NoDesk: Issue #181

A weekly newsletter with the best new remote jobs, stories and ideas from the remote work community, and occasional offbeat pieces to feed your curiosity.

By Daniel (@nodeskco).

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Hand-picked articles, stories and ideas from the remote work community and beyond.

Intentional connection in the digital office

Seth Godin | Seth's Blog

The real challenge of remote work isn’t that it somehow erases the mysterious serendipity of magical office collisions. The problem is that making connections digitally requires enrollment and effort. If we do it with intent, it actually works better.

The effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers

Longqi Yang, David Holtz, Sonia Jaffe, et al. | Nature

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a rapid shift to full-time remote work for many information workers. Viewing this shift as a natural experiment in which some workers were already working remotely before the pandemic enables us to separate the effects of firm-wide remote work from other pandemic-related confounding factors. Here, we use rich data on the emails, calendars, instant messages, video/audio calls and workweek hours of 61,182 US Microsoft employees over the first six months of 2020 to estimate the causal effects of firm-wide remote work on collaboration and communication.

Our results show that firm-wide remote work caused the collaboration network of workers to become more static and siloed, with fewer bridges between disparate parts. Furthermore, there was a decrease in synchronous communication and an increase in asynchronous communication. Together, these effects may make it harder for employees to acquire and share new information across the network.

Remote work made life easier for employees with disabilities. Advocates say the option should stay

Angela Yang | The Boston Globe

The pandemic upended corporate culture as workers traded office buildings for their kitchen tables. For most, the change was largely a matter of convenience. But for many people with disabilities, it was transformative ― getting to and from a workplace was the most arduous part of their day.

Digital nomads are here to save Spain’s ghost towns

Graham Keeley | WIRED

Dozens of villages across Spain are in terminal decline. A new visa scheme aimed at digital nomads could revive them.

My Life After Quitting Social Media

Ivaylo Durmonski

Social media is like cigarettes and alcohol. Toxic. Addictive. Yet widely accessible. Everybody knows it’s bad. Everybody knows that it’s wasting your time and polluting your brain with envy, jealously, and resentment. Yet again, nobody is trying to prevent it – nor take the steps to withdraw. The benefits of using social media, it seems for plenty of people, are far greater than the benefits of staying away. Well, after saying no to cigarettes and alcohol after 7 years of obsessive use, I also decided that it’s time to take care of my mental health. For a bit over 3 years, I’m not using social media.

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