Remote Is Here To Stay!

March 25, 2024
Posted by: Peter Friedman, Founder, Chairman & CEO

Our company, LiveWorld, survived when 80% of Internet companies folded in the 2001 crash and subsequently through other ups and downs in part because we became remote-centric. With two decades of operating a successful company whose employees work virtually 100% from home and are spread around the country in 46 states, for the first time we are sharing our insights: Remote work’s history and rise, its considerable benefits, how to run an effective remote company, and how employees can make the most of working remotely.

The sudden rise in remote work did not come about solely because of the pandemic. Nor was it a temporary phenomenon. It was already on its way long before the pandemic. Remote work is simply the social media revolution that come home to business.

During COVID-19, workers found they preferred working from home. The work flexibility enabled them to make better use of their time for work and they had better work-life balance.

Companies benefited too. Remote work improved productivity while saving costs.

As COVID-19 diminished, companies began to demand that employees return to the office. Workers said no. They enjoyed working remotely and didn’t want to give it up. If their bosses wouldn’t agree, many quit.

Some companies continue to fight it, seemingly thinking that they can now put the remote cat back into the office bag. The economic, productivity, and motivation benefits of remote work are simply too great to turn the clock back. It is wiser for companies to put their efforts toward how to best manage a remote workforce and address what needs to change in their company‘s culture to effectively do so.

Advantages and Benefits

Studies show that less or no office space reduces real estate and other facilities costs, saving about $11,000/year. (, Multiple studies have shown productivity increases of as much as 4% to 29%. (Future Forum’s 2022 report) Last, employees generally give part of their saved commuting time back to the company. Together these factors can add up to a 30% structural cost advantages for remote work companies. Plus, there are the important benefits resulting from having happier, healthier, and more motivated employees.

Some companies feel that if they cannot see their employees, they cannot know if they are working. These companies are using in-person oversight as a crutch in the absence of effective management and measurement. Actual contributions and output should be the key measure of productivity and value.

When we give people the flexibility to address personal life matters, most don’t slack off. Instead, they return value to the company by working other hours to compensate. They end up working more hours than the time they were off.

How Companies Can Make It Work

For remote to work, a company must evolve and change its culture and people management practices.

Culture. The single most important factor in making remote work well is building a culture that supports and celebrates remote work.

Trust. The culture must be one of everyone in the company trusting that everyone else is doing the best they can do.

Empowerment. Empower your employees by letting them supervise when and how to do their own work.

Flexibility. Surveys show that employees value flexibility and engagement more than any other aspect of a job. Flexibility is the heart of a successful remote work model.

Communication. Remote work depends on regular online communications. These connections are critical to the sense of cultural cohesion.

Whole person. A remote work model is about the whole human being. Remote allows each person to bring their whole selves to work.

Measure output. Have clear objectives and measurable outputs – something a company should always have, whether remote or not.

How Employees Can Make It Work

Remote work is a new way of doing things for most people, even those who very much want it. Employees can do many things to be sure they are getting the most from working remotely.

Space. Organize a dedicated space for work. If your family is around, especially kids, they may not understand that you need to focus and not be interrupted while working. It’s generally best to have your workspace in a separate room and keep the door closed when you are working.

Productivity. Use home office tools that are comfortable for your environment, such as a larger monitor, comfortable office chair, etc.

Notifications. Have a dry-erase board on the door to let people know when you are in a meeting, busy with work, or must step out.

Set clear boundaries. Let friends and family know when you are working. Share your hours and when it’s okay and not okay to disturb you.

Define. Clearly define projects, team leaders, and team members; when there will be video meetings; and what online resources will be used to document and manage the team’s work.

Meetings. Record meetings to document discussions, decisions, and actions so people who missed the meeting can catch up. Use downtime during meetings to check in with your coworkers and see how they are doing.

Team interactions. Maintain frequent communication with your coworkers throughout the week. Complement remote work with some in-person interactions. Respect time zones and be flexible about when meetings are arranged.

Connect in person with people and places. A few times a day, take a walk around your neighborhood. Once or twice a week, go out to lunch or work at a coffee shop, hotel lobby, or outside rather than working at your actual home.

A Final Note

Remote is here to stay. Companies that embrace it will be leaders, while many of those who fight it will be left behind. I hope you’ll choose to be one of the leaders.


Interested in learning more about why remote work is here to stay? Read The Battle For Remote Work Was Decided Before It Began.

About The Author

Peter Friedman is social media visionary with 39 years experience in the space. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of LiveWorld, a digital-social media marketing agency and software platform company. Founded in 1996, LiveWorld is the longest standing social media and online community related company in the world. Prior to LiveWorld, Peter was Vice President & General Manager of Apple’s Internet Services Division, overseeing the creation and management of social media services such .3as AppleLink, eWorld, AOL, and Salon. His Apple tenure includes being a member of the original Macintosh division.

Peter founded LiveWorld, raised $130 million including a 1999 IPO leading to a market cap of $650 million. At LiveWorld, he oversees strategy and operations and has managed marquee clients and programs such as Unilever’s Dove Campaign For Real Beauty; HBO’s original show character-driven website community; American Express Open Forum and Member’s Project, MINI Cooper’s Member’s Lounge; and Walmart’s social media program including over 5,000 social properties.

He is also a fine art photographer, celebrated public speaker, and author. Peter’s books include The CMO’s Social Media Handbook, A Step By Step Guide For Leading Marketing Teams in the Social Media World and Is Privacy Dead In the Digital Age And What To Do About It. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in American History from Brown University and an MBA from The Harvard Business School. His lifelong mission is to help people create value together that they could not do by themselves.