Is remote work a responsibility or a privilege?


Remote work is changing business. Some say it’s for the better, others for the worse. There’s a long list of articles discussing remote working culture (here’s just a few) and like other organizational structures, results will vary. The writers of these articles tend to outline strategies to make working remotely successful. Sometimes, working remotely is discussed as an easy thing to do (we can work in our pajamas all day!) and other times it’s taken as one of the most serious things a company can do. What we’ve discovered is that remote work is more in the middle of these ideas then pulled to only one side.

Develop a routine

Remote work has a weird rap. There’s a lot of people who wish they could work remotely, without knowing that the planning and structure of your workday now fall  on you. You can go to lunch when you want, you can take a break when you want, you can feel more comfortable knowing you’re alone at home in your boxers and a collared shirt for video calls. Let’s not get this image carried away, developing a routine is still key to a successful day. Routine is such a success for remote workers like Buffer’s chief back-end guy Colin Ross, that he once wrote an entire blog about it complete with before and after work schedules.

Moderate the authority

Conversely, scheduling out every minute of your workday is probably not what a typical remote worker wants to do every day, isn’t that the nature of remote work in the first place? Much like the answer to most problems, moderation is still the best practice. Remote working isn’t supposed to feel like you’re replacing an authoritative figure (your office and bosses) with another (yourself). The difference is in the culture we develop as a remote team and the level of communication we promote throughout the company.

Remote work – it’s both

With so many factors weighing the potential successes or failures, how should we view remote work? We spoiled the answer before you read this- it’s both a privilege and a responsibility, of both the company and of the remote worker. It’s about creating a culture of moderation, flexibility, and comfort for us all to do the best work we could do. Doing great things requires doing great work. It’s like what Ka Wai told us, “Remote work isn’t a one-sided perk. It works wonderfully if everyone puts in as much as they take out. Otherwise, it doesn’t work very well at all.”.

Has working remotely made a difference for you or in your company? Drop us a line and let’s chat about it!