Remote work, a neoliberal love story
There have been a lot of articles about why remote work should become the default way of working after the pandemic. And there probably have been the same amount of posts argueing why it shouldn’t. (I wrote one of these articles as well.)
A thought that crossed my mind today was how neoliberalists, capitalists and technologists can use that new way of working.
So here is my step-by-step guide of how to dramatically increase your company’s profitability with remote work in 5 easy steps:
Step 1: allow working from home
In the beginning you might still wonder if employees are still productive working from home, because you can’t control the amount of time people actually spend working anymore. Don’t worry!
Thanks to the pandemic, you’ll realize that it’s at least not less effective. From now on all industries that can offer remote work will start allowing their employees to work from home — and so should your company.
Step 2: externalize costs
Your employees will be thrilled about working in pyjamas and not having to commute to work every day. Therefore they won’t even notice they pay the costs of electricity, water, office equipment, beverages and other basics now.
It gets better: remote work is so hyped and some of your employees will enjoy it so much, they’ll convince the rest that getting rid of the office is the best for everyone.
This is the first big cost factor gone for good without any work required from your side.
Step 3: lower wages
Congratulations! With the office gone your company is now fully-remote. This means you can finally start hiring people from different countries… and there are a loads of countries with much lower median wages.
Hiring required long and costly interview processes including flights, visa problems and relocation costs. These days are over. Now it’s a couple of remote video calls and paying average salaries in low income countries.
Your new employees won’t complain, since for them the salaries are normal. As salaries are the biggest costs in any business, reducing them will be a huge boost for your company’s profitiability.
It’s a win-win situation.
Step 4: exchange your resources
You’ll soon realize that your employees are less connected than they were in offices, especially the ones that joined after your company became remote-only.
How could they be? There rarely is any time to socialize in video calls and it doesn’t happen naturally like in the office. Also with the excuse of the pandemic at hand, nobody will complain if you cut the costs for company events. They are just too risky.
This will make it much easier to let people go, since a single video call announcement and later an email will be good enough. All that emotional stress your managers had to face back in the office days are also lifted from them. Not just because it’s easier to tell bad news to a computer, but also because your employees won’t care that much anymore which face they see or don’t see on the other side of the screen.
Replacing costly employees with less costly ones is another big step to reducing your company’s highest cost factor even further.
Step 5: use the market of remote workers
Once most of your employees are working remotely from low income markets, a new trend will emerge, that you are now ready for:
Instead of long-term contracts and worker rights, remote work will pave the way for a completely new business model. Uber already showed us the way.
With most people in your industry working remotely, a gigantic pool of remote workers was created. The only thing missing is a marketplace that connects these remote workers with companies.
On this marketplace your company can publish tasks it needs to fulfill. Then remote workers from all around the world will underbid themselves for how much money and how quickly they can finish this task for you. A task can be anything: solving a bug in your system, checking a customer support ticket, writing copy for your website… the possibilities are endless.
And it gets even better: with artificial intelligence entering that marketplace, you’ll soon get offers from AIs that outperform their human counterparts for the cost of a bit electricity.
You’ve made it! Your company is using remote work to the fullest to be as efficient and productive as possible.
In case you’ve never read anything else from me: this guide is satire and following it will make the world a worse place. Your employees are humans and not little computing nodes in your company’s algorithm of achieving the best profitability.