Hybrid work is not remote work

Many people believe that the future of remote work is hybrid. That you’re still supposed to go to the office from time to time, but are free to work from home or the coffee shop if you want.

Hybrid is not the future of remote work, because hybrid work is not remote work. Today, most people don’t understand this distinction and its implications. The future of remote work is that more and more people will come to the realization that hybrid work is not remote work and see the benefits of actual remote work.

Remote work means freedom. It means, that you don’t need to live within commuting distance of the office. It means that you don’t need to justify why you are not going to the office today. And, it means no weirdness from your colleagues because you don’t go to the office as often as they do. For people like me who like to travel or live in different countries, it means that you can just pack your things and go.

In a remote company, the work culture is truly remote. There are no awkward meetings where three people sit in a tastelessly decorated meeting room and one person joining via Microsoft Teams is projected on the wall on an oversized canvas using specialized hybrid meeting hardware that’s more expensive than a car while somehow still failing to run smoothly for more than 10 minutes. In a remote work culture, people are used to working asynchronously and write everything down, because they realize that jumping on a call for every little discussion is a relict from the past decade.

No, hybrid is not remotely remote work. It’s just normal work with a generous work from home policy.

It took people a long time to realize that working productively while not sitting in the same room, country, or continent is possible. It will take them a long time to realize that what most people call remote work is miles away from the actual thing. And when they do, I for one, will welcome them with open arms to enjoy the freedom and beauty of working remotely.

I was inspired to write this article when I saw 37signal’s job posting for a content writer that asked candidates to submit an article on this topic. I didn’t apply for the job because I dont want to work as a content writer, but I still wanted to mention it here.