The Remote Roundup October 1, 2021
If you have ever been looking for a remote work strategy you may have noticed there exists a huge gap in between great insights and everything else out there.
So, we created The Remote Roundup where we will scour the internet for the best remote work content and give our analysis on one article while ranking the top 4 blogs of the week. Plus a podcast!
For the weekly collection of relevant and high quality remote work news, jobs, podcasts, guides, and expert advice from remote work experts, subscribe to our newsletter: The Remote Times.
Ok, let's get started with the top remote content for the last week of September.
Top Article: "Remote work has finally made me — a legally-blind person — feel like I can thrive at my job. I'm sad it took this long." By Rachel Christian in Business Insider
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26% of adults in the United States have some kind of disability.
We are talking about more than 80 million people who have struggled to find reliable sources of income for the majority of their lives. Not because they are unable to work, but because the world we live in is highly inaccessible.
Take, for example, Rachel Christian. An accomplished journalist and personal finance writer who also happens to be legally blind.
Since she was 15 years old she has been gradually losing her eyesight due to a rare retinal disease called cone dystrophy.
She has missed several career opportunities not on the basis of her qualifications but because the jobs required possessing a valid driver’s license (despite no driving involved).
Then you have Gabe Moses who lives in New York City and used to commute 45 minutes every day to spend 8 hours sitting at a desk in a call center.
A frustrating experience for anybody but Gabe also has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and dysautonomia. EDS can cause chronic pain, muscle weakness, and ruptured blood vessels, and dysautonomia affects the nervous system meaning Gabe is confined to a wheelchair.
He used to return home from work in so much pain that he lost his ability to speak.
When most jobs went remote during the Pandemic it turned out to be a godsend to not just all the 9-5ers out there but the many people often forgotten from the workforce.
Rachel was able to get her dream job at a personal finance website looking for remote workers without ever having to disclose that she was blind.
It was a non-issue.
She can work at the home apartment as dark as a cave without inconveniencing anyone and have all the visual accommodations on her computer without having to answer any uncomfortable questions.
Gabe’s company went remote and he has spent the last year and a half working on his stomach which is much more comfortable for him.
He now has the energy after work to spend time with his wife and go out for walks with his dog by tying her leash to his wheelchair.
As heartwarming as these stories are, there is still a lot of work to be done.
One of the hardest things for many disabled people has been experiencing something they have been asking for for so long and told it wasn't possible.
"All of a sudden, when everybody else needs it, we move heaven and earth to make it happen," said Shelby Hintze, a producer for a local news station in Salt Lake City with spinal muscular atrophy.
In 2020, only 17.9% of people with disabilities were employed. Down from 19% in 2019.
Then you have employers forcing workers to come back to the office at least 3 days a week or even full-time which directly impacts people like Gabe.
Companies with employees who have disabilities or are immunocompromised should allow them to continue working remotely with no questions asked.
Companies that are hiring for multiple remote positions should also have diversity programs that prioritize disabled individuals.
Remote work has the potential to be a democratizing force for employment. But it is something the disabled community has been requesting for years.
We should be conscious of the realities that millions of people face before declaring a broken system fixed.
Top Blog Articles
4. Cecilia Amador de San José shares what the Allwork.space team does to prevent stress and burnout.
As many people started working remotely they quickly found out what would happen if they or their company didn't take care of their work-life balance. Higher levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout have all been on the rise due to an incomplete transition to remote work.
The team at Allwork.space shares the lessons their team has learned from making a full transition and practicing self-care.
The first tip is exercise. It is the top way their team de-stresses and many practice it the first thing in the morning from insanity, boxing, doing HIIT workouts, running, or doing headstands. A great way to start your day and get out any anxiety from the night before.
The second tip is to reconnect with nature. Going for a walk, hiking, being the near the ocean all makes a huge difference in recharging over the weekend.
The third tip is cooking or baking. This is a great way to blow off steam and practice your creativity to create something delicious.
3. Ankit Sahu of the Turing Blog interviews Facebook's former engineering manager on knowledge sharing.
Balázs Balázs is a forming engineering manager at Facebook and he came on the coding sans podcast to talk about knowledge sharing.
Ankit does a great summary of his main points with the first being to pick the best knowledge-sharing methods. Balázs says that you have to prioritize active sharing meaning actually sending information to your colleagues rather than just documenting it in a passive way.
He also advises on being pragmatic to prioritize the most important information.
The second tip is to foster an environment that encourages employees to ask questions. They should feel safe from ridicule when requesting information and there should also be rewards for successful transfers.
Facebook offers free travel across their global offices.
The third and most important is to incorporate documentation into your onboarding. He advises new joiners to update certain documentation for an ongoing project so they interact with team members and understand the fundamental processes.
2. Henry from the Buildremote.co blog shares his opinion on why hybrid work is not the future.
Henry says that the argument for hybrid work comes off as lazy. Basically, companies are saying we all have office leases to fill but everyone wants to work from home.
He give three reasons why hybrid work has no future. The first being that the hybrid work model is the hardest on internal communication. This forces companies to either choose to communication fully in-person or remote-first.
When you have people in the office and people remote they have to pick which communication channels so that everyone can see what is happening and collaborate together. Eventually they will side with one that is most productive because it is impossible to manage both effectively.
The second reason he gives is that when you are hybrid you are still limited to a pick from talent from a certain geographic area. In an already talent scarce market, this makes it difficult to build teams and eventually you will end hiring someone fully remote.
The incentives to hire a talented individual from around the country or world are too great to stay in the same 50-mile radius of your office.
Finally the last reason is that even if you have people in the office they will still be on zoom calls all day-essential working remote from the office. They will begin to question the need to pay for an office when it isn't truly being used.
There will be a lot more financial incentive to go fully remote and get rid of the office lease.
1. Bree Caggiati of the ShieldGeo Blog questions how accessible and inclusive is remote work.
When Bree first started writing about remote work three years ago she was inspired by all the benefits to productivity and well-being. She was also intrigued by the idea that remote work would create a more equitable workforce and kept a close eye on developments.
Now after a year and half of most of the world working remotely she still wonders if there has been and changes in the accessibility and diversity of our workforce.
She first highlights that mothers working from home have had it much worse than single people or even fathers. Women have reported higher rates of stress, depression, and sheer hours worked.
The main reason is that in most households women take a large amount of the responsibility from cleaning to helping children with their homework.
Add this to holding down a full-time job and it is no wonder women feel overworked.
Then she questions if remote work has led to more hires of people with disabilities. It has positively impacted the lives of disabled people who have been able to work from home during the pandemic but it was also one of their requests for years.
In terms of hiring, there still remains a distinct bias against hiring a disabled person over another applicant.
She gives four tips for addressing these issues:
- Utilize the return phase of the pandemic to implement new policies
- Understand that everyone on your team is an individual, be empathetic, and listen to their requests.
- Don't assume you are an expert in these type of situations.
- Assess your policies and see if you really are making a difference.
Best Podcast: Job van der Voort, Founder and CEO at Remote and Darren Murph, Head of Remote at Gitlab on The Remote Show podcast
Job and Darren have a masters course on remote work on this week's Remote Show podcast.
They go through a full analysis of the past, present, and future states of remote working.
Job covers the different hierarchies of remote working and how many organizations never made it past the first level.
Darren goes over how sometimes you need to "pressure test your systems" to ensure that every process functions location-agnostic.
The episode is an interesting reflection of what is possible with remote working and where we need to go.
Check out this week's featured podcast here.
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See you next Friday for October's first edition of the Remote Roundup!
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