Working remotely has, in my case, only advantages. But after almost two years of Covid, seeing several people working from home, considering this happened in a very unordered manner and also because there was no alternative to it, I have to admit, I can only see advantages because I work for a company that is 100% distributed, proud of it and works tirelessly to make this the best experience possible for us.
We have the tools, and when we don’t we build or improve them, we have the culture and we hire with that in mind. It works and it works remarkably well, but it takes a company that is willing to make it work and people who are prepared for it.
I said that because not everyone is suited for remote work. Some people need the social interaction that comes with the office. I usually fluctuate between being anti-social and super-social and love that I have control over my environment. I love the fact that I can lock myself at home if I need peace and quiet or I can work from a coffee shop or my sister’s living room in Norway, or my parents ‘ dining room in Brazil if I want to be around people. I love how close I am to my colleagues and work friends even tho we don’t see each other every single day. Heck, we don’t even see each other every month. And I love being able to see them at least twice a year (or more) during our team meetups and GMs. But, among other terrible, terrible things which are not the focus of this post, the pandemic disrupted all that.
Out of the blue working from home became the only option. No more last-minute trips, no more working from a cool coffee shop or restaurant, no more seeing your friends and family, no more meetups. And while I still love working from home (and probably always will, the pandemic did not ruin that at least) it was driving me a bit crazy (it still is, I still can’t see my nieces and that is driving me nuts).
But things are slowly going back to normal, at least around here. We are starting to talk about meetups again, some teams already had one, I’m planning a skiing trip to the US to visit a friend from work and celebrate her birthday, we are back being able to eat in restaurants, work from coffee shops and, for the most part, finally able to see each other again.
So, with that in mind, this weekend I went to Montreal with Sam and Miguel to visit some work friends for the first time since the pandemic hit and it felt amazing at the same time it felt weird (but a good weird). I hadn’t been in Montreal in 3 years (and Ottawa in 4 years) and the last time saw them was January 2020 in our last in-person meetup.
Like KP said, this is one of the things I will not take for granted anymore.
I had the most amazing time with some of the most amazing people in the world. Seeing some of my teammates and some former teammates worked like charm to recharge the batteries.
After getting in Montreal at 11:55 pm while the hotel was calling us saying the parking lot would be closed after midnight (quite the adventure), we headed the next day to a pizza place called Brigade which is Senff’s favourite pizza place and from there to the Crew, which is a gorgeous cafe/Coworking space in downtown. The building was built between 1926 and 1928 for the Royal Bank of Canada by the New York architect firm York & Sawyer. It’s breathtaking, has good coffee, good internet.
Tacos at Tin Tan
And on Sunday we stopped in Ottawa on our way back for lunch and a few pictures