While employees are at home working, or working even on vacations, they're every bit as "remote" as a so-called telecommuter. In other words, "remote work" is universal, a matter of degree rather than kind.
That's one reason why resistance to remote work is dangerous. To assume the primacy of face-to-face interaction between colleagues is to fail to provide collaborative tools to connect employees in offices down the hall, on a different floor, at another office or on the other side of the world.
It's best to reduce the importance of the work-home dichotomy, and instead think about flex work and to create the work spaces and infrastructure that allow both deep, solitary, focused work, and collaboration.
In that mindset, a telecommuter is just another employee like any other. And a non-telecommuter is just like a telecommuter, at least part of the time.
It's time to focus on connecting employees who are separate from each other for whatever reason – while keeping in mind that retaining the best employees is less about salary and more about the lifestyle they have while at work and at home.
If you want to keep your best employees, you may have to let them go home.
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