I am a pretty literal thinker.
Last holiday season, a colleague who works remote (vs. my organization’s brick-and-mortar office) and I were talking about the unique parts of being a remote worker. She said, “Even though I’m not in the office, when someone says there are brownies by the printer, I still look.”
That’s how printer brownies were born at my office last year. (I shared them in our Slack channel for remote workers.)
But 2019 calls for something more (plus I wanted to make brownies and Santa is craving brownies with his milk Christmas Eve night). Therefore, I added a task to my list for tonight.
Why does it matter to serve “printer brownies”? It matters because 30% of US workers work remotely full-time (according to Owl Labs). Telecommuting is growing, with FlexJobs reporting a 22% increase in people working remotely between 2017 and 2018. Despite this growth, Owl Labs reported that “38% of remote workers and 15% of remote managers received no training on how to work remotely.”
There are lots more stats to show how much remote work is growing and the uneven nature of how people learn to work remotely. I had never worked remote until I started a several-year period of freelancing in 2014. Then when I got my current job (at a place where I had been freelancing), I was officially a full-time remote worker.
Of all the things I’ve learned about remote work (which are almost exclusively self-taught and not lessons I always learned well the first time), the biggest one is that connection matters whether you sit across from each other in a physical office or you only ever chat digitally with someone thousands of miles away.
That’s why when someone looks for the brownies by the printer, I try to help them feel more connected than disappointed.
I’m linking this post up at Kat Bouska’s blog for the prompt, ” Write a blog post inspired by the word ‘task.'”