It’s Okay to Miss Your Peers!

Dealing with a forced remote reality, away from the people that make work more than a need, but something you might look forward to.

Unlocking tech talent stories

March 30, 2020

I first joined Landing.Jobs more than 4 years ago, and was lucky enough to witness, through different lenses, this company’s growth and achievements, as well as its struggles and tougher times. Over this period, as most other companies in our sector and with our size, there were quite some people coming and going. Either because they sought a new challenge, or because they didn’t find a fit with their career goals, amongst many other reasons.

While we have managed to grow our marketplace — from our talent and employers community, to the features and integrations we provide in our platform — there were definitely tough times.

Either because we needed to readjust internally, restructure to answer to market needs, or go beyond what we thought was possible to deliver amazing projects, features, and events. Through thick and thin, I remember the one thing I keep repeating in our quarterly performance reviews: I love our team.

Wall full of pictures from people that have been for more than 1 year at the company

Landers Wall — photo of Landers that have been for more than 1 year at the company

And when you find yourself in a team you love, it is not hard to start building friendships at work. These friendships are meaningful, in the sense they often provide you with the energy you need to keep going through a tough week or month. From giving perspective on a problem you’re facing, to the ideas you come across chatting in the lobby, to venting about what is bothering you.

When we moved to our new office, I remember we kept commenting that our old one was only better in the sense we were so cramped up, that you’d see pretty much everyone, every day. This serendipity allowed for more of those ideas and conversations (even though we were really starting to lack the space to hold them).

Today, we are starting our third week working remotely thanks to the current COVID-19 outbreak. This means almost one month without those taps on the back, those jokes on the hallway, those lunches in the lounge which would let you talk to someone different every day. For some of us, this might be okay. Indeed, Internet lore says introverts work well alone, and will actually feel less stress by selecting the interactions they engage in. Makes sense, right?

As an introvert myself, I tend to call that bullshit. Indeed, working remotely today does not mean you’re stranded from interactions which drain your energy, or that you are immune from work-related frustrations. On the other hand, it means that those meaningful interactions you would easily have by passing by a colleague you trust, now need to be actively sought.

I am focusing a bit on introverts here because the case for extroverts tends to be easier to make. Probably, they will be missing the energy they get from hanging out with their colleagues while working remotely. But what unites both in these times is the need for proactively reaching out to engage in a conversation.

Luckily, though, we have ways to go around this. In my team, we have found we would really miss the kind of day to day randomness. We have then scheduled a daily moment to talk about what we are not being able to get done, or even the TV series we will binge-watch over the weekend. In Landing.Jobs, recurring area and company-wide meetings and informal moments help in reconnecting with the people who actually make the company.

People around a table with food and drinks, laughing and making funny faces towards the camera

Part of Landing.Jobs team

In a more personal level, we shouldn’t wait for these moments, though. You probably have those people you really miss talking to at work. Reach out to them, and set a one-time, or even recurring event every week or so, in which you can catch up. No plan, but to reconnect and get energised by. Odds are, your colleague will appreciate it and make use of it too. While it might be easy for us to see this as a “waste of time”, it could actually help you lighten your emotional load and free up space for the tasks and deadlines ahead.

It is ultimately in your hands. Your colleagues make a big bunch of our work routines, and it is only natural that this happens. Don’t let quarantine get in the way of their support. Seek it if you need it because it is perfectly okay to miss their energy.

Pedro Castro
PT Market Lead @ Landing.Jobs

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