The second year of remote work
I’ve been working remotely for almost two years.
There has been a lot of good things about it. Now in this second year I’ve noticed the main reason is the interaction I have with my team.
We’ve increased the social interaction we have; we talk more on 1:1’s, we stay longer after a meeting is over just to talk and socialize. The long-term effect is we have built trust in each other which helps when we have to solve work problems.
Our company has been very helpful in this regard, we have a budget for team events, and also we have a 1 hr per week mandatory game time (in addition to the existing ones) So, we use that time to connect.
Is very important to strengthen these connections specially when working from home and other kinds of social interaction are limited. It helps not only to do the work more efficiently but for our mental health.
Starting a conversation is much easier with a video conference. Staying longer after a meeting is easier too. There’s always the chat where we can just feel we’re not alone and we have established rules to use it properly (we use threads intensively and we summarize them when the conversation is done). There’s no need to find a conference room to get together and regardless, half of my team is 2hrs timezone difference anyway so we would’ve had to do a video conference regardless.
There has been a lot of stress about being in a constant lockdown. Many people are tired of doing so and just returned to “normality” which makes the whole pandemic last even longer. Yes, it’s hard, but we can make it easier by building connections online.