Around the world and back... in a day

August 27, 2021

"Hey, do you have time for a meeting?" was the question I asked my team member, Steve. His speedy response, followed by a Google Meet invitation, led to a great conversation about Filipino culture. We spoke of everything from traditional foods to holiday festivities. 

Somewhere between him relaying that many Filipino families begin decorating for Christmas during the first week of September and my explanation of tater-tot hotdish, I realized how much I valued the little glimpses into what life is like halfway across the world. 

Much like many others, I began working remotely due to COVID-19. And let's just say, The Great Shutdown didn't just change my perception of working remotely; it obliviated it. For the longest time, I thought that working outside the office would limit my impact at work. Don't get me wrong, I loved to work from home sometimes, but years of corporate expectations had 

me convinced it would never be the most productive or efficient way to operate. Flash forward a year, and I'm performing better at home than I ever have in a traditional office setting. The shift to virtual meetings and at-home happy hours was difficult, but it forced me to be more comfortable online. As a Millennial, I was basically raised by the internet. I remember the days of dial-up, the excitement over GPS, and the entry of smartphones, but it still felt weird to spend an entire day online. 

Maybe it was the general kerfuffle of setting up home offices, barking dogs, and the occasional kid popping into the frame to ask their parent if they could have a snack but concentrating felt harder than ever. 

Looking back, I probably would've panicked if someone told me we would be working remotely for at least a year, if not the rest of our careers. But, in a big way, I'm glad I didn't know

because instead of feeling rushed to acclimate to the new environment, I was able to bumble around a bit until I hit my stride. 

Now, that might've felt like a long-winded tangent, but it leads me right back to my conversation with Steve. Steve is also a remote employee, but he lives halfway across the world, literally. And yet, there he was, meeting with me at 3 AM his time to discuss adding a page to our website. 

When we ended the call, I couldn't help but be impressed by the power of the internet. Just imagine what our grandparents would've thought if fifty years ago, they'd been told that within their lifetime, they'd be able to both see and talk to someone, in real-time, who's 7,873 miles away. 

It's a little crazy to think where technology will be within the next fifty years, but I look forward to working with people from around the globe throughout my career because it seems as if the world gets a little bigger, one conversation at a time.


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