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Is it harder to build up fundamental soft skills in a remote environment?

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Senior Engineer at Series C Startup2 years ago

Do you think that by being in a remote setup, it would be harder to learn skills like communication, building trust, and aligning people behind decisions? I'm interested in these skills for my work of course, but I also do have aspirations of building my own startup someday and I imagine these skills are useful there too.

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago

    I definitely think remote work makes all these things harder, especially building trust. Rahul and I are building a startup right now, and even though it's hard to concretely/mathematically deduce this, I feel like we would move substantially faster if we met up in person in a stable office every day.

    Some additional thoughts here:

    • In general, anything involving other people is harder in a remote environment. Losing the body language, physical proximity, and convenient ability to have a conversation is really painful.
    • It's just really hard aligning people over Zoom. It's difficult to come off as a warm presence that genuinely seeks the best for everybody when you're just some pixels on the screen.
    • To help with this, the most obvious "fix" is to just to meet more in person. On top of that, I think you need to "subsidize" things by spending more time together virtually, mainly through 1 on 1s and team meetings.
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