2014-05-03

New Home Office

When I officially started working remotely, I thought it does not get any better. My storage room that I converted into home office was like a sacred shrine of extreme productivity. Peace and quiet, away from the insanity of open space felt like paradise. I could work whenever I want, go for a run in the middle of the day, buy groceries at hours when only few retired folks can be found wandering at local super markets - it was awesome!

However, this magical mental state started to wear off. First, after two months at my windowless home office room, I started to feel weird side effects on my physical and mental health. This called for some home remodeling. I have split my bedroom into two separate rooms using a sliding door, and now I've got this bright, roomy (compared to previous) space next to a terrace. Daylight and fresh air certainly helped, side effects eventually disappeared. Lesson learned: natural light and oxygen intake is crucial for your health.

Then I have noticed a strange thing. I started looking for reasons to show up at the office. It became even more frequent when winter morphed into spring. I've become a frequent visitor, and even though my remote status have cost me some benefits, like parking space and my own desk, I enjoy my visits. Although, I'm trying to avoid rush hour, so I tend to come in late and go out early. That gives me a perfect balance between being able to concentrate on something at home and enjoy face to face collaboration at the office.

This balance between remote and office based work is a wonderful thing. You can get your concentration heavy work done at home, have a lunch with your team, do some pair programming and knowledge sharing at the office, and then get back home early to finish those small tasks that have been pending for a while. All this in one day!

Freedom to be where it's appropriate at any given moment is priceless. I believe it's much healthier and more productive than going fully remote, and it certainly beats having regular office hours and commuting at the same time when everyone else does. Life is too short to sit in traffic, but locking yourself out in a cabin for extended periods of time is probably not the best solution either. It took me five months, but I think I've finally learned to work remotely while sustaining high levels of productivity and happiness.

Have a different experience? Share it in comments.

Productivity