The Work-From-Home Snatch and Grab is Distasteful

In the midst of the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak we’re living through, a number of companies and individuals are having to contend with working from home for the first time. Referred to by most of us as remote, or distributed, work.

For most this is not by choice, and for many this is actually against their will or preference.

As an experienced and long-time remote worker, I am all for distributed and flexible work environments. And where appropriate I will advocate and promote it.

But I’ve found the mad rush to publishing “tips and tricks” posts by many of my colleagues and fellow software companies distasteful. A lot of it smacks of exploitative opportunism. A way of getting rankings, traffic, and eyeballs to commercial sites by piggy-backing onto an extremely worrying public health issue.

There is a fine line between genuinely wanting to help and opportunism which is very hard to define. But in most cases, the tips-and-tricks being provided are simple SEO plays, often regurgitating the same stuff over and over again.

But if you really want to help, then make a donation of your software or provide financial support to a food bank or an appropriate charity. Don’t pretend you’re doing your bit for the Coronavirus outbreak by writing a post and patting yourself on the back for it.

Even if the companies and individuals being forced to work remotely who don’t know where to start can get some benefits from it, it’s unlikely that your experience as a remote-first company can help. Because they’re NOT remote-first, they haven’t had time to prepare, and their home environments under a lockdown or quarantine scenario are far from ideal.

So if you’ve had the experience of being forced to change your operational mode from one day to the next then by all means write a post with your tips. Otherwise, please be respectful and don’t pollute the signal with a lot of noise.

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