Tragedies of the Remote Worker: "Looks like you're the only one on the call"
I'm writing this as I sit alone in a remote meeting room. As a remote worker, this is just one of the tiny, daily paper cuts. To be clear, I like being remote and I wouldn't change it, but some days Being a Remote Worker Sucks.
This is a rant, but if you were remote you'd understand.
You're the only one on the call.
It was nice of them put a link to join the meeting into the invitation, except they never joined the meeting. They've changed their IM status to Do Not Disturb and aren't answering their phones. You're all alone in a virtual room and are now late for a meeting you were originally early for.
When's the next time you're up?
Whenever you are on-site, folks always say "when are you up next?" Seriously. Like I'm just on vacation the other 6 weeks I'm not at the mother ship.
If only there were a global network with cameras and audio that would allow us to have a conversation while I'm away? But, alas, there isn't, so I'll see you again in 6 to 8 weeks.
I'm remote but that doesn't mean I'm not available EVERY WORK DAY.
Fifteen Minutes of "Can you hear me?"
Please. Unmute your damn phone. http://howtounmute.com. Learning how to use your basic VOIP camera and audio is a sign of respect for your remote workers.
You have a Webcam, use it.
You can see each other, but I can't see you. I don't care that you "don't like to use your webcam." We are having a business meeting, turn it on so the remote works can get one of their 5 senses back. Seeing your face is the whole point. It really helps. Bonus points if you adjust your webcam when it's time to see the whiteboard.
Have Empathy - Put yourself in the remote person's shoes
When I came to work here I sent five managers gift-wrapped web cams with a note on how to use them. During my next office visit I found 4 of them opened and shoved off to the side of their desks. If I had a gluten allergy I think you'd be more accommodating. But I don't, I'm a remote worker.
I'm remote, please add call link to the meeting invite
Thanks for scheduling that meeting. Awesome that you got a room and everything. But I'm going to email you right back and remind you to add a call bridge/goto meeting/lync invite/google hangout. I just need access.
Move closer to the mic
You're in your office talking to me remotely, but not only will you not turn on your camera but you're talking on a speaker phone with your back to me as you spin in your desk chair.
Did the meeting end? Guys? Any one there?
It's so sad when I'm left on the table and you've all left the room. I'm just trapped in the Klingon Phone and you've got feet.
Don't fade away. When someone is remote it's so important to check in as you're closing the meeting.
Your Inability to Deal with Me Remotely
Everyone has some special need. Mine is I'm remote. Your inability to be even slightly flexible to that fact causes me problems literally daily. Remote workers go out of their way to be available.
I'm on Lync, Skype, Slack, Twitter, and my cell phone is published in the company directory.
And you just literally said with a straight face, "I couldn't get ahold of you." O_O
Hearing an Important Conversation...as they hang up
This happens more often than you'd think. The meeting is over and they are hanging up. You can see their hand dropping to hit "End Call" and then someone starts mentioning something TOTALLY IMPORTANT and....dial tone.
Why don't you move up here?
Wow! I never thought of that. After 7 years of working remotely for a dozen reasons, you finally asked the right question! Why don't I just move up there?
What tiny indignities do you deal with as a remote worker? Sound off in the comments.
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