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.