The COVID-19 effect
It’s been a while! Time is a weird concept here having worked remotely for over 4 months. If you have followed the situation in the US, COVID-19 cases are looking especially bad in California. A lot of locations are still (again) closed like gyms and restaurants are still only allowing takeout. Some allow social distance eating if there is an outdoor patio.
At the same time I am definitely getting more accustomed to the situation feeling more comfortable working from home now. Routines help a lot but it’s a fragile balance with emotions and energy-levels definitely being in a more sensitive state nowadays. We are in a very privileged situation with not having anyone additionally to care for. We don’t have any children or other family members to take care of. Not even a pet (although we are looking into getting one.)
The effect of COVID-19 is becoming more prominent. Companies are more open to hiring remote positions, even looking into continuing the position remotely after we are all allowed back into the offices. This seems to be depending on the situation. We just hired someone remotely from the UK for instance. The common nominators I’ve seen with remote workers are that they have a branch/studio accessible in the area. This will not only help provide local support for the new employee but also it’s easier as technically they could be hired in their country of residence, working “through” it for a studio in another country. If the right person for the role is found there is a way. This is especially true in these times and I believe this is the big culture change within the industry we are pivoting towards.
Another reason for this is that getting a new visa here in the US is very difficult at the moment with certain visas being suspended due to virus risks. Also all Green Card processes are on hold, which affects us personally as we are in the Green Card process. Getting the Green Card will make our lives in this country easier. It would provide a less temporary status than a visa. A visa is more difficult to extend, has shorter expiration dates and also has a limited amount of extensions. There are other benefits as well, like loans are affected, voting rights etc.
However, with the change of perspective on remote work there is this dream of being able to still work for really cool studios on the other side of the world, while also having the option to live closer to friends and family. Essentially the idea of moving back to Europe and work for our favorite studios could be a reality. The time difference will always be a struggle and I already know that this type of remote work doesn’t suit everybody. I am not confident I would be able to pull it off and be content in such a working situation but just the possibility is exciting right now.
There is so much potential out there and this is hopefully a way to break down some hiring barriers, inviting diversity into our studios as well. The future flexibility of the working culture is probably the most positive thing in this pandemic if there are any takeaways from it.