employee experience

The Weird World of WFH

An Illustrated Look at EPAM's Remote Present

April 3, 2020
by Alison Kotin
spectrum hero

Here in Boston, it’s quarantine week three. Our hair is shaggier, our pets are friendlier, and we’ve all audited half a dozen online conference platforms in the last 14 days. We miss our project teams, our Made Real Lab, our colleagues’ dogs, watering our office plants.

Logistically, working from home has been relatively easy—remote work has long been a central part of our ethos. As designers, technologists, strategists, and engineers, adjusting to a new normal is just another day in (or out of) the office. But as remote work becomes everyday routine, some aspects of our lives are getting... strange.

We’re picking up new projects to fill spare hours, delighting in the sense of accomplishment a new-baked loaf of bread or a still life drawing can give. We’re also juggling new scheduling complexities as we ideate, build, and forecast the future while raising our children and nurturing our creative selves, all within four walls. So on some days we’re kneading our bread dough and sketching the faces during conference calls (true story).

There’s something encouraging in seeing our colleagues’ varied and creative workarounds, coping strategies, and occasional fails. It humanizes us. It makes our international work community (from Boston to Belarus, from Guadalajara to Shanghai) feel smaller, cozier, like we’re all at home together.

Images by Shumeng Tan

filed in: employee experience, global, service design

About the Author

  • Kotin Alison
    Alison Kotin
    Designer

    Alison’s background as a writer, educator, and visual artist informs her design practice. She's fascinated by technologies that facilitate communication, collaboration, and engagement. Alison design websites, apps, interactive objects, and environments that provoke exploration, play, and synergy between digital and physical experiences.

    Alison has created curricula to encourage students to incorporate in-depth research into the design process and explore emerging digital tools. She’s also been a researcher at the Harvard AIDS Institute and as the leader of development and marketing at The Urbano Project.

    Alison holds an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Dynamic Media Institute, a diploma in design and studio art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and a BA in English literature from Brown University.