times a year raises our blood pressure.

Getting rid of this commute, alone, is enough of a reason for me to demand we keep WFH alive. It’s of the utmost importance! For crying out loud, our health, life, and money are at stake here!

Fuck Getting Ready For Work

Getting ready for work can involve a number of different things to different people and occupations.

In general, however, leaving your house at the crack of dawn each morning requires you to do a number of things, including showering, putting on pants, brushing your teeth, and eating food because you know you’re not gonna get a chance to eat anything until they let you get lunch in 5 hours.

And guess what, since you have to give yourself enough time in the morning to ‘get ready’ and commute, you’re probably going to have to wake up about an hour and a half before work even starts. Meaning you’re either having to get to bed earlier or, more often than not, you’re not getting adequate sleep.

At this point, having to go into the office is costing you about 1 hour per day from commuting in addition to 1 hour per day getting ready to commute to work. That’s two hours per workday and about 18 days a year lost because you have to show up to an office.

You spend, on average, 18 days a year commuting and preparing for work.

Most of us don’t even get that many days of paid vacation per year, let that sink in.

Put another way, those 18 days equate to 432 hours per year, which means that you could have worked 54 separate 8-hour shifts that year. Which translates to around $10,000 dollars of income (at $24/hour) you could have made during that time.

There Are Countless Other Benefits

Let’s not forget the other obvious benefits of working from home.

You get to have a customized workspace, with the equipment, sound, lighting, and other amenities that you want.

You get to create the ambiance that lets you work best, which translates to you doing better work and having more productive days; a win-win for employees and businesses.

You get to eat food from your fridge, without needing to spend time making your lunches in the morning. This means you save even more money from not having to buy lunch every single day at the cafeteria or local food court. Oh, and did you have to do more driving to get food during lunch?

There are endless benefits to working remotely and perhaps only a few initial pains with learning how to do it successfully.

Nonetheless, according to Buffer’s State of Remote Work survey, 98% of respondents wanted to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers. I mean, who wouldn’t? (2% of people who read the question incorrectly, I’m sure). It’s the dream come true for virtually every white-collar employee on earth.

And what about productivity? This BBC report talks about a study that showed improved output from remote workers in the area of plus 13%!

You can bet, that people will work extra hard just to prove that WFH is the most viable option. Indeed, anyone working remotely should be doing everything they can to make CEOs and business owners alike know what WFH means to us.


Dear Business Owners and CEOs

If your employees can work remotely, you’re doing them an enormous service by letting them work from home.

If you revoke that privilege, you’ll likely see some of your best talent leaving for the more progressive green fields where WFH is being embraced.

And I hope you can take a second to acknowledge that it's not without supremely good reason.