It’s ok to prioritize friendships and mental health over traveling ☀️
There was something quite surprising I learned about myself a few months back. At the start of the year, I started working remotely (this was my first time) and was super excited about the prospect of having flexibility in my work schedule. To be honest, I am a bit of an introvert, often preferring to work alone and believed working individually would be a cakewalk.
Very soon, I started getting stuck in thinking loops in the middle of the day while at work. My productivity began to suffer in less than a week and I was clueless about the cause.
Thankfully, I was working out of a co-working space and started to interact with people around me - getting involved in Friday unwinds & networking events, etc. I gradually spent almost no time thinking about anything apart from work while at my desk.
A few days back, I googled to see if others also faced similar challenges and astonishingly, there were a number of people openly talking about this (see Doist's COO, Allan's tweet) and a huge number anonymously reporting it! To just put some numbers to this: Buffer's state of work report, 2019 mentions that 49% of remote workers have wellness-related problems, 22% can't unplug after work, 19% feel lonely and 8% can't stay motivated.
The digital nomad life is portrayed quite glamorously on social media but the reality seems to be far away from this. While offering flexibility and a number of other benefits with remote work, we just need to ensure that we don't end up creating a mental health crisis.
In this context, I can't recommend Doist's CEO, Amir's blog on mental health and remote work enough! Amir has put it across very beautifully: one simply cannot 'belong anywhere' instantly - relationships and communities take time to build.
And it's not just Amir but 95% of Doisters who echo his thoughts. While Doist lets people work from anywhere in the world, 95%+ aren't nomads and prefer to set their roots in smaller cities surrounded by their friends and family.
Let me quickly share my takeaways from the blog and 2+ hours of uninterrupted & curious reading on the web -
- Acknowledge the challenge: Mental health challenges accompanying remote work are for real and it is high time we openly acknowledge them
- Build an open environment: It's easy to assume everything's ok when you don't see or meet your coworkers. There is a need to create an environment that encourages open conversations around this.
- Support your co-workers: It is important to support your co-workers who are having problems with depression, anxiety or stress
- Inculcate it in your company's culture: Company culture needs to reflect concrete steps that support mental wellbeing e.g. Doist has coworking perks and sick days for mental health (I was pleasantly surprised to see this)
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever faced any of the above issues when working remotely? Do you take care of your mental wellbeing?
Drop me a quick line if you have the time :)
Remote Makers Podcast - Brennan says, "Build a community around your passion and then start up. It makes your entrepreneurial journey much easier"
We recently hosted Brennan McEachran from Soapbox on our remote makers podcast and had a blast chatting about his decade long entrepreneurial journey, how he transitioned from a maker to a manager and now, manager of managers. You will notice particularly interesting points in the conversation when Brennan talks about HR, feedbacks, startup funding, remote work and much more. Give this a listen, I am sure it will be worth your time!
Remote Working Chronicles - Remote work lets you adapt your work around your life, and not the contrary
Gabriel was born and brought up in Quebec and his primary goal was to work in a field he is passionate about. Only during the interview for V2 Cloud (where he currently works) did he get to know that it would be a fully remote job. After being skeptical initially, Gabriel has come to believe that remote work is a huge perk and in fact, has become a solid advocate. He believes being successful at working remotely depends largely on how well you adapt yourself and how disciplined you are. Read his story to learn how he managed this!
As always, here are our picks of top remote-first products -
💵NomadWallet is a travel expense app designed for travellers, made by travellers
👁Outro is a new take on retrospectives for progressive teams
📝GetBusy is a smart to-do list that organizes all your team’s communication
🔍andRemote presents 100+ new job opportunities in recently funded companies