What are the practical and habitual changes around remote work that corona brings? :)

As you know, because of the coronavirus, countries and companies are demanding millions of people to work from home. This is a HUGE shift in the way we live and work. Will it last? How will we get out at the end of the tunnel? What will have changed?

Wanted to find the practical / habitual / mindset changes that quarantine brings. Here some:

Positive:

  • People install video conferencing software
  • Teams learn to organize meetings online
  • People buy an extra desk to work from home without disturbing each other
  • They realize that if they can work from home, they can work from anywhere.
  • People build their routines around the freedom of working from home. A month is long enough for habits to start sticking.
  • When getting back into the office, people realize that they can be incredibly productive at home

Negative:

  • Some people experience it as boring
  • More?

What would you add?

Would you also say that this pandemic is causing permanent change in the way we live and work?

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I think a few things will happen

  • Companies becoming much more remote fluent in terms of enabling VPN access to office networks and RDP access to work computers.

  • Universities and schools being remote first by having lectures recorded in 100% of cases and having established online learning platforms that can be used all the time as well as in future emergency situations.

  • Economies becoming more resilient to these types of situations by having a game plan from the experience gained during COVID-19 isolation.

  • Employees who had the opportunity to work from home will become much more comfortable with the idea of it being a normality and as such will lobby their employers to make it happen.

  • As more people work from home, internet products will become much better as telecomms companies and governments start to invest more in it.

  • Road traffic congestion with reduce over time, and car ownership will transform.

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Love those! Especially the university point and the point that people will lobby their employees to WFH more often. No longer will uni classes go on the speed of the slowest learner, since you can just skip through points in the video lessons that you understand and be done quicker, so you will have time to learn the next thing that’s more up your level. Aka we can start creating super personalised learning journeys. Writing a lot, I’m excited about this all.

I’ll add two more points, not very practical one, but just out of enthusiasm:

  • Children grow up in closer contact with their parents (and becoming more balanced humans? Not always of course.)
  • The environment is loving the extreme dip in commutes

:slight_smile:

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Love and agree w/most of the positives, especially the environmental impacts.

I’m already seeing a few actions/re-actions that I’d forgotten about, having worked remotely for so long (almost 20 years) … and suspect these could easily turn into habits:

  • Video can be uncomfortable for many in the states … even people who are used to having to dress up and see people face to face are suddenly struck uncomfortable being on video. I say the states because I typically experience folks in Europe/Asia to default to video on calls.
  • My concern with this is that folks w/out the remote experience who will struggle with video are at risk of falling into a common trap that voice and text removes a human element … much like many people default to texting over a call even when emotions are high and text-only can easily be misread/misunderstood (on the receiver’s end) and curt/devoid of context (on the sender’s end).
  • While I absolutely advocate for the ability to work from anywhere, it can come with extra overhead that folks new to it won’t anticipate. Like the need to provide extra context before/during a conversation that we take for granted when we see each other every day. This can easily lead to anxiety – which no one needs more of right now.

In short, as the mix of remote workers shifts to being largely dominated by “new comers” it has the risk of leading to many “bad habits” infiltrating teams that otherwise wouldn’t be introduced by experienced remote workers or when the mix has more experience in it.

On the positive side, I think we have an opportunity to make remote working more “human focused/friendly” than ever before. In the “old world” (so many quotes!) remote professionals often had a heightened sense/expectation around what professional meant: limit background noise, be dressed for the office, etc. I could see this shifting into a more relaxed state of accepting that we’re working from home, may have kids/pets in the background and are still doing great work – better work, many times, since we’re allowing ourselves to focus on our work and not the “airs” of presenting in a “butts in seats” world kind of way.