Like many people around the world, I have been fortunate enough to transition from working in an office every day to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m going to detail some of the obstacles I have encountered and some of the ways I am attempting to adapt, but that point should not be forgotten: above all else, I am fortunate that I still have a job and am able to do it remotely.
That being said, this transition has been an interesting one for a number of reasons. For starters, I work for a large trade publishing company. That means a few things. Two of the big ones are:
1. An antiquated and complicated corporate structure that comes with a lot of moving parts. During a crisis like the current pandemic, that means a lack of general agility that makes rapidly adapting to something like remote work difficult company-wide.
2. Employees, especially managers and executives, who are set in their ways and are wary of technology and anything that means change. Combined with number one above, that makes the current situation more complicated, frustrating, and confusing for many employees.
Those two points paint a dark picture, but the reality is that our company has adapted fairly well, all things considered. It has been more than two months, and we have not seen any layoffs, furloughs, or salary reductions. Other companies in our industry have not been so lucky.
Below is some of what I have learned (and continue to learn) through two months of working remotely full-time.
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Permanent remote work and temporary remote work are different
I think the ability to work remotely full-time is great, and I believe that the gradual transition to allowing and encouraging remote work is one that more companies should adopt. There are tons of benefits and not many drawbacks. On that topic, I very much subscribe to the Rodolphe Dutel philosophy on remote work: