Can we successfully implement remote digital transformation?
The current climate has shown the businesses around the world the unthinkable was possible — employees can work from home or away from a central office. Some may even end up net stronger as a result.
For others, it’s a got the potential to ruin productivity, creativity and employee health and wellbeing. A recent opinion piece in the Guardian was titled — “Coronavirus is giving us a glimpse of the future of work — and it’s a nightmare”.
Remote collaboration at Deep Work
Is my life, and life at Deep Work, a nightmare? Far from it. I’ve been working remotely since 2012. Starting a social media marketing business in my university bedroom. It’s had its pitfalls, such as blurred boundaries of forever working. Getting it wrong, meant eventually we got it right…
We’re at a pivotal moment where work is changing, if we get it wrong, then it will be a nightmare. We get it right, and the world will be a happier place.
Now remote work is proven, it will be hard for bosses to bring employees back. With employees showing they don’t have to be at an office to prove productivity, many will argue to stay at home. Others will be forced. As companies cut office overheads, business travel and social interruptions that naturally happen in an office.
Are these days over?
For those still in doubt, I’m reminded by stories from my Dad’s career selling IT infrastructure. At one point managers argued that email would remove the tone, inflections and spirit of answering-phone messages. Instead, new technology found the job to be done was communicating at speed. Email won hands down. The same will happen for zoom calls over a commute to the office to be in person.
For every advantage there is a possible negative. Without clear office hours and boundaries, bosses could easily start demanding zoom calls around the clock. Without clear social interaction, the tag of ‘being busy’ will be showing that even at home, you’re prioritised work over your family, health or purpose.
I now see getting this pivotal shift to remote working a founding mission of Deep Work.
Health First Working
We founded Deep Work on the principle of health first. I wanted to go even further than the idea of looking after people, who will look after the process, that will look after the profit.
We successfully took an offline process to online — Google Venture’s Design Sprints — taking place in one room with physical whiteboards, post-its, paper and expensive business travel around the world.
Jon Ronson, BBC
Most meetings are useless. Brainstorming is just showtime for extroverts. Everyone else sits there waiting for it to be over.
Jon Kelly, Deep Work Client
“Our projects with Deep Work were unlike anything we had done together. Charlie and Andrej introduced us to a whole new way of collaborating as a team. We had a group from different parts of our company and at different levels and the Deep Work techniques were able to bring out the best ideas from everyone, on every part of our design exercise.”
The magic trick? A process that put’s health first. Whether this be personally looking after each other’s and helping to prioritise mental and physical health. Through to implementing Cal Newport’s Deep Work principles to work at a more productive rate over less time. Instead of working for long days at lower productivity.
“Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” — Cal Newport
Sharing Deep Work Principles For The 2025 World in 2020For last year, I’ve downplayed our remote work experience. Remote working being seen as a negative in both the startup world and enterprises. YCombinator insisted founders move to San Francisco to live under one roof. Along with enterprises claiming productive remote work was impossible.
Three months ago, I would of told you my personal mission at Deep Work is to make an environmental impact. Leading and inspiring others by removing business travel (and flight emission CO2). This is still true today.
Now we must go further. If businesses don’t implement the tools, systems and principles for health first and productive remote working then we’re going to see a crisis of employee happiness.
My mission is to share Deep Work, health-first and productive remote working to as many teams, founders, managers and employees.
Launching Deep Work Hypersprints
Today we’re excited to launch our new website and rebrand to Hypersprints.