Why fully-remote work is not everything I had hoped for (or: Be careful what you ask for)
Chapter 1: Berlin 2016
When I moved to Berlin 6 years ago, I had a fantasy: an employer who’d allow me to work remotely. I could sleep in, ditch the commute and create the perfect work setting. At one point, I even suggested my then-employer offer a hybrid working model in exchange for a pay cut. I figured I would make the most of my time. I’d travel to Bali, Japan and the jungles of South America, lay on a hammock or sit by the beach and have it all.
Chapter 2: 2022
Fast forward 5.5 years. Call it divine intervention or faith, but I finally have what I’ve been longing for. There’s only one catch: It’s not at all what I hoped for. For one, there’s (still) a global pandemic to take into consideration. I also realized an occasional in-office visit is something I need to stay grounded and help me thrive professionally. Bouncing ideas off each other is crucial for most activities in my field. In fact, this contact is crucial for most people I know, regardless of their role.
Chapter 3: And beyond
Fantasies are great for motivation and drive, but things aren’t that simple in reality. Ever. That being said, I think we’re still in the process of coming to terms with the new, post-Covid life. Adapting is always about finding the right balance. It takes time and some trial and error and may involve growing pains.
I know many people are still struggling to find their balance. This spillover of work environment into everyone’s home is confusing to many. Where does work end, and private life begin? How can we bring everyone together without compromising their safety or wellbeing? I don’t have answers. We live in interesting times on one hand and incredibly monotonous on the other. I am not anxious about it, though. I’m excited. Things are and will be different and we will probably get used to it, being the adaptive creatures we are.