Unexpected Pitfalls of Working Remotely as an Introvert
As an introvert, we ditch big crowds, stay away from small talks, and prioritize solo time. Working remotely sounds like a dream for introverts! We can hide in our bedroom all day long to work. Sometimes we will go for days without talking with anyone (well maybe some short meetings with coworkers). But is it really that great for introverts?
I worked remotely as a software developer for more than 2.5 years now. And yes, I am an introvert as well. When I first started I was really happy that I no longer need to wake up 2 to 3 hours earlier than my scheduled work time to get ready and commute to work, and I also no longer need to wait for traffic to die down to commute back home. It felt like I can make use of all that extra time I have and do something else. I thought I wouldn’t have too many issues adjusting to this new lifestyle.
I will admit that it actually took me quite some time to figure out how to work remotely effectively as an introvert. I am not talking about staying productive at work. I am definitely way more productive now than ever, but I am talking about figuring out how to deal with the new lifestyle that comes with working remotely. Since as an introvert, I already know how to stay away from a big crowd, avoid small talk, and work on solo time, but now I long for a big crowd, need small talk, and spend more time with others. This is definitely hard. I need to make an even greater effort to do things I try to avoid before.
I felt isolated.
I didn’t know I would feel isolated. All my life, I have been trying ways to isolate myself so I can stay sane. But I feel isolated for being alone and not able to have a conversation and small talk with anyone while working remotely. Small talk doesn’t usually happen in remote meetings. We get down to business fairly quickly since most people have no commute to the meeting rooms, meetings usually start very promptly. And it is just hard to do small talk during a conference call any way.
Now I learned that it is important to find time to chat with your coworkers or friends. Usually there is a chatroom at work, I need to actually schedule some down time to chat with others. You will need to schedule time to socialize to feel connected to others and to the world.
Sedentary lifestyle becomes even more sedentary.
I usually don’t do a lot of physical activities, but I would walk around for a few times at work to take breaks, even the bathroom took quite some time to get to. So I can do at least 8000 steps daily. Little did I know that now my commute is 2 steps away from my bed to my desk, and the bathroom is less than 10 steps away. I can definitely feel how this sedentary lifestyle has caused more pains and aches in my body than ever (okay maybe it is also part of aging too, but still).
Scheduling a time to exercise is so essential now since everything is too close, I cannot call walking around my office as an exercise. It is so easy to just sit and work all day long. Schedule that time to walk around the neighborhood, or to turn on that dance video and follow along.
Remote work definitely gives us so much more flexibility and increase productivity, but there are also issues we need to be aware of. We need to understand and feel our needs to adjust accordingly. Sometimes those needs are so unexpected, but please do address them, else they can become an even bigger problems to deal with if you wait too long.