Employees deserve the chance to focus on work-life harmony, not struggle with work-life balance, asserts Sree Sreenivasan.
I was excited to find that my friends at Muck Rack (external link) have launched a movement of companies pledging never to force employees into an office.
So many terrific companies, big and small, have signed the Work Remotely Forever pledge (external link), including Automattic (run by Matt Mullenweg, who I had heard describe his all-remote company back in 2017 at Anand Sanwal's CB Insights conference), Skift (run by Rafat Ali), Expensify, Zapier and more.
I immediately signed the pledge on behalf of Digimentors (external link), my social and digital consultancy and virtual events production company.
Here what the movement says: 'A year of remote work has shown that people don't have to be onsite to be productive. Businesses that have signed the Work Remotely Forever Pledge agree never to force their employees to report into an office.
'Instead, they'll enable their teams to thrive from anywhere by investing the time, money and attention needed.'
I know there's a huge push to go back into the office and it's causing friction in unusual ways (Apple is Exhibit A).
I also know that people of good faith can disagree on which way is better and that there isn't one way that's right for all companies.
I am a big believer in in-person meetings and those 'in-office collisions' that spark ideas and more.
Holding occasionally IRL (in reality) meetings, retreats and more structured and planned virtual gatherings can make those ideas happen too.
For my team and others like them, working remotely gives them a chance to avoid long commutes, make time for their families and to try to achieve what leadership guru Jill Geisler calls 'work-life harmony', not 'work-life balance'.
Here's how she explains it:
Asked how the Work Remotely Forever pledge has been going since it launched in June 2021, Gregory Galant, Muck Rack CEO and co-founder, wrote:
Asked if there's any circumstance under which he can envision going back to a full-time office, Galant wrote:
My colleague Zach Peterson (you can follow his family's travels @fourinthewest (external link) on Instagram) has mastered this harmony better than almost anyone I know. I asked him for some thoughts:
I encourage CEOs to sign the pledge if it makes sense for them and their teams.
Congrats to Gregory, Mike Semel, Mike Schneider and everyone at Muck Rack on launching WRF!