You’re Still Doing Remote Work All Wrong
One year later, an army of remote workers are still making rookie mistakes that lead to burnout
On March 18, 2005, I cleaned out my desk at Registered Rep. magazine, the financial publication I was (I can admit it now) a rather terrible business reporter for, and left a job I’d held for two years. I didn’t leave on bad terms. I liked all my co-workers and there were no sour feelings, but I also didn’t have another job set up. I just knew I wasn’t a very good business reporter, my boss agreed with me, and thus we went our separate ways. I turned in my key card, filled out some paperwork with HR, and hit the Irish pub across the street for a round of goodbye beers. I wasn’t sure what I’d do next. Maybe try freelancing for a while?
And that, friends, was the last day I worked in an office. Six months later, I founded the sports website Deadspin out of my apartment, and I’ve been working at home as a writer ever since. It has been so long since I worked in an office that my non-office work life is now old enough to drive. Considering every story I’ve read about in-person office life in the last 16 years has been about all the terrible things you’re doing to each other in cubicle-land, it does not seem that I am missing out on much.
What I discovered upon leaving office life was how much more immediately productive I became when I no longer had to commute back and forth every day, when no one ever came by my desk to interrupt me just as I’d really start to hit my groove, when I didn’t feel like my boss would come up and start breathing down my neck at any given moment. To be sure, working from home isn’t for everybody, but it clearly worked for me: I can’t imagine working any other way now. I certainly didn’t get it right the first year, but I have developed all sorts of lifehacks and shortcuts to maximize my efficiency and sustain a comfortable work-life balance. I’m good at this.
I’ve watched during the past year as you have broken every cardinal work-at-home rule that I’ve honed to a science over the last 16 years.
But then the pandemic hit, and suddenly, many of you were working at home, too. And you…