Isolated Working vs. Remote Working, Covid-19

  • Ross Edlin
  • 27th May 2020

You're probably thinking, damn I hate this remote working, it's so boring and lonely.

I just want to go outside...

But... there is an enormous difference between what we consider remote working and what we're experiencing right now.

Which is isolated working.

So what's the difference???

#1 - Freedom of choice

You are free with remote working.

Remote working allows you to choose your work place.
Some choose to be isolated, they like the peace and quiet, the comfort of their own home.
And that is perfectly fine.

It’s about choice.

Others, like myself, enjoy the freedom of going to co-working spaces, coffee shops and meeting with and working with other people.
I’ve always enjoyed the office environment.

It’s productive, you are surrounded by smart individuals who you can learn from every day.
But most of all, you don’t feel alone in the daily struggle of life.

Most of all, I choose my office.

Today might be home, tomorrow might be a coffee shop, and the next day might be in the office.

It's the freedom of choice.

#2 - Mental separation

When your workplace is the same as your home, it's difficult to mentally separate out what is play time and what is work time.

Normally after work, you would disconnect from thinking about your work problems, rest your brain, your body from work.
You would stimulate yourself with friends, family, enjoyment, enjoyable things.

Reminding yourself why you work so hard!

Everyone has a different reason to work hard, but when all you do is work.
It's sometimes difficult to find the reason why you get up every day.

You need that separation so you can reset and refocus.

But without being able to make the mental distinction between your work and home, your brain is constantly thinking about work.

So you get tired.
You get exhausted and start to forget….

You forget… why you do this.
Why you work hard every day.

And so your performance hits the floor.

  • You need to have physical distance between work and home.
  • You need to have a routine in the morning which says to my brain; you are starting work.
  • You need to have a place you can return home to and relax after a long hard day.

And you can’t do all this when you are isolated at home in the corona virus / covid-19 era.
Which sucks.

#3 - People

Human beings are social creatures.
We would not exist without connecting with each other, creating emotional bonds and having children.

Our brains are wired to release positive feelings when surrounded by other people who bring us joy, love and comfort.

When working form companies on-site.
I loved walking to work in the morning, coming and seeing all these gleeful faces, smiling and laughing.

We’d have our daily morning 15-minute meeting to layout the daily objectives.
It was exciting and invigorating.

It filled me with focus and purpose.
But most of all, it made me feel connected with other human beings.
Because despite all the hard work, we had the most important thing, laughter.

We enjoyed ourselves; we made fun of each other; we joked and asked each other about our days.
It made me feel wanted and important.

It filled me with purpose.

But with that striped away, it can be very hard.


The corona virus / covid-19 is not going away anytime soon.

That sucks.

But I thought it was important to highlight that remote working is NOT what we're experiencing right now.

This is isolated working.