Remote work

2023-03-18 17:42:00

Almost all my professional life I have worked remotely at least part of the time, from simply stating my work day at home to spending whole days there. For the past 10 months this has escalated to a full time remote position. To say that I enjoy this would be an understatement. I guess I'm just the type for this.

It may be a bit surprising that I voluntarily went on a journey to India to work at the office for three weeks and even more surprising when I say that it was one of the coolest things in these months of working.

It was an incredibly intense time. I used every opportunity to connect to colleagues. From product features to infrastructure problems to tourist tips and flight simming, there was a lot to talk about, a lot to take in.

In return I tried to provide a healthy dose of Get Shit Done (TM). I also brought my fearlessness - or maybe it's just naivety. Anyway what came out of the resulting discussions was a row of initiatives that question architectural assumptions and lead to simpler solutions. It's hard to argue with better performance for lower cost and we made tremendous progress right away.

So was I wrong all my life? It's this proof that high bandwidth interaction leads to better results faster and that the whole remote work craze is just that? No, it is not. As great as the extreme focus of eat, sleep, develop, repeat was and as much as we pushed things forward, we couldn't keep that peace for much of longer. It is just not sustainable.

The solution as always is to combine the strengths of different approaches. When I came home I quickly finished that task that try as I might didn't want to make real progress in India. A little quite time was all I needed. There is a time when you need to get things rolling or when you need to lock the right people into a room until they have figured out out. And there is a time when quiet contemplation will yield the best results.

The challenge is to know when to pick them one over the other. Even more so as honest reflection shows that personal preference plays a large role in the decision. But then, isn't this the case quite often anyway?

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