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139 Fridays

It's been 32 months since I've been to the office. That ends this week!

It’s been 139 Fridays since the world shut down on March 13, 2020. I’ll always remember that date because it was a Friday the 13th. Heh. About 83 weeks ago, I wrote a post about how weird it was that life had changed so much over the year. It’s been over a year and a half since that post, and things are still changing. But we’re getting back to normal. Ish.

COVID isn’t done — as of today, it’s still killing 2,400 people a day on average. But rates are going down, and things are getting back to normal. Masks are seen rarely, everything’s open, and we all just accept that we may or may not get sick at some point. I (and my wife and son) have so far escaped catching it. Not sure why - we’re all vaccinated and we’re not doing anything super risky, but we’re also not super careful. We don’t mask anywhere (including planes), and we don’t avoid being social. My son’s school had a kid with COVID just this week, and everyone else in the class is fine. So, back to normal, I guess.

So now that we’re back to normal, my company is finally going back to the office. Until I started working for Disney in Digital Media, I was always a remote” worker. A freelancer, a small business owner, a stagehand traveling the country. I never had an office job in my life, other than my first year in New York when I was a production manager for an event designer. Even then, I spent most of my time on-site and not in my office.

In 2014, we moved to L.A. and I started with Disney. From July 2014 through March 13, 2020 I worked in the office. I did work from home for a couple weeks leading up to my son’s birth, but that doesn’t count. Disney was not really set up for remote back then, and it was mostly me calling into meetings and complaining that I couldn’t connect to the VPN, but otherwise not really getting much done.

My Product Management org at Disney has been remote-first for nearly 3 years, and we’re killing it. We’ve launched some massive new projects, rebuilt internal systems, and moved a lot of content to ABC, ESPN, ESPN+, Disney+, the Disney Channels, Hulu, and Star. We’ve done a lot of great stuff over the last 3 years. Now, we’re transitioning to a hybrid work model. We have an office with conference rooms, offices and desks. But we’re not expected to be in every day, which is great.

I like working remotely. As I said earlier, I’ve done it my whole non-Disney career. The difference is that those other jobs required me to prep things at home and then go into the world and do things. With other people. I’ve been missing the other people” part. I sit here in my (admittedly pretty nice) home office and research, design, write, and implement strategies. I hold Zoom meetings and produce executive demos. Then I sit here and share all of this stuff with people on Zoom. Or Slack. Or email.

There is no in-person collaboration, no reactions, no side conversations. Just here’s what I did, now show me what you did”.

It’s going to be nice to have the option to go into the office a couple days a week. My commute is short, and I have to leave home every day anyway to take my son to school, so it’s easy. I’ve scheduled myself to go in on Thursday and Friday this week, so we’ll see how things turn out.

🗓️ November 15, 2022 🏷️ Personal Support me on Ko-fi
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