A colleague, who also works remotely, shared this article recently. Although I enjoy working remotely, it’s not without its downsides.
The author, Martin De Wulf, is a coder writing for an audience of software engineers. That’s not me, but I do work in the world of tech. The things that De Wulf says makes remote working stressful are:
- Dehumanisation: “communication tends to stick to structured channels”
- Interruptions and multitasking: “being responsive on the chat accomplishes the same as being on time at work in an office: it gives an image of reliability”
- Overworking: “this all amounts for me to the question of trust: your employer trusted you a lot, allowing you to work on your own terms , and in exchange, I have always felt compelled to actually work a lot more than if I was in an office.”
- Being a stay at home dad: “When you spend a good part of your time at home, your family sees you as more available than they should.”
- Loneliness: “I do enjoy being alone quite a lot, but even for me, after two weeks of only seeing colleagues through my screen, and then my family at night, I end up feeling quite sad. I miss feeling integrated in a community of pairs.”
- Deciding where to work every day: “not knowing where I will be working everyday, and having to think about which hardware I need to take with me”
- You never leave ‘work’: “working at home does not leave you time to cool off while coming back home from work”
- Career risk: “working remotely makes you less visible in your company”
I’ve managed to deal with at least half of this list. Here’s some suggestions.
- Video conference calls: they’re not a replacement for face-to-face meetings, but they’re a lot better than audio only or just relying on emails and text chats.
- Home office: I have one separate to the house. Also, it sounds ridiculous but I’ve got a sign I bought on eBay that slides between ‘free’ (green) and ‘busy’ (red).
- Travel: at every opportunity. Even though it takes me away from my wife and kids, I do see mine a lot more than the average office worker.
- Realistic expectations: four hours of solid ‘knowledge work’ per day plus emails and admin tasks is enough.
Source: Hacker Noon