#44: Returning to Office and Remote Work

Dear friend,

I hope you're doing well and getting used to knowing the end of the year is coming. The cold is what winter brings in Berlin, and I'm ready to take out my snowboard, head to some mountains, and get lost in fresh white powder.

As much as taking a trip became more accessible thanks to remote work, I have not had any work-ation. This year, I might break this pattern and enjoy some winter trips. That brings me to the topic I wanted to write you about today.

I've been working remotely for almost five years now. As you may remember, I started a new job at the beginning of November, and since then, I've been going to the office every day! Although the office is not a requirement, I voluntarily opted-in to work at the office during my onboarding. Besides the time I spend commuting (oh, I hate commuting, in case I didn't tell you before. I can't read a thing on the subway, and I don't want to put headphones on for an extra hour every day. Anyway. I will live with it for a while), it's going surprisingly well.

The office work reminded me of a few things I had long forgotten. I remembered how much easier to get to know people when we spend face-to-face time. We're social animals, and it's the social part of our animal life. And I know that we can also socialize in a remote setup where we have regular socializing calls and events. Considering the best-case scenarios of both options, I think in-person socializing is far better than online socializing. It's more natural.

I know it's not for everyone. That's why we have to find a balance. Also, we should distinguish remote work from lockdown work-from-home. I'm a big fan of remote work and will continue working remotely after my onboarding, but I also want to encourage everyone (ahem, you) to meet with your colleagues and let them become your work friends.

You may say that you don't need to become friends with your colleagues and it is better to separate your personal and work life. That's understandable and, of course, a valid reason. What I'm saying is to convince your company to get all of you together once in a while. It will have a tremendous impact on your work.

Additionally, as I'm going to the office every day, I also remembered the case of hybrid meetings. I still don't like them. Luckily, we don't have most of our meetings hybrid, and everybody joins from their computer, even if half of the team is in the office.

Lastly, I love the inclusive environment remote work creates and will continue writing about some other practices I've seen work well and don't work at all. These days, I'm in onboarding mode, and my mind is full of new information I must digest. So it will take a bit of time to write them down. Yet, as I tend to forget things, I noted my thoughts and will share them soon.

We're in mid-November, and I'm heading to the office again today in cold Berlin. Let me know your experience and thoughts about social life and remote work vs. office work by replying to this email.

Until next time,

P.S. Here is the photo of me writing you the first personalized Mektup after changing its direction.

P.P.S. Deep Work and Focus Time are crucial for you.

What I Published Over The Last Two Weeks

Database Partitioning

I continued reading the book Designing Data-Intensive Applications. Last week, I published my notes from the sixth chapter (read chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 here).

Database Partitioning
In this chapter of the book, we’ll see- Partitioning with primary keys- Partitioning of secondary keys- Rebalancing partitions & trade-offs in all these strategies, how to solve them, and the pros and cons of each approach.

I have already started reading the seventh chapter, Transactions, but it will take some time as the chapter is dense and long.

Newsletter Last Updated: Nov 15, 2022