Remote Work Is Better For Everything — Except Your Anxiety

Isolation + self-doubt = panic.

Zach Quinn
5 min readApr 13


White text “Anxiety” on a brown background.
Anxiety, plain text. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Imposter Syndrome Leads to Remote Work Anxiety

In 2021, within 30 days of each other, 3 things happened: My now-wife and I were in the final stages of planning our wedding, I started a new full-time job and an immediate family member nearly died.

Each event brought mental stress, compounding a battle I had quietly been fighting since my spring graduation from a data science master’s program into the first quarter of my first job: Unrelenting imposter syndrome.

For context you have to understand that I considered myself way out of my depth, professionally, when I began job hunting.

Although I was teaching myself programming at night (and enrolled in school), my day job was far from technical: Working for a borderline-poverty wage in the hospitality industry.

When it came time to apply, interview and negotiate salaries that were more than I’d made in the previous two years, I began to question my abilities up to that point and my ability to continue growing professionally.

Hours of panic-Googling revealed that imposter syndrome is rampant in the tech industry and, while the phenomenon does not discriminate based on seniority, it does tend to hit juniors hardest, because they tend to lack the experience and confidence to know what is expected of them in the first weeks and months on the job.

Imposter syndrome can lead to more general anxiety, impacting you on and off-the-clock. It hit me pretty hard.

Initially, I thought the fact that my position was 100% remote would help ease the anxiety many of us feel beginning our first “big” job.

Looking back, I think the remote, asynchronous nature of my role made it much tougher to win the battle against remote work anxiety.

Every blunder, every coding error was accompanied by the suspense of waiting for a reply to an email, DM or sweat-inducing video call request.

This anticipation and need for immediate validation or correction is made worse by the UX of various messaging platforms, like Slack or Microsoft Teams, that reveals…



Zach Quinn

Journalist—>Data Engineer @ Forbes; helping you target, land and excel in data-driven roles.