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de Paola
London, ON

Why remote work is not for everyone

Jul 19, 2022

My TOP5 things that make the remote work NOT for everyone, and maybe you can relate to one or more of those.

Starting with my number 5: hours

When working remotely or from home, you usually can spend more hours working than you think. This can be good or can be reaaaaally bad. One may think that is being super productive working from 8 am to 6 pm. Or even later in the evening.

But that comes with a couple of cons: less free time, more stress, people from the office relying on your late hours to finish stuff, burnout, and so on and so forth. If you have family, even worst. No family time.

Number 4: collaboration and interaction with people

I have friends who need to be in contact with other people. For them to be concentrated on their work, and to be focused, they need to work amongst others. I totally get that. I do. Really. I'm not one of them, of course.

Even when we talk about the design work, for some people, is crucial to work close to other designers, to have quick co-design sessions, to have quick chats, and quick brainstorms. I get that too.

And you can do all of those things using Zoom, Meet, Skype or whatever other tools. You have Miro, FigJam, or Freehand.

There are people who love to socialize. To go out with others to lunch, for a quick coffee or for a short walk. That coffee break to talk about your weekend plans, you know?

So if you are one of those people who need other people close to getting shit done, remote work or work from home is not for you.

Number 3: physical space

Yes. Physical space gets the bronze medal here. Nothing much you can say about it. For some people is ok to work from the couch. I did and I often do. I've written today's episode on my lounge chair. I can work with my laptop on my lap. But I support people who don't.

Working from a proper desk, chair, a secondary monitor maybe. Ergonomic matters, right? On the other hand, for me, the office space is too crowded, messy, noisy, and sometimes overwhelming. I have ADD. For me is hard to keep my focus on a meeting for 10 minutes is the meeting room has big windows. Or if I can't be with my headphones on all the time because someone needs to call my name instead of sending me a message on Slack.

Number 2: be at home all the time

The feeling of not leaving your home can be a thing for some people too. My wife for example. When she works from home for 2 or 3 days straight, she needs to do something outside. I have a friend who works 1 day a week from a Starbucks or 2, just to not have the feeling of staying inside all the time.

It's just a matter of perspective. Some people have the necessity to get dressed, wear a nice pair of pants and go out. I love to work wearing my boxers or sweat pants. The camera only catches up until my chest, so, what I'm wearing as bottoms doesn't matter.

Number 1: Focus!!!

And the winner is… (drum roll please) FOCUS!! And this is major. I know a lot of people who were working from home during the pandemic who said:

"My house was never this clean" or "I can't stop moving my furniture around".

That is a major focus problem. When you work from home or remotely, you are working. I've said that before. Of course, you have more freedom, and more time during your day, but that doesn't mean you can clean your place during the morning and only work in the afternoon. Unless you have a part-time job. If that's the case, good for you.

There are people who think can work with the TV on, or with your music out loud, or working from the patio deck. Once you notice, you're paying more attention to the TV, and to the birds outside than focusing on your work.

There are people who think: "I will wash my car quickly, not even 20 minutes" and that takes 1h. Boom, your focus went south really quick.

Youtube, Netflix… even from work I'm watching Youtube videos on my spare screen. But I use it to keep me focused, just to have some white noise around me. But for others is different. Everyone is different. You have to find your balance and a way to keep you focused when working from home or remotely.

Honourable mention: kids!

If you have kids at home, for sure it will be hard to work. It will be crazy hard to keep your focus, your meetings, and your workflow… but, you did for the last 2 years, right? Unless you don't have kids hahahaha.


To not work from an office environment is not for everyone. Working from an office environment is not for everyone either. That's what companies and managers need to understand and maybe, that's why Amsterdam (always them) is creating a new law that companies will have to accept employee's decisions whether they want to work from the office, from home or from anywhere they want. Go for you, my dutch friends.

And that's a wrap guys.

Talk soon. Bye.

de Paola
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