Ash Rhodes has worked remotely for a very long time, and knows full well how the transition from office has benefitted him, but isn’t for everyone.
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello and welcome to Episode 83 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is remote work so stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today Ash Rhodes. Ash, it’s lovely to have you back again. The topic for this week is remote work in support. And I know you are a huge advocate of remote work and I’m sure could fail many podcast episode but we’re on a tight schedule here. So let’s, let’s hit the basics.
Ash Rhodes 0:54
Absolutely and and before we jump in, I also have every intention of talking about the pits. as well, because I don’t want to brand remote work as the cure all for anything and remote work does not work for all organisations or for all people and personality types. With that said, I actually pitched this topic to Charlotte, and I did so with the phrase that offices are germ ridden disease factories. And I mean it so I just had to get that out there immediately. I have been a remote worker for better part of a decade at this point. Before that, I worked at one of those disease ridden term term does that one of those places Cameron disease fact That’s it? That’s it. Thank you. And I was I was sick all the time. So when I got the opportunity to go remote for one thing, I didn’t get sick nearly as often, I made sure that I still did things like go outside regularly saw friends, it improved my life in my health, but it also improved my output. I was able to work on my own schedule I was I was lucky enough to work for automatic the people behind wordpress.com and at an early stage in their growth, and so I was able to make my own schedule and do what I wanted. I’ve kept to remote and I now build departments doing so. And so I’m, as you said, I’m a huge advocate.
Charlotte Ward 2:36
That’s a big advantage of remote work. And particularly in certain organisations, as you mentioned, with automatic the ability to set your own schedule. And, and by extension, the flexibility that remote work gives you is a really big attraction for this this way of working, isn’t it?
Ash Rhodes 2:52
Keep in mind that CMS is very much I mean, I don’t think I need to tell anybody that we are announcing Like most other departments in any company, the code get shipped, whether it’s a 2am or 2pm. It just it doesn’t matter. But see us we mostly have to be online when our customers are online, you’re you’re extraordinarily lucky if you are working with a company that doesn’t have any our requirements at those, that very early stage automatic, was very flexible with that you have a doctor’s woman, go to the doctor’s appointment, work a couple hours later, or work a couple extra hours the next day or over the weekend, communicate, because that’s another aspect of remote work is that communication has to be just on top, like it needs to be topped here, but you communicate with me or communicate with your peers or ideally both. I just can’t make it back from my doctor or whatever. I’m going to have to take the rest of the day. Cool, recovering for you. We’ve got you man. We might be quite some distance. As office workers from our place of work, and therefore something as simple as needing to take an hour out for a doctor’s appointment, probably by extension means that we have to commute somewhere back near to where we live. That means half a day is knocked out for what in reality might be an hour or 45 minutes or less. So given that most of our lives are conducted much closer to home, it does mean that you’re much more available just under those circumstances that you don’t have to write off significant portions of your day for small things. That means that your vacation time can be spent doing something that you actually enjoy as opposed to doing the modalities of life like picking your kid up from school or something along those lines waiting for a delivery. Or Oh my god, can you imagine having to take time off to wait for a delivery whereas I earlier today I had my dishwasher fixed and I worked through The entire entire process. All of that said, like, here’s the negative parts of it. Some companies think that because you are an a remote worker, that means you should be working all the time. That’s not how it should work. A lot of people forget that. You should not be doing work when you’re at the telly, or when you’re sitting at your dinner table, or when you’re in bed. And then there’s just some people who should not be working from home by themselves. It is a very, very isolating job. I’m one of those weirdos who has no problems sitting by himself and typing away in utter silence. Like, I am totally cool with that. Some people are not cool with that the first few weeks it’s cool, it’s new. It’s interesting around week five or seven, they’re just like, I can’t do this anymore. But But then there are some people who they have their First day of remote, and it’s a love connection, and they never look back. I myself go through phases where in my wife is like you need to take a walk outside and then you need to go work in a co working spot because you’re you’re kind of grumpy and you’re getting a little weird. It’s good that it’s just you and I’m trying to pretend like I didn’t just tell the entire internet that I get weird and grumpy, but it’s, it happens to everybody. So remote work, just it takes a lot of self awareness and a lot of work in order to work.
Charlotte Ward 6:33
The entire internet is listening.
Ash Rhodes 6:35
Oh great. I appreciate that. Thanks for reminding me.
Charlotte Ward 6:41
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/83 for the show notes and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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