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Our Remote Work Future Is Going to Suck

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Our Remote Work Future Is Going to Suck

Why are we always assuming a distributed workforce is a good thing for the worker?

5 min read
4 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Is remote work the white-collar future? Sean Blanda discusses the potent downsides of working from home.


Editorial Rating

8

Qualities

  • Controversial
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging

Recommendation

In this hard-nosed look at the touted benefits of remote work, Sean Blanda describes the darker side of a practice that COVID-19 thrust upon many employees. He considers whether remote work’s supposed independence, convenience and productivity come at too high a price. As the threat of COVID-19 levels off or, in time, recedes, Blanda recommends that companies offer employees flexible work options, rather than making remote work the defining feature of the future workplace.

Summary

Businesses, employees and the self-employed have found working remotely to be essential during COVID-19; many companies expect remote work to become the new normal even after the pandemic.

Workers and employers have found that remote work from home offers advantages: providing access to employment for people who can’t or won’t relocate; offering independence in managing time and productivity, reducing distractions and interruptions; conveniently eliminating commuting; and enhancing family life.

Companies that promote remote work are not necessarily disinterested advocates. The most vocal proponents are frequently those who profit from providing communication software or selling tools that enable far-flung workers to collaborate or that facilitate e-commerce transactions. Media outlets often adopt and disseminate their claims – essentially marketing for their products – without critique or inspection. Activities that once were available in the work environment without overhead or planning, like a water-cooler conversation, get monetized into, for example, a Slack channel.

While remote work has advantages, it also...

About the Author

Sean Blanda is director of content for Crossbeam, a business-to-business SaaS company. He has also worked at InVision and Adobe.


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