Remote work now and in the future

How many of you took part in ERC’s “Road to Recovery” virtual conference last week? The sessions I attended were very informative, packed with data, ideas, and resources. Despite being unable to meet in person, session benefits were more than the sum of their parts this time.

As we all work in varying degrees of isolation, spending time with others who are experiencing the same challenges is heartening. Hearing from different parts of our industry is educational. Learning from peers whose particular expertise gives us a detailed view of the mobility picture is thought-provoking.

One topic making the rounds is remote work. Given the quick transition companies undertook to shift employees out of offices, it’s no wonder that work-from-home came as a shock to the system for many. Coupled with school children at home, entertainment sources off-limits, and shortages of essential items, figuring out how to be productive at home was a massive change.

Workers may find they appreciate the lack of commute and office wardrobe. Many are finding more time for simple pleasures and family togetherness. Still, they struggle with solitude, changed processes, and the strain of video interaction in place of face-to-face.

Living Abroad’s Content team has worked remotely since 2008. In this, we’ve been fortunate to avoid the stark adjustment many experienced this year when moving to a home office environment. But we are dealing with physical transitions, too. For example, my husband teaches high school math via Zoom from an upstairs bedroom (with a white board clipped to a bunk bed!) while our grown son moved out of New York City and now works at home with us as well.

Randstad, which provides outsourcing and other services – and kicked off Thursday’s ERC session with some great insights – gives us 4 Tips for Mastering Remote Work.  For some physical tips and videos, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery offers ways to feel better from home. And finally, NPR has a good list of 8 Tips to Make Working from Home Work for You.

For companies, many employers are just coming to terms with the compliance issues remote workers present. Fragomen’s team delivered critical info during Thursday’s ERC session on immigration, reminding employers to stay abreast of country requirements with regard to visas and taxation.

With all that said, remember also to include some levity in your day when you can. Take in the clever, humorous content people are sharing. The original work-from-home-Dad video never fails to make me laugh: Watch Professor Robert Kelly’s famous BBC interview interrupted by his children.

Remember: we are all in this together these days. We may not all be in the same boat, but are weathering the same storm, staying afloat and sharing navigational maps to chart our way to the future.

Be well, everyone.

Written by Ellen Harris, GMS, Product Manager, Content Group

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