We are living in strange times. As so many people, I have also seen my life be influenced heavily by the outbreak of the Corona virus and subsequent measures.
My significant other works long days as an elderly care physician and I find myself thrown into the role of teacher, beside the regular dad-duties that continue despite everything that’s happening.
The weirdest part for me is starting a new job amidst all this. The entire process of interviews and contract negotiations took place before the outbreak.
And thus I found me, at my first day at work, in my own home office, behind my own PC. Videochatting with my new colleagues, most of whom I never met before.
I am not opposed to remote work. I strongly believe that remote work will grow and become the standard for many careers in the future. Normally we all get into our cars and move from where we live to where we work. We call that a traffic jam. We sit in office spaces that are less than optimal for the work we do.
I think that we do that because we are used to do that. Our ancestors did it to go to the mines or the factory. Because they had no choice. So logically (?) we applied the same pattern to our work when many of us no longer did work that depended on the location where you were working.
So many people nowadays are knowledge workers. People who need only two things to do their work. Their mind and a way to get the things the mind conjures up out of their head and onto something they can share with other people.
And yes, I know that not all people can easily work remotely. The part of my partner’s job that involves examining people can’t be done remotely. The many people that work for the same mental healthcare company I started working for and that are charged with the care for our clients can’t do all of their work remotely.
But the corona outbreak shows that many things can be done remotely. That people, when the need is high, can change and adapt to a new reality.
And I hope this will help people to see the benefits of remote work and lead to a lasting change in work culture. So both employee and employer can benefit. Something to look forward to while we sit in self-isolation.