A Couple More Voices

Sep 13, 2023
Kate Walton

On the Business Insider article titled “Remote workers are falling behind and forgetting how to hang out with people,” a couple readers I heard from weren’t having it:

Alex Bernson: “To me, the piece largely failed to actually tie its valid points about loss of socializing ability post-Covid to remote work in particular. It seems like almost all the causes it goes into for loss of socializing ability are in fact things caused by quarantine, or Covid-related economic destruction, or trauma from Covid-related injuries and deaths (which it just kind of off-handedly acknowledges!) so in the end, it feels like a lot of fear-mongering about remote work cultures without engaging with what those actually are.”

Jen Carlston: “I think they are defining social connections in a very narrow way. Pandemic lockdowns aside, there are plenty of options for socializing that have nothing to do with going into an office. As a parent, I get plenty of social interaction with other parents at all the various activities my kids participate in. Sometimes more than I even want, and I find myself hiding away in my car to get some peace and quiet while my kids do their things. Also, I have friends. Real life, 100% human, actual PEOPLE that I spend time with for fun. We BBQ and have meals together. We play games. We craft. We go to concerts.  I also have friends who I never see in person, like ever, yet I feel just as connected to them. We text memes to each other and share ridiculous videos that make us laugh. We like each other’s photos on social media. We talk on the phone—very occasionally as I don’t really use my phone for talking—and we chat on various messaging apps.

Same with my coworkers! I’m constantly on calls with clients, consultants and colleagues and never do I feel disconnected from them. We’re able to share our lives with each other in whatever ways we’re comfortable. The remote working lifestyle is extremely important to me as I’m juggling a lot of different roles including parent, spouse, adult child, friend, volunteer, employee, and manager. I compartmentalize as often as I can, but there’s always going to be some overlap. I appreciate that I’m able to handle something for a few minutes in my non-work life and then get back to my job quickly without making it a bigger deal than it needs to be.”