Yes, commuting is a burden for everybody. But it doesn't have to be.

I understand that some jobs aren't compatible with remote work, but I think those who can should lead the way in that path.

Do you really need to be physically in your company's building every day ?

We are well into the era of Skypes, Slacks, Teams and other collaboration platforms.

As an MSN Messenger kid, I don't understand why many companies are not accepting remote work for positions that could clearly be compatible.


Many of my friends told me that their typical work day is to come to the office, say hi (to notify of the time of arrival..), go to meetings, work on a desk and then leave. Unless you're discussing a physical product at those meeting (clothes, paper towels, whatever ...) I don't see why this meeting couldn't be virtual.

Sure it requires some preparation, discipline and tooling to hold an efficient virtual meeting, but nothing impossible. If you see a reason why a meeting can't be virtual please tell me.  

Do you know how much your commuting time costs you ?


Simple calculus that I encourage everyone to make :

I used to earn in Paris 45k€/y (Yes, I'm transparent and I don't care) so roughly 20€/h after taxes. Living in Paris I had to commute 1h back and 1h forth. So loosing 40€ of my time per day. Multiply that by 252 worked days per year in France (yeah we know, we are lazy), you get 10 080€. This is without counting the transportation pass, the higher rent than anywhere else in France, etc.

10 080€ is also what you could make working 2 extra hours per day, tutoring a student for 2 hours or working on another project. Emphasis on the "could", nobody forces you too! Calm down you Yellow Jacket, but don't complain if you've spent those extra 2 hours of personal time per day to go on a strike, marching in the cold streets and loosing an eye.

Socialising with coworkers is the main reason for going to work for me. I prefer to see the money I invest on going to the workplace as a socialising spending, with the same value as going to the cinema or a bar, rather than an obligatory spending.


Trust issues

The main reason for not allowing remote work is trust issues.
One of my former bosses explained to me :

How could I know if he's working when he's not at work at his desk? I mean if he's home why would he be working? I can't check ... Maybe if I require him to leave his webcam open at all time ...

To this I reply :

So if you were offered the possibility of working from home you'd be chilling by the pool? Some people actually have conscientiousness. Because you'd do it doesn't mean he would.
(ps. you're a terrible person)

Remember that trust needs to go both ways. When you imply that you do not trust your employees to work when they are not at their desk, they can not trust you either. You are saying that, in the same situation, you would screw the system/team/company for your own personal gain.

My first reflex then is to start looking for another job.

[This article is part of the Why remote freelancer? serie]

[Next article is Why remote freelancer ? #2 Difference between paid hours and worked hours]