We have published a few blog articles
about working remote and how it works for the Eliatra team, but the series would not be complete without looking at the other side of the coin. Sometimes remote-first is hard, confusing, and just isn’t the same as having a coffee in a friendly café. Here are some of the challenges we face in our day-to-day lives.
Sometimes we Work Too Much
When there is no line between work and play, no closing time at the office or after work appointment to leave your desk for, there is a tendency to work with no end, and that is just not good for anyone. There are memes online saying your employer doesn’t believe in remote first as you wont do any work, yet it seems the opposite is true. Once fully immersed in your work, it’s hard to remember to take breaks let alone switch off after a certain time. Let alone that quick check before bed which leads to an extra hour of email. Work is infinite - there is always something to do. With no physical change of location, the work day hours are just not fixed.
Working a lot also takes away a certain level of urgency, and as we have all been told, working more does not necessarily mean working smarter, or working better.
Burnout and Isolation are Real
For many of us, zoom is not a substitute for real life connection. Couple this with working into the wee hours of the night with your choice of harmful helper to let you relax and this is just not a good road to walk down. Establish your personal routine, make appointments to see friends and leave the house. Go for a walk. Force yourself to do more than just work. It will make your work better.
Communication Issues Happen
Are you mad at me or ranting about something? As close as you are to your colleagues, assessing emotions through online interactions without non verbal signs is hard, and sometimes we misinterpret what we hear. It is often hard to differentiate the emotions shared to the emotions directed at you. Words are easy to take out of context, and key messages can simple be missed when reading over something quickly; teams can struggle with misunderstanding.
Time Zone Differences, Poor Connectivity and the Inevitable Power Cut
Remote workers need to be flexible when working with colleagues in different time zones. This sounds fair enough, until it’s late at night and you’re tired yet your round of meetings haven’t even started yet. There is also the dependancy on the internet. If for some reason or another there is an internet outage - there may be lots of stress until it comes back and also to handle what was missed. For peace of mind, make sure you find a co-working space near you at all times.
All teams have things they need to work on, and we are actively doing so. For us, we are fully committed to being remote-first, and constantly try new ways to stay connected. See you at the Christmas party - i’ll be waiting for you online.