When the average person considers working remotely, he or she probably first dreams of the flexibility and comfort of working from home. However, not many people realize that remote work comes with many quirks: “Omg, I wore this shirt on a video call yesterday . . . I should probably change it,” or “I have to remember to not stand up on camera, as I’m still wearing pajama bottoms.” At HiringThing, our team experiences quirks on a daily basis, and we’ve compiled our top five that all remote workers will find amusing.
1. Technical Issues
How awkward is it to be on a video call and your computer suddenly freezes? Or you start sounding robotic because your audio acts up? Remote workers tend to rely on technology pretty heavily, so malfunctions can definitely be a setback. If you’re lucky, a quick refresh or reboot will do the trick. If you have to purchase a new computer or headset, hopefully a friendly IT person on your team can help you get back on your feet.
2. Communication App Malfunctions
In June of 2018, Slack had an entire system outage, and our team members felt like the world was ending. At HiringThing, Slack is our main collaboration tool. When we had to send a company-wide email blast explaining the problem, everyone thought, “Slack is down?! Omg, how??” Luckily, we were back and running within an hour or so, but it was definitely a shocker for our fully remote company.
3. Noisy Backgrounds
A few of our team members are known for working from their favorite local coffee shops, which is great. But how awkward is it when it’s your turn to contribute a bit of information on a team call and everyone hears a loud blast from a classic song or people ordering coffee? No one (except an extrovert) volunteers to be the center of attention, and never for things beyond his or her control. Helpful tip: When working in a noisy environment, be sure to announce your location at the start of the call or mute your audio so no one can hear all the fun happening in the background (their loss!).
4. “Work Attire”
Working from home embodies comfort — you can wear whatever you want because no one is watching. Or are they? If you’re wearing your favorite pajama bottoms or sleep shirt, it can be awkward when you jump on a video call, forget what you’re wearing, and stand up. Pro tip: Prior to a video call, if you plan to move a lot, don’t forget to wear a real pair of pants. Also, try to remember to change shirts — that way none of your co-workers can call you out for not showering (although we’ve all been there).
5. Meeting in Person
Remote workers often get the jitters before they finally meet co-workers in person. This was certainly true for many of our team members during our annual company retreat in September of 2018. Many were also shocked at height differences. In our day-to-day routines, we were so used to seeing each other from the same camera angle every day — we never thought about how people would look once they were standing up next to us in real life! After discussing that for 30 minutes or so, we still all love each other — short or tall or somewhere in the middle.
These funny quirks can happen to any remote team. How about you? If you work remotely, list a few of your common quirks below!
HiringThing is a fully remote company, and we’ve crafted our own work environment. Gain some insight into what makes us tick by reading our remote work manifesto.
Author: Alisiana Peters
Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.