When I signed my contract to join my firm on their graduate programme little did I know that what I thought would be 9-to-5, commuting into the city 5 days a week would turn into something so different! Since covid, my role has been classified as “remote first” meaning I get to choose the amount of days I’m in the office each week.
To say this has smoothed the transition from studying full-time to working life is a massive understatement. Mon and Fri are WFH days for me (I sometimes chuck in the occasional Wed too!) giving me time to relax over the weekend and not have to jump straight on the tube come Monday AM.
Companies are catching on. They’re realising that with remote working, the work gets done (we’re actually more productive), workers are happier and it helps firms stay competitive. It’s a win-win.
Do you really need to be “seen” all the time?
With a recession looming, there’s a lot of chat around the fact that you should ‘be seen’. That if the bosses simply see you then your job will be safe. That’s a fair point but the world has changed so much. Sitting at your desk and keeping it warm (“presenteeism” as it’s called) all to show you still exist isn’t the best strategy for keeping your job.
There are, I think, better ways to go about it (from someone who goes in the office 2X per week) and that’s about doing work that people know about. Plus, there’s more than one way to gain that visibility that keeping your seat warm.
Hopping on a zoom call with your team = visibility. Scheduling time with your manager to talk through something = visibility. Remote/hybrid working doesn’t mean you’ve completely vanished. You’re still getting seen, just on a screen. The world has evolved so much that you can be a killer employee without feeling that you have to show up at the office 5 days a week.
Flexibility is the new edge
Airbnb has reshuffled its WFH policy to allow its workers to work for them, from anywhere. Without taking a pay cut. This is opening a whole new world of talent. Literally. Giving them this flexibility is only going to make them want to stay – and attract top talent.
A friend of mine who works for a metal trading firm is 100% in the office. She gets 0 WFH days. No option to be hybrid. She’s having to commute 5 days a week. She loves her job (hence she hasn’t quit – yet!) but she said the commute is by far the biggest drag. She comes home 7:30/8 and is exhausted.
It’s time to build after-hours!
For those of you who are lucky enough to have a hybrid option or are fully remote embrace this flexibility that the post-covid age has lead to. Use your extra time to build. To start that project you’ve always wanted to.
The excuse many of us give as to why we don’t do [insert whatever you’re desperate to do but haven’t started!] is that we don’t have enough time. Sure, we could replace a couple hours of Netflix bingeing to use productively but how many actually do? Not many I bet. After a long day at work (commuting in), the last thing you wanted to do was to start getting all busy with some project (aka side hustle).
But now, with the ability to work remotely, you get back ~2hrs each day from not commuting. That’s 2hrs you can use to build something on the side, get involved in things you’ve always wanted to do and boost your out-of-hours income.
There’s really no excuse now! Well you can’t use the ‘no time’ one anymore!
With a looming recession, it’s 10X more important
And with a recession around the bend, we really can’t be sure of anything. Not our jobs nor our stocks! Don’t take what you have for granted but also know that nothing is ever guaranteed.
Sure, your side hustle most probably won’t take off instantly, sorry. Give it 5 years. By that point, you’ll be unstoppable – or so I’m told. I’m experimenting and I’m 14 months in. And counting. Don’t worry fellas, I’ll keep you all updated. With the highs and lows!
But the sooner you start building, the sooner you can create extra streams of income for yourself. This will make you recession-proof and reduce your dependency on your employer.
If covid’s taught us one thing it’s that jobs can be lost in the blink of an eye. And layoffs are back again, as inflation ravages companies’ bottom line (if they even had that to start with!) which means you can’t rely on your cushy job to be there forever.
So get building and start working on something after-hours that you’ll be proud of.
You won’t regret it.
Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment