Why remote work sucks, according to science! — TripActions Community

Why remote work sucks, according to science!

Not sure about you all, but I'm really starting to miss working from the office. And even though we have the magic and power of video conferencing at our fingertips, it still seems like there's something missing. NPR has a good story on this which just came out this morning -



  • Absolutely agree! It's interesting that we've learned that remote works, but it's actually only strengthened the argument for meeting in person, even or especially that means travel, because the benefits are worth it.

  • These are interesting perspectives.

    I've been working remotely since 6 years. At Festive Road, we don't have an office. We all work from home when we don't travel. Personally, I have built my lifestyle around working while traveling (well... not at the moment for obvious reasons...).

    While I agree with the power of face to face and 'in real life' human interactions, especially for teams whose work depend on creativity or for strategic meetings, certain types of meetings/classes, I would suggest to factor in the below components to nuance things a bit:

    • First of all, I'd say the current situation does not give justice to "remote work". The context is not normal: we're barely allowed to go out, we can't have any social interactions IRL (in real life), we can't work out the way we used to, we can't see friends or have our normal activities outside of work. Not even to mention people with kids at home, or taking care of family members for example. So, the dip in productivity mentioned in the blog does make sense. You need to factor in everyone's mental health at the moment.
    • For some companies like NPR in their blog you shared, indeed it is not easy to replicate the same quality of work than at the office. For others jobs, it wouldn't make a difference to sit in an office, at home, or anywhere in the world. Part of my activity involves public speaking so I can relate to this! The chemistry happening in a room is extremely hard to replicate virtually.
    • I strongly believe it is crucial that you have the right IT infrastructure with the right tools, but also have best practices in place for people / business units working in virtual teams. We do have a lot of ways to interact but it shouldn't be that overwhelming as it is today for many people drowned with notifications and zoom calls all over the place. Again, I'd suggest this has been emphasized by the current unusual circumstances.
    • It is crucial that virtual teams do meet face to face on a regular basis (even if only quarterly). At the present time it is not possible, which makes the frustration ever bigger.
    • Then, important point: I truly believe this is highly dependent on each individual's personality. Some will need the office life, some can easily live without. My 2 cents: personally, I don't miss office life but I'm a social butterfly and my job involves traveling a lot, running meetings, events... so I am constantly in contact with someone. Being able to work from anywhere provides me with a freedom that I value more than anything. I've never been happier than since I stopped commuting, stopped having to work in noisy offices ;-) Which actually gets me to appreciate the times I have to do it.


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