The Covid-19 pandemic has put remote work in the spotlight. This phenomenon, albeit, is not a new thing: the fact is more workers shift to remote work every year.
The main reasons to choose this paradigm are, among others, reducing commuting time and its environmental impact, gaining flexibility in daily life, or the freedom to relocate. In essence, remote work allows people to build a more sustainable and conscious way of life.
When companies embrace a remote-first culture, the moments of social connection change in nature and frequency. Consequently, we need to relearn how to connect with our peers. Designing a good onboarding and emphasizing the importance of support networks are keys to building a culture of trust and healthy communication. Also, creating a space for non-work related matters contributes to lower burnout and stress levels.
While synchronous communication can help to solve a problem on the spot, async communication is vital when transmitting information that needs to endure the passing of time and be easily found. Given the nature of remote work, choosing the right tool or way to communicate has become a skill we must master to make sure our message does not get lost.
Mental health is rarely discussed in the workspace. Isolation, anxiety, and depression are some of the struggles that offsite workers encounter, and the stigma attached to mental illness is such that they may be reluctant to seek help. Keeping a regular schedule, feeling encouraged to use sick days for mental health, and using burnout trackers can help improve our experience working from home. Additionally, having regular 1:1 meetings with our manager is a great way to create a space where we feel comfortable to speak openly about our feelings and struggles.
In summary, traditional workspaces will not disappear in the near future, but remote work is here to stay and has undoubtedly changed our culture, the way we communicate, and how we understand productivity.