Unexpected hitch of working in a distributed team

It has been about half a year after I became a freelance data scientist. Before my career change, I worked in a distributed team for more than five years. Today, I suddenly realized that working in a distributed team has a significant problem, inherent to its distributed, multinational, nature.

My team was always spread over multiple time zones. Sometimes, the time zone span was so broad, that we could never find a time slot where all the team members were ordinarily awake. Automattic, the company I used to work for, is a firm believer in asynchronous communication, but from time to time, you HAVE to meet over a Zoom/Slack/Whatever call. Since I wasn’t a manager, the number of live calls that I had to attend was kept to a minimum, and yet, I found myself at least twice a week in a 10 pm Zoom call. I don’t know what about you, but my brain keeps working for at least two outs after log off. Thus, twice a week, I would find myself going to bed after one o’clock at night. As a result, I was sleep deprived for the majority of the week.

Only now have I noticed the fact that my sleep has improved so much after the career change. I know that people who work in “colocated” teams also find themselves in late night phone calls, but working in a distributed group means that you’ll do it regularly.

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