>>> Local support system: If the only support system someone has is their work one, then being in a remote environment will likely make them go crazy. You need people who have outside support systems so they have people they can interact with on a daily/weekly basis.
I found this really interesting. We've been a "remote first" company for about 2 years now, after being a non-remote company for the prior 3 years to this. Initially, the feedback on remote was great from employees.
However, more recently the feedback from 1 on 1s is that "It's not as fun anymore", "I miss the <buzz about the office> <going out for lunch> <random nights out> with colleagues ", from certain people. I think these people fall into this category of not having a strong social life / support group outside of workmates.
Communicating regularly every day and doing things like online gaming or company retreats can help to redefine social interactions.
The support system is really important, if you are remote it should mean that you prefer to be close to your support system. If you are not, then something is wrong and that's going to be a challenge.
We've spoken with thousands of remote workers in the last 2 years and the one recurring theme we kept hearing about was loneliness. We're testing out this Work Club concept as a way for remote workers to get together and work together throughout the day. It's a low-friction way to meet people during your work day, while still getting your work done.
We've seen a lot of positive initial feedback and want to continue trying it out in new cities.