Remote working and the illusion of aloneness

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 A common misconception about being a remote worker is that you spend a lot of time alone. 

That’s true in the sense that I’m the only one in my office and I don’t bump into people at the water cooler or in the cafe. But, it’s not the kind of alone that gives me free time and space to go deep, dream big and have extended thoughts. My calendar knows no days off and my connection to my inner-circle of a team is a constant chatter fueled by an ever-growing list of technology options like MS Teams, Zoom and Skype.

Even more interesting is how that remote kind of aloneness, that you’d imagine remote workers to have, is probably more true of traditional office spaces and workers.

In fact, I’d argue that you’re more likely to have that focused one-on-one conversation using technology where each person is hard-wired to their devices with headphones and microphones.
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So, while I still dream of the ability to have deep thoughts that last until I’m done thinking about them, I do treasure the upsides of being remote, for all the reason you would expect.

Experiment:

Work from-home for a day and look for the ways that being hard-wired to your conversations through technologies changes the dynamics of your meetings and conversations.

LTDPs (Low Tech Data Points) to consider

  • Do you speak more or less in your conversations with one person?
  • Do you speak more or less in your conversations with a group?
  • Does having your video on/off change your engagement in meetings?
  • Do you get up from your desk more or less?
  • Do you work more hours or fewer hours?
  • Can you imagine ways that working from home would be a benefit for certain conversations and meetings versus being in person?

Be honest with yourself and you might just find some work-from-home hacks that you can leverage and put in your day-to-day playbook.

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