Picture this: your WiFi cuts out in the middle of an important client call. “Unstable internet connection.” The pop-up mocks you as you try any hack you can think of to rejoin the call before anyone notices you’re gone. Unfortunately, after five minutes, when your WiFi finally starts to work again, you’ve rejoined the call but missed the most important bits of information. I’m pretty sure anyone who has been working remotely can relate.
Struggles of Remote Work and Videoconferencing
Videoconferencing has other pitfalls too, such as your coworkers constantly logging on late. That awkward Zoom silence before everyone is on the call. Need I even mention the term “Zoom fatigue.” We all know you’ve been napping between calls when you join a meeting and your hair is sticking up in 50 different directions.
Also, the emails and messages coming in every second saying something like “let’s connect,” “do you have a minute to chat,” “I’ll send a link,” “let’s hop on a call.” Gone are the days when you could just stick your head into someone’s office to ask quick questions. Now it’s all email, text, Slack, Teams, Zoom, Skype (do people still even use that?), etc.
So, clearly, you’re tired of all of this. Tired of seeing jokes on the internet about “What Kind of Zoom User are You?” Tired of shouting “everyone, be quiet! I gotta hop on this call” when you are at work and your family is home. Tired of unstable internets, glitchy connections, being talked over, and lagging so badly that you might as well just hop off the call altogether.
You don’t want to be asked “share your screen,” “can you make me the host,” “we can’t hear the audio,” and “you’re on mute.” Frankly having the opportunity to go back into the office so you can actually share office gossip in the break room instead of the breakout room again is a welcome relief.
Back to the Office
You have to get up early, put on work attire (including pants), and go into the office. In doing so, you sit in traffic, pay for gas and parking (or transportation), and then trek to your office. You finally settle at your workstation. When you get there, you hear the “ding” and see a Zoom link appear in your inbox.
Yes, you guessed it, back in the office yet still having to hop on Zoom every day. Welcome to the new reality of working in 2021: the “hybrid workforce.” Now, not only must you deal with all of the things you’ve come to despise about Zoom, but you can’t even do it from your couch anymore.
Or, you could look at this “hybrid” format as the best of both worlds in a sense. It allows for collaboration that isn’t limited by location and gives many people back the company culture and connection they’ve been missing so much.
Remote working during the pandemic has been a test for everyone and we’ve all had to adapt and grow to fit into the parameters of society. Change rarely ever comes easy, and these upcoming years will be no exception.
But now, with a hybrid setup, we truly can have everything. The ability to come into the office and reap the benefits of face-to-face interaction (and stable internet with no household distractions), while working with people all across the world. We’ve all spent over a year now learning all of the remote skills necessary to efficiently do work - so why let them go to waste?