Tag: remote work (page 1 of 11)

Rituals for moving jobs when working from home

Terence Eden reflects on changing jobs when working from home and how… weird it can be. While I’ve been based from two different converted garages during the past decade, I’ve travelled a lot so it has felt different.

I can imagine, though, if that’s not the case, it can all feel a little bit discombobulating!

One Friday last year, I posted some farewell messages in Slack. Removed myself from a bunch of Trello cards. Had a quick video call with the team. And then logged out of my laptop. I walked out of my home office and sat in my garden with a beer.

The following Monday I opened the door to the same office. I logged in to the same laptop. I logged into a new Slack – which wasn’t remarkably different from the old one. Signed in to a new Trello workspace – ditto. And started a video call with my new team.

I’ll admit, It didn’t feel like a new job!

There was no confusing commute to a new office. No having to work out where the toilets and fire exits were. No “here’s your desk – it’s where John used to sit, so people might call you John for a bit”. I didn’t even have to remember people’s names because Zoom showed all my colleagues’ names & job titles.

There was no waiting in a liminal space while receptionists worked out how to let me in the building.

In short, there was no meaningful transition for me.

Source: Job leaving rituals in the WFH era | Terence Eden’s Blog

What does work look like? (redux)

If you’re digging a hole or otherwise doing manual work, it’s obvious when you’re working and when you’re not. The same is true, to a great extent, when teaching (my former occupation).

Doing what I do now, which is broadly under the banner of ‘knowledge work’, it can be difficult for others to see the difference between when I’m working and when I’m not. This is one of the reasons that working from home is so liberating.

The funny thing is, sitting alone thinking doesn’t “look” like work. Even more so if it’s away from your computer.

[…]

I recently had a conversation with a long-time colleague, someone I know and respect. I found it interesting that even he, who has worked in software since the 90’s, still felt odd when he wasn’t at his computer “working”. After decades of experience, he knew and understood that the most meaningful conceptual progress he made on problems was always away from his computer: on a run, in the shower, laying in bed at night. That’s where the insight came. And yet, even after all these years, he still felt a strange obligation to be at his computer because that’s too often our the metal image of “working”.

Source: What “Work” Looks Like | Jim Nielsen’s Blog

Image: Charles Deluvio

Professional try-hards

I love this article about, variously, work-life balance, the future of work, quiet quitting, and the ridiculousness of Silicon Valley culture. To be honest, I feel very fortunate to not have to put up with any of this bullshit in my day-to-day work.

[T]he future of white-collar work has morphed from an advertiser-friendly thought exercise to an existential question with a daily subset of moral riddles: Is that an illicit midday nap, or is it just work-life balance? Is it really the end of work friends, or is it just that a defensive herd mentality is no longer crucial to getting through the day? Is it worse to work on vacation, or to have a little vacation at work? Is the delivery bot lost in the woods, or is he finally free?

[…]

I’d love to be flip and just say that, at this point in planetary decline, anyone who’s a little too interested in emails and Google Docs basically counts as a try-hard, but there’s a specific category of salaryfolk and company leadership provoking a justifiable kind of scorn. The professional try-hard I’m talking about is someone who, in the year 2022, still earnestly and performatively buys into the white-collar hustle and prides themselves on it. You know this person. They’re a cross between a teacher’s pet and a supply-room narc; if they’re not already a manager, they certainly aim to be one day. While everyone else got with the program that trying hard at work—against a political and national backdrop that feels like daily, endless crisis—is ridiculous, or worse, meaningless, these guys (it’s not exclusively a male thing, of course, but I’m not not being gendered on purpose) haven’t quite gotten with the program.

[…]

What’s clear—and what’s behind the reason that professional try-hards are flailing so fantastically—is that the very concept of corporate competence itself has become a joke. The ideals that white-collar striving is built upon have started to crumble: Imagine believing in true “innovation” in a world where Meta, formerly the most exciting company on earth, is reduced to hitting copy and paste. Imagine still buying into the corporate ladder in any sector where performance evaluations might be rife with racial disparities, or where the executives have essentially admitted on the stand that their entire industry is just a game of roulette. Imagine having faith at all in any idea of “corporate good” when the guy celebrated for years as the “one moral CEO in America” is now the subject of a rape investigation (that CEO has denied the allegations). Just last month, Adam Neumann, the disgraced WeWork founder whose implosion was so well-documented that it got turned into prestige television, reportedly received a $350 million second chance for pretty much the same idea he rode to ruin last time.

Imagine, in other words, believing anyone in charge knows what they’re doing. But okay, sure, sic the productivity-management software on everyone else to make sure we’re not online shopping a touch too much.

Source: The Professional Try-Hard Is Dead, But You Still Need to Return to the Office | Vanity Fair