As someone who has worked remotely on and off since the days of NetMeeting, I can closely identify with much of what is raised in Scott Hanselman’s “Tragedies of the Remote Worker“. In an admitted rant, Scott rattles off a number of suggestions of how onsite workers could be more inclusive of their offsite colleagues by making full use of the tools available to them. He then goes on to invite commenters to add their pet peeves about remote work, which at the time of this writing have been mostly constructive.
One of the most important suggestions Scott makes is that we have empathy for our teammates. Make an effort to get to know your coworkers, to understand their situation and work together to be the best team possible. If it’s not an onsite/offsite issue, it’s parents with children, adult children of aging parents, chronic health issues, transportation issues, or a myriad of other stumbling blocks that life puts in everyone’s way. Life happens to all of us and good teams work through it together. This is really a bedrock principal for any successful team that others ignore or discount to their detriment.
Commenter Les Orchard sums it up nicely, “If you think working remote is some kind of special benefit that the remote workers have to compensate for – then you’re failing yourself, your team, and your company. Everyone is remote, at some point.”