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09 Mar 2019 in workremote

Remote working: Six months in

So I've been back to working remotely for 6 months. I figured it was time to write a post about what it has been like getting back to working remotely.

First a little background. This is not my first time working remote. I worked with a great company out of New York from 2007 - 2016. The last 7 years there I worked remotely from my home office in Ottawa. In 2016 I was looking for a change and ended up taking a role that required me to trek across the city to an office.

For me at least, the cons of office work out weight the pros. The largest con was that my daily commute took 35 - 90 minutes each way depending on traffic. I'm a guy who loves cars, but getting to and from work isn't a pleasure drive it's commuting. I even adjusted my hours to try to minimize the time I lost daily sitting in a car staring at the bumper in front of me.

Now office life isn't that bad. Over two years I worked at two companies both with different types of offices. The first was an open office. I quickly learnt that I'm just not built to work in an open office. It's just too noisy and I get constantly distracted. Headphones really helped, but if you're going to isolate yourself with sound why not just find a quiet spot to write code? Cubicle land was much less distracting. I had the pleasure of working with some great developers and I still miss impromptu chats in the kitchen or around the coffee machine. Those organic moments of human interaction don't happen working remotely.

I'm in love with my new remote work schedule. All that time I was losing to my commute is now my time again. No more 7 am drives across the city to beat traffic. My morning is now fresh coffee at home, a workout and I'm at my desk by 9 am. When I wrap up all I'm already home.

There are a few things I'm keeping an eye on though, remote work isn't all roses. It can be hard to decompress when you wrap up your workday. Without a clear separation between work and play, life can get monotonous. I'll post another update in a few months.