I’m not silicon and not a humanoid…
and that’s okay.
I’ve worked from home for 9 years in a variety of positions with a number of companies. While remote work continues to be the most ideal option for me, it does have its drawbacks — or I thought it did until coming to Big Health.
Below is a list of what I’d come to expect working from home, followed by how Big Health has proved me wrong. If I’ve missed a concern you have about remote work, or a question about working with Big Health, please drop it in the comments below the article.
What you might expect in remote work:
1. Working remotely equated the necessity to work completely independently. You are on your own with no support and few resources.
2. Being a remote employee resulted in exclusion from the team in brick & mortars. Generally I felt like remote workers were separate from the company’s team, and thought of as human-robots that work is outsourced to.
3. There’s no opportunity for growth for remote employees. Due, in part, to lack of resources remotely, and also because it won’t fit a startup’s business model. As number 2 said, human-robots there to do a job — no more, no less.
4. No opportunity for learning — because what’s there to learn if there’s no room for growth?
5. Startups are clique with zero diversity — you fit the mold or you don’t. i.e. Silicon Valley Millennials (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m just very much neither).
6. No stability — change comes at break-neck speeds, and you might not have a job tomorrow because you’re not as important as the larger picture and very disposable, even when you do a good job.
What you should expect at Big Health instead:
Number five (no diversity) began to be disproved almost immediately upon correspondence with the company — more specifically with Helena, our User Happiness Lead and Sophie, then Operations Lead, who are very different from each other (and neither Silicon Valley Millennials). To expand on how diverse a group we are, we’re men and women of all ages and lifestyles, with varying educations and experiences, from across the globe. This makes Mondays, when we all ‘get together’ and share our highlight(s) from the weekend, very interesting.
Monday’s meetings are also the first point that dispelled my belief in number two (remote employees are excluded). These are one of two company-wide, weekly meetings. While Monday’s is a catch-up and a kind of individual accountability meeting, the second each week is a brief on team progresses and goals, and includes full-disclosure — EVERYONE is in the loop. However, communication isn’t limited to these meetings. There’s also one-on-ones with whoever you need to speak to in the company, whenever you might need, as well as a live chat forum for instant contact, and e-mail. All of these also eliminate number one (you’re alone).
All of these meetings are meant to empower each person, and serve as a venue to introduce new ideas (see: Hackathon)and address concerns. This is because learning and growth are encouraged and even expected to an extent (re. three and four). In fact, I’d say if your idea of the ideal job is doing the same thing day after day and you’re content with what you know, Big Health may not be for you. In the months that I’ve been with Big Health, my role has expanded with my responsibilities increasing three-fold and I LOVE IT.
That said, number six is true in part (change at breakneck speed), and I’m glad for it because continuous change and growth are essential for startups. Where Big Health isn’t a typical startup, is while these changes require employees to be flexible they don’t give cause to start a job hunt. We’re not disposable robots, and not left behind. We are each a part of the whole — (at the risk of sounding entirely corny) We are Big Health!