Ed Wade • October 23, 2019remote
I consider myself to be very fortunate that I work in the industry that I do! I also consider myself very lucky to be working at the company that I do too!
One of the reasons for that, is that I get to work from home the majority of the time and only have to travel to the office once or twice a month. I have been working from home full time for 3 months now, since I started working at BoxUK and I thought now would be a good time to write down some thoughts on why I like working from home.
Before I started working remotely so routinely, I had read countless articles on remote working; tips, tricks, pitfalls, downsides and more but I knew it was still something I really wanted to do. For me, the main driver for wanting to work from home was that I wanted to spend more time with my family and having zero commute seemed like an excellent way to achieve that without having to find part time positions etc. I've saved around an hour a day where I'm not commuting to work and also gained the hour at lunch - 2 hours a day may not seem like a lot but it does make a huge difference!
Reading a lot of the articles I got the impression some people didn't like working from home and I 100% understand the reasons that they didn't like remote working - for some it was lonelier and isolating, for some it meant they became a bit of a hermit and never left the house, and for some, they just didn't feel motivated. I think I am fortunate that I have my family at home with me too - I'm never alone (we home school our son, so he's always around) and it means there's a constant hum of activity in the house. Our son will be playing with his toys or watching TV, my wife will be working on her business and teaching our son so I never feel like I'm on my own.
I also have a great project team that I work within and we make good use of the tools that we have available to stay in touch - we use Slack for chat and then use a combination of Highfive (for meetings in a room) or Jitsi (for smaller meetings). It means I still feel like I'm part of a team and not an isolated limb! Doing things like daily stand ups also help with that as it means we all chat things through every single day and we all feel like we're aiming for the same thing!
I have a pretty nice setup at home (details here) and just being at home makes me feel more comfortable and when you're comfortable, you're more productive so it feels like a no-brainer to me that I would want to work from home. I hate it when I don't feel like I've been productive so I like to do everything I can to put myself in to that mood, ready to work. Making sure you have the right setup at home is really important to be able to switch off from work - in an office, once you walk out the front door you can switch off from work mode, but when you work from home you run the risk of not switching off, ever! By having a separate area for working as you do for living in, you give yourself the ability to walk away from work.
To keep that separation I also make sure that I start my day the same way I would if I had to go to work - I get dressed as if I was in an office for example, so no PJ's here! I don't have a uniform or anything but just putting on "proper" clothes means my mind switches from home time to work time. One thing I have also heard people do is to change their clothes when they've finished working as well - this isn't something I do but it's something worth considering if you do work from home and struggling with that separation.
Time will tell if I continue to like working from home but based on what I've done so far, I'm so glad I have this opportunity as it's not something that many companies are geared up for despite it becoming increasingly popular! I appreciate my employer and team for accepting me as a remote team member (I'm one of their first full time permanent employees working remotely so I feel very privileged). I'll likely write another post after a few more months of doing this with an update of how I'm finding it!