My internship wasn’t originally supposed to be remote. But I’m enjoying many aspects of working from home. For one, my work environment is mostly under my control. In an open office floor plan (which seems to be popular), I would be subject to ambient noise and visual distractions. Besides that, I have a variety of locations available to work from — my desk, the couch, or even out in the backyard in the sun (highly recommended!). I get to have small interactions with my family throughout the day when I pass through the house to get some water or grab a snack. The commute is short, safe and environmentally friendly. And because everyone else is working from home, I’m not on weaker footing just because I’m video-calling into meetings.
Of course, there are things I’m missing out on. I’m missing out on really getting to know the other interns. I’m missing out on befriending coworkers by running into them around the office. I’m missing out on in-office perks like snacks and foosball. I’m missing out on the immediacy of speaking with people face-to-face. These would have been nice to have during this internship, but I’m doing fine without them.
The fact that I like work-from-home so much is, at least in my eyes, a strong recommendation for true remote work. COVID work-from-home is not the same as normal remote work, of course. Normal remote work means being able to work in coffee shops, or meet up with teammates who live nearby to work in each other’s homes. And it doesn’t come with the pressure and uncertainty that might come with COVID work-from-home. Normal remote work is by preference, not necessity. I wonder if it will become my preference someday.