It all started back in April when the company I work for decided to go remote. Within weeks I would need to move my desk from the office to my bedroom.
I decided to write this series on remote working because maybe you are in the same situation, already working remotely, going to or want to know more about it.
On the other hand, I like sharing this experience with you because it was one hell of a change in my personal and professional life.
Did you hear the news?
When I heard the news about my company ditching the office I was excited. I loved the idea of having the freedom to work from anywhere at any time. 70 to 80 percent of my week exists of coding so being able to choose my hours in which I feel focused and productive are beneficial to both the company and me.
But there was also some feeling of anxiety. Mostly because I am a very social person, or I like to think I am. The many hours we spend talking during lunch are some of the best memories I have. Now I am destined to eat my sandwich alone. How would I cope with working alone and only talking with my co-workers via Basecamp and Hangouts?
Will I have the discipline to work remotely? Can I set myself to work or am I going to spend my time procrastinating with all the distractions I have at home?
The first few weeks
Instead of waking up at 7, I slept in the first couple of weeks until 8:30 / 9 AM. It felt like a work retreat! I could have breakfast while being in my PJ's, blasting music, answering some e-mails.
Then after a morning of "hard" labor, it was time to take a shower, shave and put on some real clothes; a T-shirt, sweatpants and a pair of slippers. I was living the comfortable dream.
All this while maintaining the same level of productivity and output as in the office.
This went on until some weeks later. I had a dentist appointment which I planned before we start working remotely. The appointment was set for 8 am in the morning. I remember myself thinking; "UUUGHHH THAT EARLY!?".
That day I found myself downstairs with my third cup of coffee scrolling through my Instagram-feed like a zombie. The way I was living the was not maintainable. I had to do something about it.
The weeks following I made some changes. Gone are the days that I sit in my PJ's all morning. I developed more discipline by keeping set work hours, similar to the 9 to 5 at the office. My goal is to slightly alter this schedule if I find out that I am more productive earlier or later in the day.
The results were amazing!
I was definitely more productive by sticking to a schedule, and my co-workers also know between what hours to reach me.
Setting my work hours also meant that I didn't work from when my eyes opened until it was time to go to bed. Working that kind of hours didn't mean that I was productive from 9 am to 11 pm, but I didn't know how to manage myself effectively.
In short, I needed a daily routine.
What that daily routine is? You can find out here.
So this is the naked truth about my first weeks working remotely. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I learned a lot about myself. Especially how to manage my discipline and productivity.
I would love to hear what your first weeks of remote working were like. If you don't have this experience, what do you expect from remote working?