What other remote workers are thinking in 2020 🤓
It's been an amazing start to the year for us! Thanks to your support, we were #1 product of the day and #5 product of the week on Product Hunt . You would be delighted to know that we have doubled the readership of our newsletter with the launch! This only motivates us to work harder and deliver quality content each week . So without further ado, let's get to this week's discussion!
What are remote workers thinking in 2020?
Remote work is not a recent phenomenon, but it sure is still in its infancy. I say this because many of us are still trying to figure out the best solutions to challenges peculiar to it.
What can help in such a situation is to know what other remote workers are thinking and facing in their journeys. So, we reached out to remote workers and 331 individuals participated in our survey, including those from companies such as Invision, Doist, Scrapinghub, and FlexJobs. We got some really interesting insights. I would like to share them with you.
1. Remote workers don't intend to get back to a co-located setting: 82% suggested that they never planned to return to an in-office setting. Remote work can be addictive that way. As Siddhant (Co-founder & CTO of HomeFox) said, during his interview with us, "The only thing I don’t necessarily like about remote work is how much it spoils you. There have been days when while working, it suddenly hit me “how the heck did I ever manage to commute to work every single day and back"."
2. Having flexibility at work is the biggest motivator to work remotely: 39% of our respondents said that flexibility in work timings and other aspects is the biggest motivator of remote work. Other popular reasons included Avoiding long commutes (25%) and Time with loved ones (21%). Quite in contrast to the popular depiction of remote working being pursued by individuals with "wanderlust", only 8% of our respondents selected the Opportunity to travel the world as their motivator.
3. Battling Work-life balance and Loneliness remains tough: For sure, remote work has its advantages. However, work-life balance (27%) and loneliness (27%) remain amongst the toughest challenges to tackle for many. Alondo Brewington beautifully stated the challenge loneliness presents and the importance to tackle it: "While working remotely work has been largely positive, it can be very isolating and lonely. If you are not mindful of its effects, you can develop some bad habits that could negatively impact your well being. Physical and mental health are incredibly important. I would encourage everyone to make time for fostering community and self-care while working remotely.
4. Remote work doesn't mean employees are not working, but probably working too much: A large part of our respondents (44%) indicated that they work for greater than 40 hours a week and a comparable number (41%) said they work for 30-40 hours. So clearly, one of the most common fears stated by employers that remote employees might not work enough, is unfounded!
5. Dedicated slack channels for interests has been the easiest & best method to build personal bonds in teams: Forming strong relationships in a remote team is a tough task given a majority of conversations revolve around the current work at hand. Therefore, one needs to be intentional about this. Our respondents observed that dedicated slack channels for individuals to interact with one-another on mutual interests (34%) were one of the simplest and surest ways to form personal bonds. Team offsites (25%) were the next on the list, with Informal catch-up video calls (such as "coffee breaks", etc.) also getting good support at 21%.
Want to know more?
These are but some of the insights we received. We are working on preparing a solid report, Remote Work 2020, which is far more extensive in exploring this. It also includes an entire section on our learnings from podcasts & interviews with leaders from top remote companies and successful remote workers. We are launching it next week on the 15th of January Stay tuned!
Remote Working Chronicles: From fighting Atlanta traffic to becoming a remote work evangelist
Chanell, who is a graduate of the University of Georgia, is a remote freelance writer and also a remote work advocate. She says 'I can work at a library, coffee shop, cowork facility, or at home.' Chanell is currently working on an e-book that is meant to help professionals transition from a routine job to working remotely. Want to know more about her journey? Read here.
As always, here our top picks of remote-first products this week -
⚙️ Claritask is a task management software offering tools right out of the box
🏖 Visa List helps you find visa requirements for your travel effortlessly
🎯 Mindful Goals is a system for setting goals and forming habits
📝 DottedSign helps you sign docs on the go & control the signing process
🗂 PDF Reader is a document productivity solution