Falling into Place

Falling into Place

I recently announced that I got a job with Litmus.

A key component of this job search for me was that it be remote.

At my last job, I worked remote regularly, at least one day a week, but the rest of the week, I was in the office.

Remote work is becoming established around the world, but not without some hiccups. Most notably, the CEO of Yahoo ended their remote work policy.

The team behind Wordpress (you know, one of the most trafficked site on the internet) works remotely. Matt Mullenweg writes about remote work not just being a "perk", like any other company perk, but gives employees an opportunity they could not otherwise have:

We give people the perk and the luxury of being part of an internet-changing company from anywhere in the world.

Why Work Remote

When working remote a certain percentage of my time (as I did at Razoo) there were two distinct perks to the arrangements.

  • Zero commuting time It takes me an hour, door-to-door, to get to and from work. That's two hours of my day, and 12% of my conscious day. (Approx. 16 hrs.) Every day I worked from home, it's like I got an extra two hours just handed to me. Since I count commuting time as work time, even though my job doesn't, that brings my percentage of billable hours per day from 80% to 100%. (In other words, not having to commute is an instant pay-raise of 20%, and its tax-free.(Admittedly, I think about these things in a strange way. But why shouldn't you count commuting time as part of your work day? You're not doing it for fun, that's for sure.)
  • Much more effective work time Remote work gets a bad rap because of distractions. Sure, you could watch a movie in your bunny slippers and unbrushed teeth, but if that's how you engage with your work, being in an office won't help.Jason Fried contends that "work doesn't happen at work", because of the factors surrounding them at the office. The "distractions" that managers fear will bog you down at home are actually unavoidable and pervasive only in the office.In short, when I work from home, and had control over distractions, I can dig into projects and move them forward. When I'm constantly interrupted, I struggle to get meaningful work done. I get plenty of busywork done, but nothing substantive.

Luxuries A Business Cannot Provide

Here's why I'm most excited about remote work. I can live almost anywhere in the planet without impacting my job. There are only two constraints: Internet access, and time zone. Since it's 2014, all of America is wired up with broadband. Same with (to the best of my knowledge) many other urban areas around the world. So - internet access is easy.

Second - time zones. America spans only three, and that's plenty for healthy overlap with your co-workers shifts. So, with remote work, you can easily live anywhere in the USA. Add a time zone, and you can live any where in the Americas. Whoa.

These are luxuries businesses cannot provide at an office, or with extra pay.

And, for at least some people, these are the kinds of opportunities that make an employee want to stick around.