Being remote is wonderful
HMM, AND IT ALSO SUCKS!
YOU BECOME A MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURE
Or worst case scenario… you are forgotten. It is really difficult to keep up with growing teams. When I started in Nearsoft we were around 50 people, now we are almost 250. Currently, our newbies could say: “Ah, yeah… Artemisa, she’s the first nearsoftian to use the #StudyRemote campaign, but I have never seen her”, and they can probably identify me by one or two things that I have contributed which are visible in our offices. But that’s it.
So, we can’t just sit back and relax. There are new faces, new people to meet and with whom you can create new bonds. But this depends entirely on the remote person’s will to be known by others.
COMMON MISCONCEPTION OF WFH
NOPE. This is not what I search for all day long. Believe it or not, I AM working :D.
LONELINESS EVENTUALLY GETS YOU
I believe working remotely for around a year is still healthy — and obviously sparsely too. But, I am going to fulfill 3 years working remotely and it becomes dull, especially if you relocate alone to a new city. The shiny and mesmerizing new things dissipate. If you’re alone, you miss your family and friends, time zone difference affects communication with them, you can’t make it to personal events, etc. In the other hand, if you have kids or other people living with you, there can be times where they are constantly around your workspace and this could be a little maddening and could alter your concentration #PersonalSpaceInvasionAlert.
I truly started to miss simple interactions like small talk & coffee with coworkers during short breaks, the ability to go to your teammate’s desk and show him that issues in his code are causing a weird scenario :P, even leaving my house and commuting to work.
YOU THINK YOU NEED TO PROVE YOURSELF A LITTLE BIT MORE
I mean, it’s awesome that we can push ourselves a little bit more every day, but in our own solitary bubble we start thinking that maybe our effort is not that visible, we start questioning why we haven’t been recognized and we start to increase our working hours. It is very easy to blur the office hours when you’re at home. We have to be very strict about timings or else we can fall into harmful patterns.
LAST ONE TO LEARN OFFICE GOSSIP
Wait, wait. It may sound a bit frivolous. But harmless gossip as:
is trivial stuff that you end up missing. We end up losing office camaraderie because there are events which are dependable of our physical presence. “Oh, wow. John brought free donuts for everyone, he’s awesome!”
ALRIGHT, WHAT CAN WE DO TO IMPROVE?
COMFORTABLE DESIGNATED OFFICE SPACE
STATUS, STATUS, STATUS!
DON’T BE INVISIBLE, BE AVAILABLE
FIND A PLACE TO BE PRODUCTIVE — OUT OF THE HOUSE!
EXPERIMENT AND BREAK THE CYCLE
GET CONSTANT FEEDBACK
MAINTAIN TEAM CULTURE
At the end, it is a combination of three holy, mystical factors:
- It isn’t always easy.
- It isn’t for everyone.
- It is only a drag if you let it be a drag.
- Keurig Coffee Maker for 1 Cup
- Healthy snacks: apples, nuts & seeds, veggie chips, tea, etc.
- Productivity techniques like Pomodoro, Get Things Done, etc.
- f.Lux: makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of the day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
- Soundrown: Relax. Focus. Escape.
- Every Time Zone clocks
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Artemisa Yescas Engler, Software Quality Engineer @ Nearsoft, Inc.