I read a few new posts about remote work productivity that were, if I can be frank, awful. I wanted to quickly share why these posts (which I refuse to link to) deserve a healthy dose of skepticism.

Flowers in the sun

If your long term analysis and insights about remote work overlap, in any way, with the global pandemic that caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people in the US, and untold disruption to millions more, then it really does not matter how your data was collected, as you do not have useful information about the future of remote work.

I could not possibly take seriously any manager, executive, data analyst or leader who looks at the data collected over the last year and a half and does anything but possibly prep for, an as yet unseen, future global catastrophe. Unfortunately what I do see is folks disseminating "pro & con" remote work arguments based on faulty data. I for one find the exercise irresponsible and a basic rejection of common sense and good science.

Discovering that your productivity went down during a worldwide pandemic while remote working is to be expected and is absolutely no reflection on remote work. Why? BECAUSE WE ARE IN A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC! Surely an asterisk is warranted!

I have had over a dozen years of experience engaging with and managing distributed teams across multiple geographies and time zones. None of that experience, not one second if it, equipped me with the tools necessary to deal with life (work or play) during a world wide mass catastrophe. My humble suggestion is to pump the brakes on any WFH analysis based on what has surely been an abundance of questionable data.


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