Podcast 120: Lessons learnt in 2021

Happy New Year!

We posted this question on social media:

What lessons have you learnt over the last 12 months? Working from home, wins, losses, mindset, managing the pandemic etc.

In this episode of the Cherryleaf Podcast, we go through the responses, and reflect on what was said.

Here is a summary of responses:


I learned that, even with multiple years demonstrating the ability, some companies just won’t accept a remote work transition.


I feel like the people that relied on meetings and hallway convo to get things done are not really embracing asynchronous communication. I feel a lot of folks are still learning this.


I’ve been taking WFH days and working with distributed teams for like a decade before 2020.
A haphazard jump into full remote is not ideal. OTOH orgs have to face up, if employees can handle suboptimal remote, what could they do if actually supported :shrug:


I’ve learned that a part time job where I have to clock my hours often ends up being more work than a full time salary job. So I think I’m heading back to full time.


I love that I am fully remote, but I do miss some of the social aspects of the office and getting separate family vs work time. I’ve learned that my work needs to be more challenging to keep me interested. Being the only one on my team in my timezone is hard.


I’ve learned that starting a new job while remote is really hard, regardless of how awesome the company is. I didn’t realize how much I relied on things like meeting people in the kitchen to get to know my colleagues!Also, especially with the added stress/anxiety of the pandemic, I need to be very intentional in structuring my days (including breaks) as I’ve found it harder to focus as well as I normally do.


I’ve learned that I do not want to go back to the office.


I’ve learned a lot about my TW core skills (user guides for data centre software products) while doing a long contract from outside that comfort zone.


You can’t work remotely in exactly the same way you did in the office. That way lies exhaustion and burnout. Rather, pace yourself. Build in proper ‘transition time’ between meetings and tasks. Allow yourself small talk at the start and end of meetings. Be gentle on yourself.


I am 50% more productive working from home and don’t waste two hours a day commuting.


I started working from home years ago and looked for a role/company that allowed a fully remote or hybrid culture for 2 years before landing in a good fit. I read the book Remote and followed it adjusting into a new way over 3-6 months. 2020 was not ideal for ppl who never did it because they didn’t get to plan and experience what time saving and gracious balance you can achieve working from home. So I hope folks will be able to somehow read that book and gain some helpful tips and have a better experience.


Nothing WFH or pandemic related, but lesson for me this year has been the damaging effects of context switching. Really burned me out to the point where I was struggling to remember anything and was constantly tense due to info overload.

In the podcast, we also reflect on those comments.

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