I Remote Work and I Never Want to Go Back to a Normal Office Again*

I have been remotely working full-time for about a year. Honestly, I really like remote working, because it lessens my chances of being convicted for attempted murder.

Wait, what?

In honour of how I've been remote working for a year, I thought I'd write a blog post about why I love it.

I have been in and out of several different offices since the start of the decade.

I have switched jobs to different companies 4 times in less than 8 years. I switched jobs primarily for one reason: more money. Money is also primarily the reason I'd stay at a company, even if they were terrible to me.



I seemed to have a knack for picking companies that loved cutting cost 365 days a year, so the only way I could ever get a "promotion" and earn an actual decent salary was by abandoning ship.

🤷‍♀️

Last year I got on a new ship that was slightly different.

At the start of my working years, I had to drive to work. The hours-long commute alone stressed me out. When I arrived at the office, I had to have time to "recover" from the hours-long waiting, honking, and trying to avoid hitting cars with drivers who have no idea what the signal indicator is for.

People who think that the world can handle more people first need to live in Asia in a densely populated city where the public transport choices are bad.

After a year of driving and fantasizing about driving a military tank so I could run everyone over, I could finally take public transport to work.

Thank goodness for offices that are near train stations. For this job, though - which is still my current job, haha - I was offered a remote working opportunity.

That is right.

I do not even have to leave the house now.


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Obviously, not all jobs can be worked remotely. However, I have always thought that what I do can be done without ever leaving the house.

Back then, I literally left the house, went to the office, then sat in silence with my headphones over my ears as I researched, wrote, analysed, e-mailed/ messaged people, and edited.

Whether it was as a copywriter or as a PR Executive, everything I did could be done with a computer and the Internet. There was literally no need to ever verbally talk to anyone.

When I worked in a normal office, I got SUPER annoyed by colleagues who interrupted my workflow while I was concentrating on reading or writing. I would be asked for ad-hoc help, to attend interviews or meetings which did not even really need me in them (THE WORST), to participate in team-bonding activities, and the works.

🙄

I was very close to attempted murder at times.



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Look. It is NOT natural to spend time in a small space with other people for 10 hours a day. I don't even want to do that with people I AM RELATED TO.

Also, team-bonding activities are just weird. Yes, I've said it. If I don't like you as a person, no amount of team-bonding activity is going to make me like you. Just do your work, and I will do mine. Surely, if we do the tasks we were PAID to do, no amount of team-bonding can affect the effectiveness or productivity of them.

I had a bad 2 day 1 night experience of constant team-bonding activities planned for each hour, with platitudes like "sometimes what seems to be the weakest link in the team can turn out to be the strongest".



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I did NOT understand why I had to play trust games.

HI I DO NOT EVEN TRUST MYSELF.


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Ahem.

Anyway.

For a not very people person, the advent of remote working is like being blessed with the nectar of the gods.

Some Reasons Why I Love Remote Work: 

1. I still get annoyed by people, but at least I do not to physically deal with them, or restrain my side-eye game as I read their messages.


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2. I can set my own office hours. I can work at 2AM in the middle of the night if I wanted to, then sleep in until noon the next day. Before, I have had days before where I worked until midnight, then had to rush back to the office at 10AM the next day because "proper working hours", never mind that I put in additional time the day before. Unpaid, naturally.

3. I do not have to wear "proper" work clothes. No more G2000 for me woohoo!

4. During slow periods of work when no one is replying to me, I can take naps in the middle of the day or work on my own stuff.

5. I save way more money than I could ever possibly with working in a "normal" office. I do not have to spend on transportation, expensive lunch food that was more horrible than the food I could cook for myself, or be forced to chip in for a colleague's birthday cake.

Do people even really care if their colleagues celebrate their birthdays, and if so, why?


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My boss can forget my birthday, as long as he/ she does not forget to pay me.

🤷‍♀️

6. Everything is documented. EVERYTHING. In a normal office, people can conveniently "forget" what they have mentioned before verbally. When you remote work, however, most of the stuff are documented on chats.

Have I possibly abused the screenshot and "search message" functions of the chat program?

Possibly.

Is it useful, though?

Yes.

7. I am so much more productive when remote working. I think this depends on each person individually, but I can say for certain that remote working makes me more efficient and productive.

When I do not have to deal with a) annoying colleagues that I try my best to avoid, b) office culture I am forced to participate in, c) traffic and meeting people, and d) being interrupted constantly while I am working, my work efficiency goes through the roof.

Instead of searching for a work-life balance, where I give up on working as soon as I get back from the office, I am able to work better when I can choose the hours I work.

I do not mind working late at night after being given all the information in the afternoon, as long as I can take the next morning off.

I have been told that it takes a disciplined person who does not mind being socially isolated to really make remote working, well, work.

Well hello here I am.



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If I may add a disclaimer, though. I am perfectly fine not talking to people, but I am capable of doing so if I need it.

I am an introvert, but I am capable of being social when I muster up the energy to do it.

It's hard to be in PUBLIC RELATIONS if I am bad at RELATIONS.

I just do not want to do it 9 to 10 hours a day with people I have to be in close proximity with, 5 days a week for the rest of my working life.

The odd meetup or event here and there won't drain my energy the way working in a normal office did.

Honestly, I hope more companies open up more remote working jobs for people whose job scope allow them to. Why do you need to chain your employees to the desk, anyway, if their job can be done remotely? IS IT BECAUSE, HMM, YOU DON'T TRUST THEM TO DO THEIR WORK?
Then why are you employing them if you do not trust them?



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*I am of the opinion that one should really never say never, though. Would I go back to a normal office? Sure, if I need to in the future. Also if they doubled my salary.

Right now, though, I do enjoy the freedom that remote working offers me. Like any other year of working, there have been its own ups and downs attached to it. Like, if technology allowed me to reach through the screen...

Ahem.

Regardless of anything else, the "never having to leave my home to see actual people" part has been my favourite part of remote working.

May there be more jobs that allow this. Thank you, Internet, for happening.

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