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Couple in bed: one is delivering a remote presentation, while the one who’s trying to sleep says “Remind me in the morning — we need to talk about boundaries.”

Good fences make 1) good neighbours and 2) good remote work habits

Good fences make 1) good neighbours and 2) good remote work habits published on

Remote work has always been at least part of how I do things professionally. It’s a natural part of freelancing. But even when I’ve had a job-job, doing some work in the distraction-free environment of home was a recurring trochee in my professional rhythm.

That changed last April, when I had the very good fortune to land a 12-month term as the BC Federation of Labour’s director of communications. My last day was on Friday, capping off a year of guiding the messages and communication strategy for a terrific organization representing more than 500,000 union members throughout British Columbia.

And, like nearly all of my coworkers, I did it entirely virtually. There was no migration from the office for me; I never set foot there.

Yet despite years of working-from-home practice, it was a challenge to keep my BCFED work from encroaching on my personal life. (And vice versa, with unexpected puppy Zoom-bombing being one of the least intrusive incursions.)

That was partly because of the lack of physical separation — with remote work, there’s none of that psychological break that comes from walking out the office door.

But it was also the fact that I care a lot about the work I do. (Which is a tremendous privilege: A lot of people have jobs they find at best meh and at worst awful.)

And this job was no exception. The BCFED had to take on a remarkable challenge: advocating for working people, equity and justice in a pandemic that both raised the stakes dramatically, and transformed the way we do that work. It’s been a fascinating opportunity to find new ways to connect, collaborate, mobilize and effect change. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I’m delighted to return to my clients and freelance practice, but I’ll miss working with my friends at the Fed. My advice: When you have the chance to work with talented, dedicated people around values that matter to you, jump at it.

* * *

Of course, one thing that’s helped me navigate the challenges of my first-ever entirely remote full-time job is having a front seat as my wife Alexandra Samuel and her co-author Robert C. Pozen wrote Remote, Inc. the definitive guide to (as the subtitle puts it) thriving at work wherever you are.

It’s a practical, hands-on guide for employees and managers alike, and not just for COVID times: Remote, Inc. will help you navigate the fusion of remote and on-site work that’ll emerge as the new post-pandemic normal.

It launches on April 27, but you can pre-order right now.

30. Soon to be replaced by “redisunfriend”

30. Soon to be replaced by “redisunfriend” published on No Comments on 30. Soon to be replaced by “redisunfriend”

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29. Committed to core values

29. Committed to core values published on 1 Comment on 29. Committed to core values

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28. Offline

28. Offline published on No Comments on 28. Offline

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27. Ripples

27. Ripples published on 1 Comment on 27. Ripples

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26. Footnotes

26. Footnotes published on No Comments on 26. Footnotes

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25. Non-applicable

25. Non-applicable published on No Comments on 25. Non-applicable

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24. MYOB

24. MYOB published on No Comments on 24. MYOB

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23. Strum und drang

23. Strum und drang published on No Comments on 23. Strum und drang

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22. Depleted reality

22. Depleted reality published on No Comments on 22. Depleted reality

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21. Binghoo!

21. Binghoo! published on No Comments on 21. Binghoo!

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20. Twilight’s last trolling

20. Twilight’s last trolling published on No Comments on 20. Twilight’s last trolling

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19. The Universe (A Google product)

19. The Universe (A Google product) published on No Comments on 19. The Universe (A Google product)

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18. Firewall of China

18. Firewall of China published on No Comments on 18. Firewall of China

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17. Iran

17. Iran published on No Comments on 17. Iran

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16. iHaveReturned

16. iHaveReturned published on No Comments on 16. iHaveReturned

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15. Because “Tungsten|Alpha” was already taken

15. Because “Tungsten|Alpha” was already taken published on No Comments on 15. Because “Tungsten|Alpha” was already taken

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14. Anything but Misérable

14. Anything but Misérable published on No Comments on 14. Anything but Misérable

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13. Two programs enter! One program leaves!

13. Two programs enter! One program leaves! published on No Comments on 13. Two programs enter! One program leaves!

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12. Falling Domino’s

12. Falling Domino’s published on No Comments on 12. Falling Domino’s

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11. Geo(ghost)cities

11. Geo(ghost)cities published on No Comments on 11. Geo(ghost)cities

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10. Hello, Ophah

10. Hello, Ophah published on No Comments on 10. Hello, Ophah

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9. Digg the President

9. Digg the President published on No Comments on 9. Digg the President

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8. Cmd-V at last

8. Cmd-V at last published on No Comments on 8. Cmd-V at last

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7. Foursquare and seven nightclubs ago

7. Foursquare and seven nightclubs ago published on No Comments on 7. Foursquare and seven nightclubs ago

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6. In your Facebook, Rupert Murdoch

6. In your Facebook, Rupert Murdoch published on No Comments on 6. In your Facebook, Rupert Murdoch

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5. Where’s Waldo, solved

5. Where’s Waldo, solved published on No Comments on 5. Where’s Waldo, solved

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4. Terms of disservice

4. Terms of disservice published on No Comments on 4. Terms of disservice

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3. Hacked. Er, twhacked. Or something.

3. Hacked. Er, twhacked. Or something. published on No Comments on 3. Hacked. Er, twhacked. Or something.

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2. Obamarrival

2. Obamarrival published on No Comments on 2. Obamarrival

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1. 2009: a social media retrospective

1. 2009: a social media retrospective published on 1 Comment on 1. 2009: a social media retrospective

It was the okay-est of times, it was the meh-est of times.

From the election of the first American social media president… to a nod to social media from the mainstreamiest of mainstream media (Oxford Dictionary, for god’s sake!)… it’s been a big, tumultuous sprawling toddler of a year, prone to tantrums and potty accidents but adorable nonetheless.

Here, then, is 2009 the way it was meant to be remembered… in doodles.

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