Outsider view on continuous remote work

A year into remote working – do you know how it looks like to someone who returned to work just recently?

I spent the covid year in a family leave and came back to work at the beginning of 2021. I noticed some funny and some sad things about the new normal.

Expecting the worst

Nordcloud being a tech community, it wasn’t an issue for us to start working remotely.

We had our processes in place for reporting the work to do and following the progress, and communicating via instant messaging app instead of face-to-face discussions. I bet this has been very difficult for some industries.

I was a bit afraid of not seeing people personally. It turned out, seeing via video feels personal as well.

Although, people seem to be a bit disconnected from the discussion, because they are not expressing much body language. I’m confused when someone in a group says something funny, and no one laughs but me – and I can assure you it has happened so many times it’s not just my bad humour!

People are not nodding nor smiling to encourage the speaker to continue. I find this a bit concerning. Sometimes people are so still I suspect the video froze, until they move their eyes a bit.

We can be surprisingly still when not expressing body language!

Becoming familiar with remote work

I have found it to be natural to communicate via video conferences. Even onboarding a new team member became familiar to me, although I was sceptical at first. You who have been working remotely for a year don’t feel uncomfortable about this at all.

Working remotely with every team member has brought my international team members closer to me. At the same time, the colleagues from other teams are vanishing from my reality, because I don’t see them accidentally in the coffee room.

One thing I really love about remote work is the lack of commuting. I bet I’m not the only one who has recently realised that it’s not required to go to the office every day to get the work done. I have also agreed on shorter days with my employer, so currently I can spend a long afternoon with my kids and family.

Getting back to work remotely has been an interesting challenge which I think I’m winning now.

Have patience there working remotely, and let’s roll our eyes when we meet virtually!

Johanna Kaihlavirta
Johanna KaihlavirtaTeam Leader, Service Lines, Finland @ Nordcloud
BlogLife at Nordcloud

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