Remote Work Developments and Challenges

Many of us who work remotely/semi-remotely claim an increase in production and satisfaction. I do, at least. Because I value my hybrid-but-primarily-work-from-home arrangement and because I have taken an interest in the work environments of others in this post-COVID age, I like to keep an eye on office (physical and virtual) trends. Allow me to share three brief nuggets…

Even if it meant working in a closet at times, I have enjoyed working from home.

Yesterday, I was on a Zoom call with the founder of a vendor we use. After we finished our business, he unblurred his background to reveal that he was working from his car. He proceeded to show me that he had a desk attached to his steering wheel so that he can literally work from his vehicle. Based in Sydney, Australia, this successful and innovative professional told me that he basically goes from beach to beach, finds a parking spot, and begins the day from inside his car. He either fishes or swims during his lunch break. He told me this unique arrangement has been an absolute game changer for him. I was quite impressed.

On another note, I recently read an article about something called the Sunday Scaries. The term is used to describe the anxiety and dread that some people experience on Sunday night prior to the beginning of the work week. In the past at other jobs I have felt some low key nervous energy on Monday eve but nothing debilitating. In fact, when I worked in intercollegiate athletics, Sunday night was almost like our Friday night because the numerous sporting events we worked during the weekend were in the rear view mirror, giving us a couple days of calm before the craziness would start up again.

But once I was back in a job with traditional hours and I had started a family, the Sunday Scaries started to slightly impact me. After a fabulous weekend of bonding with my wife and daughter (pre-Beau), I would have to leave them to work five days in the office. There was definitely some sadness involved. Having the ability to work from home remedied this feeling. I have written before about the comfort I feel with having a wall separate us as opposed to miles.

Finally, I have noticed on LinkedIn that we seem to be at a crossroads once again regarding these remote work arrangements. Employers in some industries are anxious for their employees to return to the office. This is creating noticeable push back, especially from millennials and Gen Z. It will be interesting to see how this battle plays out. There is so much to unpack argument-wise on both sides…a task that I don’t have the space nor the time to lay out.

This was what my first home office looked like. I have found myself to be very productive working from home.

With that said, my allegiance is pledged to the side that believes as long as work is getting done, it shouldn’t matter if it is completed at home or in the office. Lots more to come on this front but I am sure appreciative of the time I have been afforded to work from home by WSU. Don’t Blink.

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