Work can wait

Remote work and digital nomad-ing may be the future, but it can have consequences. You are never away from the office when your home is your office, and with workers in all kinds of timezones and on all kinds of schedules the pings are non-stop.

Just last night, I got pinged just as I rested my head. Then I got 50 twitter notifications because of a Twitter PHP version debate (thank goodness I don’t get those pushed to me anymore).

It’s nice to be able to say, “not right now” without having to say, “not right now.” But our tooling isn’t often built for that. Sure, phones have night modes, but you still get pinged if you’re using your phone, and what if I’m using my fun for personal reasons and don’t want work pings?

Basecamp is thinking about this, and they are very much onto something. In their upcoming Basecamp 3, they are centering the experience around a user-defined schedule for work hours. So if you make your schedule 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., push notifications and emails will wait until those hours to reach you — no matter what state your devices are in.

This is brilliant. I can’t tell you how badly I wish I had this with Slack, or my work email. I see notifications come in and they affect my state of mind even if I don’t address them right away. I think for the quality of life for remote workers spanning every timezone, adjusting our apps to fit healthy lifestyles is going to be very important.

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