Do you take Sunday off? I don’t.
There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this: while God needed a break after He (or She!) created Earth and all living beings, this writer/marketer tends to procrastinate on week days, which prompts her to catch up on the weekend. Isn’t this why the weekend exists?!
Granted, procrastination should not be a guide post for productivity, but what can you do when there are a million things fighting for your attention online? And this is precisely the problem with remote work.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge proponent.
However, I can’t help but notice some recurring patterns — like how little exercise I get lately and how often my eyes sting; how all of my friends are on twitter and how sometimes I forget to eat. Am I right or am I right?
“Future of Work” articles claim that remote working is, indeed, the future of work. And while there are many tools created for exactly this scenario, there’s one tiny problem — remote working is anti-social. Remote work puts a wall between you and your boss, colleagues, and clients.
Remote work is safe, but should life be?
It says it’s OK to manage your time, your tasks, your goals, and it makes you your own boss, which is GREAT, but it also puts a lot more pressure on the chain. It makes you forget things, it’s easier to obsess, and when you realize you’ve let yourself go, you have to start all over again.
Don’t you miss how fun it is to horse about with your colleague over at the next cubicle or accidentally hear your psychotic boss screaming in his office at the other end of the hall? And if you’re into startups, like I am, don’t you miss after-work pizza hour or just going to the gym together?
I know you do. Because I do.
According to research, by 2020 we should expect to manage most of our relationships without actually talking to a human being. I mean, why bother when you can talk to your phone, your tablet, your TV? And when the Internet of Things is everywhere, your car will also be voicing its “opinions”. Why befriend people when your possessions could be your new bff’s?
Listen to yourself, this is madness.
I’ll tell you why it’s good to maintain contact with actual people IRL. Because there is beauty in the little moments — when someone extends a hand or they hum a tune in the subway. When you smile at someone who’s NOT looking at their phone while crossing the street. (Don’t do that!) When you’re lost but nobody wants to stop and explain where the nearest train station is, and suddenly, a homeless person does. 😉
I mean, what’s the alternative…
Have you watched HER? It’s a deeply disturbing film where you see how replacing people with software can go 50 shades of wrong. I wrote about it.
<The face of a man in love with a machine.
What about Black Mirror?
It’s a disturbing TV show where you see a broken future (and tech is the culprit) and why we should pray to never get there.
^The face of a man who can’t take any more bullshit.
I’m not saying remote work is somehow going to turn us all into anti-social beings, but with the advent of so many technologies that are practically pushing us there, we shouldn’t add any more to it.
For now, I’ll work remotely because I love my job, but soon it might not be enough. And I do realize some teams do remote working perfectly — like Buffer, who do retreats together— but still, shouldn’t constant human contact be priority number one when it comes to life and working?
Shouldn’t we be surrounded by people all the time?
If your answer is no, read Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky. It might wake you up. And I’ll finish with this quote from Fight Club (to address IoT):
^The face of a man who doesn’t give a shit.
What is your stance about remote work and the future? Air it out!
P.S. I’m obviously excluding introverts here because that’s a whole other story.
2 thoughts on “The Future of Work – I Love Remote Working But It Worries Me”
Gosh this post speaks to me… But first things first, congrats on the new blog! 😀
You just wrote everything I have been thinking about for so long! I have been in the startup realm almost a year and
a half, taking no weekends and working 10 hours a day. The result? Work never ends, my friends are complaining and my knees feel sore. So recently I decided I would take Sundays off and you know what happened? I feel guilty of not working…. I love remote working, it opens a window to a new world but I do reminisce about the days I went to the office and have coffee with my colleagues. I know the solution is called “balance” but that’s too hard to achieve…. Well, I know at least I am not alone in this 🙂
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Hey, Ioanna! Thanks for reading. 🙂 And yes, work-life balance is supposed to be the answer, but I haven’t achieved it either. Everything just mashes up together online. It’s like you live in a virtual reality, it’s crazy! And we’re crazy for choosing these types of jobs. 😀
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