Love it or hate it, we’ve all had a taste of what it’s like to work remotely. It was all good in the beginning when you didn’t have to wake up extra early to ensure you’re logging in on time. One year later, however, we’re laughing at relatable remote work memes that capture everyone’s feelings on being housebound.
Working remotely has resulted in long hours and even longer virtual discussions (or so it would seem). Most of the memes put together are tragically comical, and talk about the perils of parenting and working, muting and unmuting.
I looked up a few remote work memes that I could match to a situation or a coworker that I’ve interacted with in the past. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to admit it to yourself (and to the rest of us) which one you are. Keep smiling as you read on!
Funny Work Memes to Start a Conversation
1. The Just-in-Timer
Working from home saves you the trouble of rising early, meal prepping and using a means of transportation to head to work. What they don’t tell you, however, is where all that time goes instead. Now that you know you can sleep in for some more time, you keep hitting snooze on the alarm till 5 minutes before logging in. You beat your own record each time for looking camera-friendly just-in-time!
2. Uncle Unkempt and Aunt Agony
Something is different about that colleague who showed up on your last video check-in. Remember how you failed to recognize them due to a bad hairdo, or a beard that would do Gandalf proud? Some have started to think that No-Shave November is an all-year event!
When the realization hits you that your camera is on and you’re not nearly as presentable as you’d like yourself to be! *Cue judgmental stares*.
3. The Pro”cat”inator
That one colleague who always features his or her pets on video calls. As adorable as cat pictures are, it looks like some of this person’s sentences were typed by the cat running across the keyboard. Their favorite excuse for not turning in work on time is that they were pet-sitting. Or their pet was chasing the mouse (literally!).
4. Expectations Vs. Reality
Work from home is regarded as a healthy means of balancing work and life. What’s not to like about unplugging after working for a fixed number of hours? The expectation is that you can remain productive and meet work deadlines while attending to your personal matters. In reality, however, your mind wanders and you lose track of time. As a result, you end up putting in extra hours to compensate for whatever time you know you were unproductive for. Also, you realize it’s 2 PM and you’re still in your jammies!
Days have gone into weeks and weeks into months. You no longer care or are aware that there’s a calendar on your phone and laptop. You have a meeting scheduled for the 7th, which is on.. a Monday? Wednesday? What day is the 7th again? Here’s an online meeting meme that accurately captures your confusion!
6. The Emotional houseplant
People who are new to the concept of working remotely and are just beginning to realize the parallels between houseplants and themselves.
7. Forever Unmuted
Admit it, we’ve all been in a virtual check-in where the background noises drown out whatever the actual speaker is talking about. It has been known to happen when one or more people on the call are in a noisy environment. They’re used to the noise but forget to mute themselves when their turn to speak is over. They then have to be reminded to stay muted or go to a quieter place to continue the call.
Remember what it was like to go out for a breath of fresh air, or enjoy the sense of community from using public transportation sans masks? The Covid-19 outbreak has forced us all to switch from complaining about traffic jams to missing the commute. So we try to replicate it in er, questionable places. And old habits die hard, as this remote work meme shows.
9. The Work-life Integrator
A work-life integration strategy is fairly recent in the work landscape. It lets you create a single calendar for both professional and personal commitments so that you can have the best of both worlds. This usually points to a colleague who is multitasking. For example, someone who is meal-prepping while brainstorming ideas for a project.
10. Work-From-Home Hopefuls
This is the announcement you’ve been waiting for! Sure, you can stay awake all day, you won’t miss those hallway and watercooler conversations. You’re going to be oh-so-productive, it’ll blow everyone away. And then, you realize you can nap quickly and get back to work without anyone guilt-tripping you about it!
11. The Remote Working Parent
Working remotely is harder for parents than anyone else. The lockdown imposed back in March 2020 preempted vacation for children. And while no parent would say this out loud, being stuck with the kids 24/7 just means more shouting matches, or refereeing them. Now, schools are conducting classes online, which means extra work for parents in setting up Zoom sessions and ensuring it doesn’t get in the way of their own work.
Kids also have this uncanny knack for creating more noise and getting into trouble just when you’re about to get into an important call. When attempting to herd them into a quiet room doesn’t work, desperate times call for desperate measures.
No judgment here!
12. Technical glitching
I was amused at this bingo chart. It’s one of the remote work memes that accurately factors in every known, annoying glitch when you’re trying to move the meeting forward in synchrony. From poor internet connectivity to platforms that take too long to load, we’ve all had that one day where technology waged a war against us! What all would you say has happened to you before?
Working remotely has its benefits, but it isn’t without a few trade-offs. Besides forgetting social courtesies and communication etiquettes, we also tend to spend longer analyzing the contents of our fridge. Your existence revolves around ordering groceries and systematically consuming it. Now that you won’t run into anybody from work, you can sit in those comfy sweatpants without realizing that you’re ballooning up!
14. Back to the future
You’ve enjoyed working remotely so far without office distractions in the form of a chatty coworker and general buzz. But now, all you can think about are your after-office happy hours, your desk and sitting down with your favourite team for a casual catch up. You’re finding yourself wishing you get official communication telling you to return to work just so that everything feels right and normal again!
15. The Zoomer
Have you ever gotten into a group zoom video call with more than 5 members and struggled to keep track of everyone’s expression? I’m sure we’ve all gone cross-eyed trying to divide our attention and stay in sync with what everyone is saying.
16. The Trash Talker
Admit it, we’ve all been in situations where we have an uncharitable view about a teammate or manager. But what makes this worse is when you voice how you feel out loud for everyone else to hear (including the person you’re trash talking!). You’ll realize it after you’ve spoken when you see the speaker icon on, with everyone sitting in long and uncomfortable silence. Can I get an Amen for this?
17. Unofficially Never Ready
You have been reminiscing about the office for awhile when news of its reopening is announced on a Slack channel or Zoom call. That’s when you take in your appearance and realize that the only thing that fits you are your baggy sweats. If you want your coworkers to recognize you, you’re going to have to ditch the crisps for healthy superfoods and hit the gym and salon while you’re at it!
18. The Oversharer
Have you ever accidentally shared the wrong screen during a remote presentation and cringed about it after for days? It may only be for a fraction of a second (or longer if you’re unaware of it happening until someone points it out), but those moments can seem to last a lifetime as you try to breeze through the rest of your presentation. You’re relieved when you attend a meeting where no one will be asked to share their screens!
Bonus: The Quarantini
This is one of the remote work memes I got as a Whatsapp forward that I couldn’t stop laughing at. As unflattering remote work memes as number 9 is, I think my face was frozen at that angle for most of my zoom calls all these months!
Which one of the remote work memes are you?
I think I’m a mix of the Zoomer and Back-to-the-future of working-from-home memes. I do know a few people on the team who are Just-in-timers though, judging by how they looked when we played 100 Point Challenge’s “The Puzzle” against each other!
In all seriousness though, I know for certain that I’m not alone in missing my team and office vibes. No matter how many virtual stand ups and social meets you organize, the comradery just isn’t the same online as it would be in-person.
I’m just hanging in there with the hope that in a post-pandemic world, we can opt for a balance between going to work, and working remotely. This way, we are neither deprived of familiarity nor are we suffering from a loss in regimen. Which meme do you think fits you, out of these 15 best remote work memes?