Remote work could help us solving the climate crisis and on top of that make our work places more inclusive, better places to work. In this article I’ll outline some arguments for remote work and why some of the challenges with it might actually indicate issues that have nothing to do with remote work at all.

All in all the business world seems to be way more open to remote work as it used to be.

And as it seems, more and more companies see advantages in and start embracing remote work.

Every change comes with challenges and voices raising concerns.

On the other hand there are always critical voices.

Health considerations

Any serious exploration of chances associated with remote work deserves thinking about possible health risks associated with it.

Psychological aspects

We all heard about zoom fatigue by now, i.e. exhaustion of many due to to the large density of video calls, but symptoms like stress, feelings of loneliness, anxieties and feeling overwhelmed can be observed in some people. It seems evident enough that psychologists framed a name for it: home office syndrome. These are obviously risks that companies should take serious and account for in their organizational setup. They should ask themselves for example, what they could do to make working remotely more comfortable for their staff and how to organize work to avoid things such as zoom fatigue and most importantly: how they can support employees struggling with such symptoms. And given that there are also strategies that individuals and teams can exercise they should help their employees get to know and learn about these strategies.

Physical aspects

Besides the before mentioned psychological risks, there are also risks to the physical health of remote workers.

Career when working from home

Less obvious things become when we think about making a career in a large company as a remote worker.

  • Does such a strategy ensure fairness in the promotion process, i.e. are people considered (and evaluated for the actual needed skills) for which this kind of socializing is just not their cup of tea?
  • Do other important processes in your company depend on being incidentally at the right time and place?

How often do you actually walk by the CEO of a larger company in the coffee kitchen?

Regarding the networking opportunities, it leaves the question if the representatives of the companies are well enough equipped for the challenges of the information age in a globalized world.

Working from home — does it erode the company culture?

In a company that transitions from a presence-centric work mode to a more remote-inclusive environment it’s inevitable that some things will change and in fact have to change.

Should all people go into the home office now and forever?

Ultimately the question is: should all people start working remotely in the future after the crisis?

Trying to improve the chaos called work - one article at a time. Blogging on Medium and on my blog chaosverbesserer.de.

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