Disadvantages of the remote job

 People keep posting about how amazing the remote job is. I enjoy working from home but it also has its disadvantages that people don’t speak about. Here, I would like to take a look at the whole picture of working remotely.

1-No interaction with people

When working from home, you don’t interact with people as much as you would have, if you were working at the office. Amazing, right? However, especially after Covid, we know how isolation affects our mental health (starting with anxiety and ending with cardiovascular diseases).

Many studies also have shown that some people care more about the social connections in the workspace than others. This is an example of a more social type of people or women (Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Women don’t ask). No socialization can be an issue for these in a long term. Finally, we are social beings — we depend on others and see ourselves through ‘others’ eyes. Socialization, in one way or another, is a part of who we are.

No socialisation can be an issue for more social type of people in a long term.

Of course, working remotely does not mean you are not going to interact with people at all, however, I suggest previously checking the co-working spaces or activities that include interaction with people. For example, I try to discover new coffee places when doing UX or art projects for my clients.

2-Lack of movement

We know that not moving during the major part of the day is not good for our health. We also know that moving more amounts of time, even if the exercise is shorter, is healthier than not moving for a large amount of time and then doing 1h of sport.

When we work from the office, we displace to it, we move from one meeting room to another, or go for a coffee with our colleagues. When we work from home, we rarely stand up. Society is becoming more digital and we can’t do anything about it, however, we need to take care of ourselves. Some of the solutions I’ve seen so far:

  • Having small walks during the working hours
  • Doing exercise in the middle of the day
  • Not arranging (and not accepting) one meeting after another without a 15 min break

The society is becoming more digital and we can’t do nothing about it, however, we need to take care about ourselves.

3- Causal effect

There are conversations, such as morning coffees or after-work beers, that are important for your career. You can end up speaking in a more informal atmosphere with your manager about innovating the Product you’re working for, the team event you did not know how to organize, or, even better, about reviewing your salary. When people are relaxed, they are more open.

Finally, you can meet stakeholders who you rarely have been met in a remote environment. It happened to me that because the Co-Founder of my previous company came to speak with my colleague where my desk, he finally joined the research presentation I had that day. The causality does not happen in the Zoom calls.

In my opinion, the remote job is a natural evolution of human work. However, it is also a new way of being and, as with everything, we should learn how to do it well. Maybe now the remote possibility is not a “nice to have”, and it is a mandatory option to choose by the employee?

One way or another, companies that are passing to remote should consider the psychological aspects of it. The Human Resources department and the high-level positions can be proactive in asking about: how do their employees confront these issues (e.g. maintain their physical well-being when working from home), and do they acknowledge these issues in the first place?

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