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December 2, 2021

Do we trust remote work to get the “big stuff” done yet?

Since COVID measures eased in the UK, there have been a number of headlines urging people to “get back to work” and “return to the office” - but those of us who have been working from home full time until relatively recently have all been “at work” - work from home isn’t a holiday, although it does have its perks.

There are many advantages to working remotely.

You can save time and money on commuting, and you don’t have to be located near an office, which are often in expensive urban areas (which also gives companies a wider talent pool to draw from). The flexibility of being at home can be priceless, especially if you have children (or pets!) to think about. Companies that scale back their physical locations can also save money which could, theoretically, be passed on to their employees. Plus it can be much easier to concentrate on your work when you don’t have three conference calls going on in the background in an open plan office!

On the other hand, not everyone has the space in their home for a dedicated office, and working from sofas and kitchen tables can lead to a blurring of boundaries between home and work, making it difficult to fully switch off. Remote work can also be isolating, limiting opportunities for networking and socializing that the office provides (and, let’s face it, nobody wants to do Zoom drinks anymore!) And although having the flexibility to balance the needs of work and family can be helpful, it’s not exactly easy to concentrate with children around!

Regardless of personal preference, the past year has shown in a lot of industries that we can and do work from home. Although this was a forced situation initially, many companies are likely to offer more flexibility and remote working than they did before. In fact, employees are starting to expect and even demand it and the sheer number of people leaving jobs that don’t offer them the ability to work the way they want has been dubbed “the great resignation”.

But there’s still an attitude for some that remote work doesn’t always work as well as in-person.

We conducted a poll on our LinkedIn to see what people’s attitudes are (albeit with a fairly small sample size!) We wanted to know if, after over a year of remote working, we have come to trust being fully remote when it comes to the big stuff like launching a new product or responding to a major incident - or even launching a rocket! This is what we found:

remote work poll-1

Although the majority agreed that remote work was sufficient for getting the big things done, opinion was still fairly divided. 29% of respondents said that remote work was all well and good for planning stages, but that we still need to get everyone in a room for the big go live. For some, the rocket launch still needs to be in person - even for those working in SaaS and other tech areas. 

But why? Is there a sense that if something goes wrong you’ll be able to discuss and act more quickly if everyone’s together? Do people lack confidence in their ability to orchestrate and communicate while remote? The Facebook outage earlier this year showed that major incidents affect more than just customer-facing services and can make it very difficult to act, especially when remote. 

The Cutover platform has been used by major organizations for a number of years to better plan and orchestrate major events, but the platform came into its own with remote working. With communication, collaboration, and remote orchestration more important than ever before, Cutover provides the visibility and control needed to understand exactly what’s going on, where the bottlenecks are, and what needs to be done. 

Find out more about Cutover runbooks and how they work.

Ultimately, we think the best place to work is the one that works best for you - whether you thrive in the bustling atmosphere of a shared office or prefer to focus, headphones on, in a private space - or a bit of both! - you can still have confidence in your execution with Cutover. 

So, what do you think? Could you launch a rocket from your sofa? 

cutover for remote work
Chloe Lovatt
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