After my last pandemic-focused article, my inbox was flooded with queries about remote work.
NB: This is an article from Words of Vikram
I had urged hotels to embrace remote work and stop putting geographical restrictions on hiring the best talent. Most of the emails I received questioned the long-term feasibility of remote work, especially for a hotel organization. I want to address some of these concerns and share some further thoughts on how work/office culture is already changing.
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Obviously, some jobs can never be performed remotely (front desk, housekeeping, etc). However, remote work is already having a direct impact on the hotel and travel industry, and this trend will continue. I recommend trying to embrace it. Not because it is trendy, but because it will increase your bottom line.
Dislike remote work? Ok, Boomer.
Much of the feedback I received about the idea of remote work was negative. Some people don’t see how it could possibly work. What if I told you that the majority of them are old? (Disclaimer: I am old too!) Sadly, the most apt response to a lot of these emails is captured by these two words: “Ok, Boomer.”
Memes and jokes aside, even some of the young(er) (40s-50s) hotel company CEOs are passionate about having their employees return to office-based work. Why the reluctance to embrace remote work? The answer lies in our past. If you do the math, you know that many of us did not grow up during the internet age. Bare bones commercial broadband really hit the market in 1998-99. That means that even geriatric millennials did not have access to internet in the early part of their lives.
Being older doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in the past. As a senior person in the industry and as a parent, I never pass up an opportunity to check in with the youth on the latest trends. This is important, as they are the future, etc. I always try and avoid the “how do you do, fellow kids” situations. Please take the time to talk to someone whose first ultrasound was posted on Facebook. Ask them how integral internet has been to their life, and how quickly the way they use it continues to evolve. Then imagine them commuting for hours to go to a specific room to do something that they can do from their home. Imagine relocating them to an expensive city so they can be in that room from 9 to 5, leaving behind everything they love and the lifestyle their preferred location offers. I know: we all used to do that. (Cue the stories about walking 10 miles to school in the snow.) But times have changed.
Being a laggard is not tied to age, but to a mindset. The youth are speaking. Are you listening? People in departments like marketing, analytics, revenue management, content, and digital have no business being tied to a cubicle. Your middle-aged VP/CEO might not agree, but the writing is on the wall.