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It's Ok (and Remote Culture)

Published by on under the Post category.

I usually write one blog post per day. I stumbled upon a web resource that I feel merits its own blog post.

I am a big believer in the UK Government’s digital services. The gov.uk website is seamless. I have had many positive experiences using it for everything from finding out information about passports to applying for Self Assessment, a service for self-employed people through which they can pay their taxes.

I am not surprised to say that I have found an interesting blog post by the Government Digital Service: It’s ok to say what’s ok.

I feel compelled to write my own list of things that are okay. I feel this way because I often get overwhelmed about my work. I sometimes feel like I should be working harder. I often feel like I am working too much. Those two words, it’s okay, can really make a difference.

Without further ado, here is what I think it is okay to do 1:

  • have busy days
  • have quiet days
  • have days where you feel like you are going to cry
  • have days that you wish would never end
  • close Slack so that you can work hard
  • defend your own opinions in front of your manager
  • be unsure about your next steps
  • have a firm opinion
  • be yourself
  • not know the answer to a question
  • take time off
  • talk about non-work stuff

That last one is particularly important. We have a channel at our work called #water-fountain-convo. One of my team members has started to post daily icebreakers to encourage us to get to know each other. I feel like more of a part of the team now that we’re engaging in these discussions.

Sometimes I don’t have anything to say. That’s okay. On those days, I like to read what everyone else has said in the chat. I’ve learned that some of my co-workers really like literature. I have learned that one of my co-workers has read Walden. Especially on a remote team, it’s easy to forget about reaching out to your co-workers outside of work.

I think it is especially hard to bond with co-workers as a remote worker because tools like Slack feel like work. It’s okay to use Slack for things other than work. Get to know your team mates. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it and I am only just beginning. I recently asked one of my team mates for some of their favorite introductory reads on coffee.

  1. This is far from a comprehensive list. I’ll probably think of more to add further down the line. 

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