Title Card - Remote Working

Grab the Remote: My Experience With Remote Working

At the time of writing this blog, Ontario, Canada is in the midst of its second lockdown order by the provincial government, where everyone is asked to remain at home unless they are an essential service required to work at their physical place of work. Naturally, this opens up the opportunity for many employees to experience remote working, or working from a location that is not their employer’s designated place of work. This type of arrangement comes with many different benefits and disadvantages depending on the person, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on my own experience.

I work in the creative field as a Quality Control Supervisor for a small(ish) startup company, and it is my job to ensure that any service my company provides follows rigorous quality standards, whether it be building and/or optimizing a website, developing various types of advertisements, developing a digital content strategy, among other services. Normally, this would be accomplished in an office among various teams dedicated to completing particular tasks, meaning I could visit any team member I wanted in person to discuss issues with any particular product or service.

The grand majority of our work is completed within the Google Workspace. This means that everything is accessible through a shared drive in a cloud server, making it easy to share with people through an email-based access system. Because everything is stored in a centralized location that is not dedicated to any one particular PC, it can be accessed from anywhere and causes minimal downtime when it becomes necessary to work from a different computer. This became an especially useful feature when working from home, as it meant that I spent only a small amount of time logging into my accounts to start again on my home computer.

I found that my largest challenge working from home with my particular job was losing the ability to speak to people face-to-face. It slowed down the process when I needed something from someone right away as I would have to rely on a chat system to get their attention, which they may or may not answer immediately. We also didn’t have phone numbers for everyone, as some people opted out of choosing to provide their personal phones to work from home. It wasn’t all bad news on the phone front, as most of the managers had dedicated phone lines in the office which they had forwarded to their personal phones, and could therefore still be reached by dialing their usual office number and extension.

I also tend to work better when there is less ambient noise or distractions around me, and so working from home tended to be much easier for me in terms of getting my regular work done. On the other hand, I also tend to be a fairly social person, so I simultaneously missed the opportunity to interact with people in the office.

Obviously, there are far too many variables to account for that I could possibly suggest how any particular person’s experience working from home might be. My personal circumstance allows me some very helpful privileges when working from home, and I recognize that nobody’s situation will ever look exactly like mine. What I do know is, more and more employers are exploring remote working as a viable option for saving money on office space, and the potential for more people to be working from home in the future will likely only increase.

Do you think you would enjoy working from home? What would you foresee as some of your greatest benefits? Challenges? It might be worth considering, as it is becoming increasingly likely that you find yourself having to work from home sometime in the future.