The lonely side of remote work

Rian linked to an interesting article about the challenges of working remotely titled “What Most Remote Companies Don’t Tell You About Remote Work“. I started reading it to get a sense of it, then sent it to my Pocket queue to read later.

This is how the article begins, it will give you an idea of what to expect:

Articles about the remote work lifestyle have tended to focus on drinking piña coladas on the beach, traveling the world, and otherwise enjoying a life that inspires envy in your social media following.

This is not one of those articles.

As an Automattician, I work completely remotely, although I’ve chosen to work from home. I think I’m pretty well suited to remote work. I much prefer working remotely to being in an office environment. There are downsides, sure, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges, at least for me.

By Paul

Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at Automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

11 comments

  1. @pauljacobson I am in the same boat as you… I work from home and like it way better than office work. It can be challenging for sure, but I feel up to the challenge most days. How long have you been remote?

  2. @endonend @pauljacobson I feel like the original Doist article conflates “work” with “having a community.” I worked remotely for over a decade, and it allowed me to live somewhere that I was able to have a family and build a community of friends and acquaintances, opportunities that would not have been available to me were I having to go in to an office in some big metro area five days a week.

  3. @pauljacobson I think this Doist article is resonating with people. I’m a remote worker as well, and while I haven’t had as deep of issues as others, I’ve had my moments where I need to take a good step back and evaluate. How have you overcome some of the challenges of remote work?

  4. Paul Jacobson – Modiin, Israel – Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at @automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.
    pauljacobson says:

    @endonend I’m not sure if my replies on my site are being piped back here so I’ll republish my reply:

    In my current role, for about 9 months (if I include my Trial). Before that I was freelancing for another 9 months or so. I definitely prefer this. If anything, my main challenge isn’t that I’m not in an office with other people. It’s more that I’m working from home, in a common space so I have to figure out how to manage interruptions better.

  5. Paul Jacobson – Modiin, Israel – Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at @automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.
    pauljacobson says:

    @petebrown I feel similarly. Even though I’m working at home, I never feel like I’m disconnected from my team, and from the many people I interact with daily. We use the right combination of technologies that leave me feeling very much part of a community.

  6. Paul Jacobson – Modiin, Israel – Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at @automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.
    pauljacobson says:

    @justindirose I’m still working on those challenges. I’m very comfortable being in my own space, with just my dog to talk to. What I need to figure out is how to manage interruptions from my kids when they’re home.

    Part of doing that is likely going to involve changing my working hours to focus on my mornings, so I have more of my afternoons open to spend time with my kids, help with homework, and so on.

    Thankfully, Automattic gives us the choice of when we want to work, so I have that freedom to determine my hours for the most part.

  7. Paul Jacobson – Modiin, Israel – Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at @automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.
    pauljacobson says:

    @endonend Definitely!

  8. @pauljacobson Glad you’re working on the process. I’ve been working remote for the past 5 years or so. It’s interesting as I’m facing the same dilemmas as you with kids and family needs (I have 2 kids under 3yo).

  9. Paul Jacobson – Modiin, Israel – Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at @automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.
    pauljacobson says:

    @justindirose Oh sure, and kids that young often need a bit more attention too.

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