Working Remotely

Stories of a Remote Work Dad: The Beginning

For years, I have spent most of my working adult life in some capacity as a remote work employee. My commutes have generally been pretty mild, although once in a while there is a hold up at the coffee pot. My journey started years ago when I took my first real office job. Working from home was just a "thing" most people thought was simply a way to "take advantage" of a situation. In the years since with the tech boom and race to get the smartest, and the brightest employees, companies have had to rethink their thoughts on where an employee is most comfortable working.

Working from home is NOT, and I repeat NOT for everyone.
— Daddy West

The average person when asked what they think about working from home, will likely think of pajamas, lounging around the house and not getting as much done as you would if you were in an office environment. What most people aren't aware of when given the option to work remotely is how much of an adjustment it takes to go from an office setting to working and being productive where ever you want. Plus, it just might not be the right fit for everyone.

On my first day working from home, I was excited. It was probably a bit of nervousness soaked in caffeine and freshly showered wet hair. It felt great for a few minutes until I needed to start working, but had a question. I went to stand up as if I were going to walk over to a colleague and suddenly remembered I wasn't in the office anymore! I would dig through my notes, try to ask Google for the right answer when all of a sudden the buzzing of the dryer would interrupt the solitude most people think of when working from home.

I then thought to myself, "can I fold laundry on this upcoming conference call?"

Week two went by in a flash as I slowly started to figure out what worked best in my new workspace. I began to realize that I was working a lot more than I expected, likely because of that insatiable need to check emails (on my work computer) while binge-watching the latest Netflix drama.

Week three arrived, and I began to feel like something was missing; something was not right. It's still difficult to describe just how that felt, but it's a feeling that soon thereafter subsided because in a flash I had finally found a rhythm and it seemed so natural.

That was my first three weeks. After ten years of working remotely, my employer suddenly changed, and it was time to go back into an office. At this point, I've become used to the mundane noises around the house, but even with tenure, getting back into an office environment would make any person feel like a rookie. I was no different.

Remembering that the weekly conference call is at the same time the garbage truck stops just outside my window and hitting mute on my phone finally became a habit.
— Daddy West

In the coming months, as we start our next journey as a family and I step away from the office again, I hope to share how I have been the most productive. My goal is to help you better understand what "working from home" really looks like: the good, the bad and the ugly.

โ€” Daddy West