Working Alone Together

Mitch Schneider
May 8, 2020

I spent the better part of yesterday involved in Zoom meetings. Two were personal involving friends. And, two were business-related. Focused on different aspects of producing, publishing, and publicizing Misfire: What to Do When Things Aren’t Running on All Cylinders.

The fifth was an interview with Janeane Bernstein for a new ZoomCast she’s doing entitled Out of the Box. Our topic was working remotely, something I’ve been involved with for quite some time.

I’ve worked for several publishing companies headquartered across the country for almost forty years. And, managed to create an eight-volume automotive service management series for a publisher based in Syracuse, New York, almost twenty years ago. Presently, I have two editors in Minnesota, one involved with Misfire. The other involved with the automotive aftermarket. And, a publicist in Portland, Oregon.

And, while technology has continued to make communication and collaboration easier. It still takes a fair amount of discipline, dedication, and determination to overcome the increasing number of distractions working from home or a remote office can provide.

In my experience, it’s the D-words that will make you or break you. Words like discipline, dedication, determination, and distractions.

The environment certainly plays a significant role in your success. Having a dedicated — another D-word — space with all the resources you need will help. But without clearly defined expectations and a mutually agreed-upon definition of success: without overcoming the distractions working hard to seduce you away from the task at hand, that success is likely to prove elusive.

As more of us working alone together can prove we can remain productive, working remotely is one of the few things we can be certain of in a post-COVID-19 world. It’s something all of us should work hard to master.

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