If you had the chance to go back to your pre-pandemic life, would you take it? Luis has all the insights to share!
Working eight hours a day in a tiny cubicle, babbler colleagues asking you questions every five minutes, and the elevator’s sliding door making that alert noise each time you reach concentration. These are things you must have forgotten now, but not long ago, they were part of your daily life. And the thing is, some people want them back.
Remote work has the good and the bad. Some people were expecting a fantastic experience and got stuck in the way. Working remotely made them feel isolated and depressed. But, what if it wasn’t this way for everyone? What if some actually loved remote work?
Watch the video to know more!
Here’s why we must stop remote working. Dun, dun, dun, dah. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. I am your host, and this is my coffee. So nice. Yeah.
So I was browsing LinkedIn the other day, as I do. And I saw the video of a lady CEO that shall go unnamed because obviously I’m here to criticize ideas, not people. Well, sometimes it’s fun to criticize people but not always, and you know I tend to avoid it. Anyway, criticizing ideas, not people, and the idea is that what she said in the video is that here’s why we must stop remote working. Basically the argument, she put it eloquently, describing the experience of her daughter, that she wakes up in the morning and the first thing she does is turn on Zoom to go to a class, etc. It’s basically a reiteration of the argument, the isolation argument, right? Isolation is bad for your mental health. Remote workers are more isolated, etc.
It’s a variation of that. And, every now and then for some reason, the opponents of remote work bring the certain boogeyman out of the closet. Sometimes it’s on productivity. Sometimes it’s trust. Other times it’s isolation. Oh, poor workers. They need the commute. They need to be boxed in an office with other people or else they won’t get the healthy amount of interaction.
This lady actually was arguing that it’s very positive that you need to have a commute because you’re in the street. You meet people. You say hi. You can listen to podcasts while you’re in the car, etc., etc. I’m like, “What about no? What about no?” What about you let people take care of their mental health in their way of their choosing instead of implying that an outdated way of doing work is better for their mental health? What about you leave that in their hands?
Do you really think… Do you need to be so patronizing, so paternalistic to people that you feel that the only way they’re going to get enough social interaction is if they’re forced to go to someplace for work? What about no? What about, let me say… What about people realizing that they need a certain degree of human interaction? That’s different for everyone. But I’d say that most people are not healthy trying to live as hermits. I agree so far.
So what about they have that interaction in their own terms with people of their own choosing instead of the people that happen to work where they work? What about that? What about admitting that remote work gives you more time for friends and family and other activities? Well, let’s say that maybe you can start a sport, and you’ll meet people there. Maybe you’ll take some classes about the subject that you always wanted and you can… They could be practical classes. So you go and do it in person, and you meet people like that. I don’t know.
The possibilities for interaction are endless. And definitely, it really is a bit disingenuous saying that, “Oh, if there is no office, then people will miss out on the important interactions on their daily life.” No. Then the corollary for that that was also mentioned in that video that I saw was that, well, some people don’t have the conditions to work from home. They’re sharing a bedroom in a single-bedroom apartment, and they don’t really have anywhere else to work. So they work from there, and it’s very unhealthy.
Yeah, I’d agree that, if you spend your whole indoors life in a single bedroom and you use that for work as well as for leisure and rest and etc., I can see how that can be pretty unhealthy. But people have options. Just in the same way that people would go out and go to the office, they can go to a coworking space. Those are opening again. I see a lot of people back into coffee shops. Agree that’s not the most ideal place to work. Personally, I think it’s quite noisy. You can do your work through noise. All you need is a nice headset and etc. But still, meetings are a problem. So there is no ideal situation. I agree that it’s probably not healthy if you’re living in a single-bedroom apartment.
I guess the kitchen is never a bad place to work, unless you… Sure, some people might feel that the background isn’t professional. But, well, I mean, that’s why we have Zoom backgrounds nowadays. Still, I actually think that I’ve had some colleagues work from their kitchen before, take video calls from the kitchen. The acoustics are pretty good, and I actually enjoy seeing people’s kitchens. So maybe that’s an option.
Anyway, I don’t think that corollary that, “Oh, some people, it’s just unhealthy because they don’t have a proper working space.” I agree that having a proper working space is important. But that’s still no reason to want people to get back to the office.
Anyway, those are my two cents on that. If you enjoyed this video, please press Like/Subscribe. And, of course, head to thinkremote.com for the latest and greatest news about remote work and plenty of how-tos and guides. See you tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here.