On Being a Remote Worker

On Being a Remote Worker

2017, Sep 11    

On Being a Remote Worker

It’s Monday morning, 8 am and I am waking up with the sun on my face. My office desk sits on the corner of my room, my wife is still sleeping and my daughter, in the next room, did not wake up too. I turn on my computer while I am going to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I sit on my desk and send a good morning to everyone on slack while I open my Wunderlist to remind myself where I stop yesterday’s work.

At 8:20 am I already have Vim, Toggl and occasionally another app open, and I start writing code. I usually go to the kitchen at 9 am to prepare breakfast. Then I take a shower and by 9:30 am I am back to work. Some days at 10 am I have a 15 minutes meeting with the team where we discuss what we did the day before and what we will do for the rest of the day. Occasionally someone brings up a question or ask for help with some code, but we keep the meetings short. 15 to 20 minutes at most. And now I’m back to work again.

My wife wakes up and kisses me good morning. She says a thing or two she thinks are important for me to know and then goes away to wake up my daughter and carry on with her day. I continue to work. I stop work at midday so I can have lunch with my wife and daughter. I rest for about 30 minutes after lunch, and then I go back to work.

On the afternoon people abroad are already awake. A few days a week we do a quick meeting to catch up, but our communication is mostly asynchronous. We are a remote company and that’s the way things must be.

At the end of the day, I say goodbye to everyone and turn off my computer. Later in the evening, I turn it back on to study and work on open source, but this only happens after everyone in my home is sleeping.

You can see this is probably not an exceptional life or exceptional day to tell you about, but this is how most of my days goes. I am a remote worker. I love the company that I work for, and I love the people that I work with. The main problem is that I see so many marketing and advertisements about how great and wonderful is the life of a remote worker. You need to be a nomad because remote work is all about working on the beach, or in a nice coffee place, or in a great hotel. You are wasting your life if you just stay at home working. At least this is what they say.

This kind of marketing never seduced me. I don’t know about you, but I can’t work in front of the beach. I can’t see waves and waves and not going in, surfing. That doesn’t mean I’ve never traveled while working. But to me work is concentration. I need a quiet and comfortable place so I can concentrate and calm my mind. I can’t work drinking.

I don’t want to sound rude or angry about anything. I’m just here to say that tt’s ok if you are a remote worker and works at home, at your desk, in the living room or in your bed. You are not wasting your life by being at home. And you don’t need to be at a coffee shop every day just because you can.

Being a nomad is awesome. I have friends that lived this way and others that still live traveling around the world. It’s great to have tons of stories to tell and to know the world, but this article is not meant for that kind of people. It’s for you that are a remote worker but works in your bedroom and feel frustrated sometimes about not being in an office or about not being traveling.

Your life is exceptional too, you are on the cutting edge of this new revolution of work and workspaces and the way people communicate. Being able to work hard and stay in touch with you family all day is priceless (not a MasterCard commercial).

Freedom is a state of mind and not a state of the body itself.

Keep doing your hard work even if it’s not with your feet on the sand and the beach as your wallpaper.

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Hope you have an awesome life as a developers.