Duncan Fenning
Oct 11, 2016
4 mins reading time

Remote: An Autumn Migration

A lot has changed for me in the last 2 months. The biggest change was moving away. Away from Kent, where I’ve lived my whole life; away from friends and family and away from the office. I knew this was coming but had no idea what to expect. A wise man once said, ‘If you don’t know what to expect, don’t expect anything’. So that’s exactly what I did, expected nothing.

I’ve been working remotely for the last month and it has made me consider everything I assumed to be normal when working in an office. Setting that 6:30am alarm, rushing around to get breakfast before the hour long commute for a 9am start. Followed by a busy office and a full days work, before ending driving home in time for dinner at 6:30pm.

This had been my routine for the past year and I thought nothing of it. I would try and squeeze in time for the gym and accepted this would push dinner back till 8pm. The evenings would fly by, before I repeated my routine throughout the working week.

But now, my life has changed. The routine I took for granted has been made obsolete. So here’s what I’ve made of a month of remote work.

Your day starts when you wake up

When commuting to the shared office, I would wake up at 6:30am to start work at 9am. This may seem like a long time, but by the time I had properly woken up, showered, made lunch, had breakfast and got through rush hour traffic, that was my morning. However that has all changed. I get an extra hour in bed, awesome! I start work an hour earlier, amazing! I finish at 4pm and am already at home, incredible! I save 3 hours a day compared to commuting to the office. That’s 15 hours a week, 60 hours a month. Think of all the time for activities!

No commute, mo’ money?

I took my commute for granted. I never considered what my commute was doing to me. It was a necessity that came with the job. Retrospectively, I was spending 2 hours a day and £40 a week getting to work. Have you ever spent £40 a month on something and decided it wasn’t worth the money? How about £160 a month? That’s how my commute felt to me. A waste of money. Now my commute is from my bed to my laptop. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper and the only congestion I get stuck in is making the morning cup of coffee.

Not feeling guilty

Working remotely has a negative stigma attached to it. After all, how can you be productive if you aren’t in the office with everyone else? You have to let your work do the talking. If you are working at a pace your team are happy with, what’s to feel guilty about? Just because you have time to put the washing on, or head to the post office during lunch, it doesn’t mean you’re not keeping up with your workload. If anything, you can be more productive!

Communication

Since moving away, good communication with my team has become paramount. Natural communication occurs a lot more freely when working with someone in person, so ensuring this happens when working remotely has become both mine and my team’s responsibilities. I make an effort to communicate often with them and they do the same for me. Working remotely hasn’t caused any issues in terms of breakdown in communication but I have to be more aware of keeping my team up to date.

So far so good!

So far my remote working experience has been very positive. The loneliness hasn’t kicked in yet, but I’m prepared to combat this when the time comes. The one thing I do miss is the social aspect of working in an open office. Not being able to get involved in the office BBQs will take some getting used to, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

I shall see what the next month or so brings and look forward to overcoming the challenges of remote working. Till next time!

Tags Remote, Migration, Home, Office