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      Not having to commute is a great benefit of working from home

      Disagree with this one, and somewhat disagree with the ‘flexibility’ point too. As a long-term bike commuter, I rely on my morning and evening commute to give me exercise, fresh air, and decisively book-end my eight-hour work day. For me anyway, work-life balance is a lot more achievable when there’s clear separation. Sure, I can go on a ride or a brisk walk with that time even when WFH, and I do, most days… but it’s too easy to skip.

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        You have a nice routine that nicely integrate with your days. Some people have hours of commute by bus or sometime 30minutes by train, which by bike would translate to 2hours.

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          Well obviously OP isn’t speaking for everyone. I have a few coworkers who are glad they don’t have their 1hr-each-way commutes right now. Meanwhile the author of the article seems to be projecting their opinion on the reader (e.g. “Now you can use that time any way you want.”), so OP was somewhat justified in disagreeing since their personal opinion is the exact opposite of what the author thought it should be.

          On the other hand, I’ve lived in places where a 30 minute car commute is <30 minutes by bicycle because the traffic sucks.

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        If you are lucky enough to live in a place where the combination of driving culture, road quality, and climate allows for safely riding to work without risking life and limb, then yes. For many people it’s not the case, and I think it’s the majority of people in the world (though I have no data to prove it).

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          Driving is the most dangerous thing most people do. Most people here are from the USA (I’m not, I’m from a virtually completely flat and very bicycle-friendly city in New Zealand), so let’s use the USA as an example. Americans have a terrible time cycling anywhere in most of the country, even in their biggest cities. Yet tens of thousands of people (35k!) die in car crashes in the USA every year.

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            You have to account for the far greater number of people who drive when making that comparison.

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              You must also take into account that cycling is safer the more people that do it, and the safer it is, the more people do it.

              That’s because when there are more cyclists around, drivers are more aware of cyclists and they’re more likely to think about checking for cyclists in their blind spots when changing lanes or turning if they can see cyclists around them or have seen cyclists already on the trip, or have seen cyclists in those spots before. I suspect people also become more careful about checking for cyclists if they know someone that does. I know that I did.

              That people are more likely to cycle when it’s safer probably doesn’t need explanation. If you ever survey people, a huge number of them - something like 60% - would seriously consider cycling if they had separated cycle lanes. Something like 1% of people will cycle basically no matter what, around another 10% will cycle if there are bare minimum cycle lanes (those crappy ones that are just a line painted on the side of the road), around 30% of people will just never cycle and the remaining ~60% require more significant cycling infrastructure with properly grade-separated cycle lanes.

              The thing is those cycle lanes pay for themselves in lower costs to the public health system. Well, at least in countries with public health systems. :)

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                You don’t need to convince me. I’m a huge proponent of using bikes as a way to get around.

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            Biking is not very safe either, especially when you don’t have dedicated lanes.

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              Bike lanes protect against being rear ended on a bike. In the US, that makes up 0.7%(2011 when I researched this) of the bicycle fatalities.

              More dangerous are left and right hooks, where drivers don’t see you when preparing a turn because you are not part of all other traffic. Bike lanes make that particular problem worse.

              I ride my bike on streets as part of all other fast moving traffic. I might not be going faster than 15 miles an hour, but I prefer to be safer as part of the road than dangerously separate out of sight and mind for car drivers.

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                As part of my driver’s education decades ago in Sweden, I was trained to note where bike lanes were parallell to the street on which I was driving and to be aware of the chance of bike traffic when turning.

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      I’m really feeling the bite of non-collaboration.

      I am pensively hopeful that someone who has the skills is currently enduring the same issues becomes strongly motivated to fix them.

      Slack is not “good” for real time collaboration; it’s the same value as IRC was 20 years ago- full of bots and some real-time chats but not really working together on a problem.

      I miss having a whiteboard, ability to quickly show someone an issue and an open easy channel for talking and the lack of friction to access these things.

      Currently my company is using teams and it’s shocking how inadequate it is for the bulk of communication.

      I also feel like this situation underpins how bad we are at written communication- it’s not something that people generally hire for, but making yourself well understood and having enough empathy to give information that may be needed ahead of time is not a skill many people seem to have.

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        We’ve been a fully distributed, remote-only company from the start, so nothing changed. But, the company has also arisen from a community-driven, open source project, so most processes are the same—asynchronous from the start.

        You made me think that ability to write is more important than I thought. Rather, I took it for granted because we mostly hire people who are experienced free software developers already. Not everyone in the community can do that, but successful maintainers and contributors have to learn it one way or another.

        Maybe when talking about remote work, we should be sharing writing tips rather than VPN configuration tips. :)

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        My experience is the opposite of yours. I find myself being able to collaborate much better with colleagues when we are all remote. We are better at writing things down, and when we pair (which is “fine” over Zoom, for example) we both get to keep our preferred setup and keybindings. (I think I’m the only one in my team that uses Dvorak, so this is good for me.) We also don’t invade each others’ personal space. Lack of a whiteboard has not been an issue either. In a video call it’s easy to scribble on a piece of paper and hold up to the camera. Or for more durable stuff Google drawings work OK for us.

        I’ve worked remotely for 5 years now. Even those of us normally used to (and preferring to) work remotely are finding it difficult at the moment. These are not normal times. I hope this doesn’t come across as patronising, but it can be worth asking yourself whether it’s really remote work that makes non-collaboration an issue, or whether it is a proxy for what’s going on in the world right now. Maybe your colleagues are a bit distracted at home, and collaboration suffers because of this?