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Learning From Remote Workers

I have just finished reading an article about the challenges and opportunities of remote working, and I noticed that many of the bits of advice that the article provides to remote workers could equally be applied to those of us that work on the same site1.

In-person time is still important (but maybe not for the reason we think)

This section talked about the benefits of eating with your co-workers, having a break and socialising about non work activities. While we do alot of this sort of thing at work within our teams, very little happens between teams. It is one of the things I enjoyed about turnarounds was that I would join with the shift technicians and the evening takeaways. Outside of turnarounds we rarely have the opportunity to eat lunch together. Even within day staff, the number of people eating together in the canteen has dropped off after the subsidies stopped.

It is something I should probably make more of an effort to remedy, try and make time to eat or have a break with the various other teams I work with at some point.

If everyone hates the tools, the work will find a way to not get done. You’ll end up blaming “remote culture” [...], when the problem lies with crappy tools instead.

This was an interesting part. In the article, "remote culture" is blamed but if you have bad tools and you don't work remotely, you still have the same problem.

In the last year, there has been some effort to try and improve the tools that we use however it has not borne much benefit to the end users. Until it does, I suspect that some work will continue to "find a way to not get done".

Notes

  1. Though I admit in different buildings that can be a five minute walk between them so in some ways we may as well be remote.
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