Remote Workers July 2, 2020

Challenges adjusting to remote work lifestyle

Sagun Shrestha @sagunsh

Coronavirus has more or less forced a huge chunk of workforce to work remotely. Many of us are not familiar with such work culture an are having a hard time adjusting to it.

What are the pain point of suddenly switching to a remote work lifestyle? What kind of solutions have you found to cope with the new environment?

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    Heya there @sagunsh.

    Having worked remotely for the last 10 years or so (and more if we count in partial remote), I'm convinced that I'm a good authority on the subject.

    The absolutely main point for most of people is going to be forcing yourself to work in an unknown environment. Getting used to the office has a major psychological effect, allowing people to "get into the mood". Having taken that away will feel like fish out of water. Add to that possible distractions (people chatting, kids, home chores, etc), and it can be difficult to work at all.

    The second point would be working alone. Having people around yourself - peers, collaborators or simply other people helps tremendously to get into a flow and work. Being alone, on top of different environment, can have a very serious impact on ones ability to perform.

    But it's not all bad. You can approach these gradually. For instance, take a moment to rethink the environment you're working in - and use it as an opportunity to improve.

    Set up your office as you wanted it, with pictures/plants/colours that you prefer. Put on your favorite music. Take breaks when it works for you. Also, being there by yourself is a good way to avoid distractions from your co-workers.

    As for being alone. Keep conversations with your colleagues open. Have lunches together over video chat. Talk to your family more. Join other communities online and participate in them.

    And finally, for employers - this is your chance to improve as well. See if you can have less meetings. See how you can measure performance of people differently (not by how much they spend in front of a screen). See if the work can be more async and in a written form.

    I could splash this thread with a bunch of software to "solve" things, but it doesn't matter which tools you use. All video/chat/screen-sharing tools are more or less the same, what's important is your behaviour, not the tools you use.

    <shameless plug> I'm building a community of "virtual peers" that you can have a work-chat with when you need it. Or post your goals and get a response. So when you're working solo, you are not alone. Just check my profile if interested or ask questions here.</shameless plug end>

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      Great, I run a newsletter called Remote Letter

      I think your product will fit in my newsletter, mind if I share it there?

      1. 1

        Absolutely, thank you for that.

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    For me, the biggest pain point and this sounds awful, but it's not having a dedicated workplace.

    Me, girlfriend, and dog live in a loft, so no rooms and sometimes it's just a bit much.
    Also, I get called to look at the dog, do a trick, help move stuff, etc.

    Which def vows away from the concentration.

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      Not having a dedicated workplace is really a problem for me too. I used to work in co-working.

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        Yep me too, and it is lovely working from home, just wished I had my own room sometimes :P

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    I've had to hire a brand new team, in a new department, completely remote. We had to change our interview process, our onboarding process, our IT implementation process...literally everything.

    It's been painful. The job itself has always been intended to be fully remote, but we have office hubs across the planet that we did all the above steps. With COVID, we've had to rethink absolutely everything. We're better for it, but it's been painful.