Stories from the remote office frontier

Exploring the present and future of the workspace

In 2017, we all shared a moment of hilarity that foreshadowed our current remote work reality. The American political analyst Robert Kelly had just joined a BBC news broadcast from his home office to comment on the impeachment of the South Korean president. Suddenly, his office door opened and his two toddlers gatecrashed his live interview—inspiring Kelly’s work-from-home moment to go viral (though probably not for the reasons he would have hoped). We all laughed with Kelly’s family then, but now countless remote workers are struggling with the same reality of trying to be productive while working at home.

ARTICLE | 3m read
June 8, 2020

These experiences inspired the latest episode  of the Remote Works podcast, entitled “The Remote Office Frontier.” Featuring interviews with remote workers across the world, this episode examines the present challenges and future possibilities of the home office of the future. This post will highlight key takeaways from the podcast, including why flexibility is essential for happy remote work, the role of technology in remote work culture, and how employers will focus more on wellbeing for all employees in and outside their office space.

SOME DAYS YOU HAVE GREAT DAYS AND SOME DAYS YOU'LL HAVE TRICKIER DAYS, BUT IF YOU BALANCE THEM ALL TOGETHER, IF WE'RE ALL GETTING THROUGH THIS AND WE'RE ALSO HAPPY…AND WE'RE ALL STILL GETTING OUR JOB DONE, IT’S A POSITIVE.

Lizzie Dummer
Remote worker in the UK

The importance of flexibility for remote workers

Work-from-home employees often experience a blurring of their different identities. For Lizzie Drummer, remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic has demanded she be able to shift between being a mother, a spouse, and a professional PR manager. Her best advice for navigating this balance? Embrace flexible working hours by finding the happy divide between spending time with family and spending time in a private workspace. 73% of remote workers  report this kind of flexibility improves their wellbeing and ability to balance work with outside activities.

THE COMPANY OPENS UP A CHANNEL FOR ALL EMPLOYEES TO POST THEIR WORK FROM HOME PICTURES, ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR DAILY LIFE TO KEEP THE CONNECTION BETWEEN EMPLOYEES. AND IT'S ACTUALLY MAKING ME FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO THE WIDER RANGE OF MY COLLEAGUES.

Lily Yaping Lang
Remote worker in the UK

How remote work tools can deepen employee connections

Technology is an essential component of a successful remote work strategy, enabling employees to have easy access to their business apps and data while ensuring zero trust security. However, for people like application engineer Lily Yaping Lang, some remote work tools like VPNs aren’t measuring up to the in-office experience. Because her company focused on technology that simplified employee communication and sharing of photos, Yaping Lang has been pleasantly surprised by how remote work has deepened her bonds with her colleagues. She also commented how she’s seen the benefits of working from home to help everyone organize their work and life more effectively.

THE OVERALL WELL-BEING ASPECT IS STANDING FRONT AND CENTER BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH ANXIETY, AND STRESS, AND ANGST THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE FEELING AROUND THEIR JOBS, AND THEIR HEALTH, AND THEIR HOME LIFE, AND WHAT THE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE.

Amanda Carroll
Remote worker in the USA

81 % of workers believe decreasing burnout should be a top priority for employers. And while remote work and flexible hours are part of the solution, Amanda Carroll predicts employers will focus more on mental health once employees begin to return to company office space. As a managing director for the architecture and design firm Gensler, Carroll foresees the “work wellness” concept of architecture being expanded into greater prioritization of employee health and well-being. This will enable more individuality in how employees author their work days and collaborate with others in shared spaces.

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