Great story! As the first Facebook Content Strategist to move to their London office, I felt remote even though I was technically in-house. I followed that up by working as a freelancer, in some cases with companies with as much as an 8-hour time difference away from me.

Every company is different. Remote working can be effective, but only if the company and the person who’s remote are equally invested in making it work. Sometimes a company thinks it’s supportive of remote working, but their actions don’t demonstrate it. For example, it’s a bummer when a company always schedules meetings that prioritizes one timezone over the one you’re in and you end up taking meetings at 11pm. It’s also hard to be a remote worker when either the company or the team you’re working with is generally unresponsive to written forms of communication such as emails.

It’s also surprising to me how often the technology fails. I’m talking about things like bad sound or image lag in Skype or Hangouts. I had a meeting last week that was beset with technical difficulties and we all laughed and said, “If only there was a company designing products for remote teams that actually works!” People rely on technology every day, but this dependance is particularly acute if you work remotely.

Writer and reader. Director of UX for Store Management at Shopify. Formerly designed with words at Facebook. Based in Toronto. http://amythibodeau.com

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