[ Body doubling in remote work. What is it, and what are the prospects for the development of this phenomenon? ]

  • Double building Future trends Remote Remote working
  • 29_03_2023
  • 3 min. read
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Body doubling, or online parallel job in the presence of other “connected” people, is a growing trend in the world of remote working. Those activities that traditionally took place in the same room (open space) are now happening in virtual space. But does it… work?

Body doubling is quite different from standard methods of stimulating creativity and motivation. The rigorous time management schemes and productivity tips we associate with “inspirational” quotes on Pinterest no longer pass the test today. Nor does the hustle culture, focused on maximum efficiency and imposing enormous pressure to succeed, help. And today, we want to be “less” rather than “more.” Which is not the same as “worse”.

In an article, we read that Nicole Onyia, a 24-year-old TikToker, has found a way to make remote work easier for herself and others. Her live sessions, during which she simply works and observes others working at the computer as well, are very popular. The creator has amassed a community of more than 100,000 people this way. The usual keyboard and screen tasks are accompanied by ambient music, and from time to time Nicole answers users’ questions. On the other hand, another influencer, Lindsey Bee, organizes co-working sessions on Discord.

The trend of body doubling, which can be seen on an ongoing basis on platforms such as TikTok, Zoom and the aforementioned Discord, is a response to the needs of the modern world.

Today, more and more people are facing an epidemic of loneliness – we often feel a lack of support from co-workers. Additionally, many people suffer from some form of ADHD and have difficulty concentrating. Meanwhile, streaming work sessions can help you cope with the harsh reality. The solution for modern overstimulation is supposed to be the sensation of “presence” on computer screens, as well as a sense of social responsibility, built up even while being alone in a room. In addition, it’s about being able to focus while interacting with devices that have usually been distracting.

But is that effective? It turns out it is. Motivating each other to work effectively and keeping in touch, even indirectly, helps achieve goals and improves well-being. An analogy to co-working. A University of East London study of 101 respondents of Flown company (which is testing body doubling at its site) found that participants report above-average effects of such a method on focus (96%) and productivity (94%).

You can read more about this issue in the following publications: