A Remote Retrospective – WFH Learnings

Learnings from 2 years of working with remote teams.

I never imagined myself finding a meaningful existence from behind a screen, especially as someone who thrives in dynamic and fast-paced environments. In fact, until 2019, I’d never even owned a laptop. 

Fast forward to 2021, I’ve worked with and managed 25+ remote teams in a myriad of capacities. It’s coming up to the first year of the incorporation of my business, Spark Flow Grow, so it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the personal adaptations I’ve made to this strange new world.

My journey into remote work was far from a linear experience or conscious decision. I found myself working remotely in January 2019 after a series of micro-decisions and events, and choosing to freelance and work with people who happened to have remote businesses naturally helped me to create a skillset and business model moulded to this way of working. This meant that when the first (and consequent) lockdowns hit, I was more or less prepared for this ‘new’ style of working. 

Whilst my workplace had narrowed in focus to a 2560 x 1600 display screen, my physical space continued to move and evolve. Since the pandemic began, I’ve moved home 5 times. I’ve worked from a huge variety of spaces, such as a friends’ make-shift desk, my mum’s kitchen table, my bed, a rickety chair paired with an even ricketier desk, most WeWorks across London, various co-working spaces, countless coffee shops, a tapas bar, the train, a park… 

A hybrid of two worlds had formed to create a world where stability and security met dynamism and novelty, and it was in this messiness of dynamism that I developed something I’d always lacked: a sense of autonomy. I found myself able to reserve my energy and use it where it best served me and those around me, rather than being in a constant state of burnout. I could work, relax, and play on my terms, and I could invest time in creating long-term, meaningful relationships. It’s a world where I have the power of choice. 

Feeling grounded in myself and my work has become the trunk from which the supple and agile branches of my ever-expanding tree grow. Considering this analogy, where are your roots? What makes up your trunk? How have you nurtured this ecosystem this year?

Seeing as remote working has become less of a temporary measure and more of a permanent fixture, we’ll be making this into a series of blog posts where we’ll be sharing our 100%Open-specific learnings such as what worked in the past, what’s working now, and what the future holds. Follow us on our socials – twitter, instagram, linkedin – to keep up with when we post, and to share your input: feel free to tweet or dm us if there’s any aspect of remote working you’d like us to go into detail with in this series. 

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