For some remote workers, leaving the office behind is a choice to spend more time with family. For others, it’s a move to an environment more conducive to focus, or a way to travel the world while still making a living. Whatever your reason for working remotely, it’s good sometimes to reflect on the joys of living and working untethered to a desk.
I asked eight remote workers to tell me about their moments of remote work zen—those perfect moments that make it all worthwhile. Here are their answers.
I really hit my work zen at home, in my office, and mainly for two reasons. The first is the ability to control distractions at home, and the second is surrounding myself with what I love. Aside from my music it’s quiet. It’s decorated with all sorts of colorful and fun things that help give me inspiration when I need it. I know where to find anything I need. I find that being able to influence your own environment is very important.
- working from home so I can take frequent breaks to play with my little baby…
- working from a coffee shop on a sunny afternoon for a couple of hours
Being able to watch my daughter’s class assembly because I can catch up the time later in the evening when she is tucked up in bed.
–Marieke Guy, blogger at Ramblings of a Remote Worker
Sitting somewhere around the house (porch/office/living room), only to have the husband/kid come up and mention that is too beautiful a day to be working and suggest we go out and do X (ride the motorcycles/ go to the beach/ swim in the pool).
Since I telecommute (and assuming that is not during a required work period), I can agree and go enjoy the beauty day with them. Work can be made up later that night.
For me the best part of working remotely is that it allows me to change my environment. There are times when I need to be heads down in a task that is monotonous and dull and there are environments that are more conducive to that. Other tasks require creativity, which is something I don’t find easy in a cube. By working remotely I can go to that coffee shop that helps me find my writing muse or one that is great for heads down productivity.
Environment can definitely change our moods and in doing so it can also change our ability to perform well. By working remotely I’m allowed to change my environment as needed to insure that I’m able to complete work in a way that is most effective for me.
My moment(s) of remote work zen are often first thing in the morning. I have a big picture window in front of me and the sun hits the floor next to my desk. My tuxedo pseudo-kitten (8 months old) lays in it seemingly sound asleep. As the minutes pass and the sunbeam move, he slowly rolls over and over steadily following it across the room.
He never opens his eyes, but he looks comfy.
–D. Keith Casey, Jr., Chief Stuff Breaker at Blue Parabola
- In the car, tethering my phone to my laptop, while also talking to a customer about an urgent issue, run through the fix/test/check-in/deploy process, while my wife drove me and the kids to Grandma’s house.
- After picking up a sick child from daycare and comforting/medicating them, knowing that I can get back to work later, and be able to take care of my family, and meet client deadlines at the same time.
What about you? What’s your moment of remote work zen?