Working remote


I’ve been lucky that I’ve often worked remote for my job. A colleague and I regularly travel interstate in Australia and work from coffee shops between client meetings. In 2018 I worked out of our San Francisco office for a few months, some of which was spent in the cafe downstairs and near my boss’s house. And last year I café-hopped around Singapore working Australian hours for a nostalgic work holiday.

But it’s starting to set in for me now that we’ll be doing this for months from home, possibly half a year or more. My boss preemptively sent us to work remote long before it became serious, and my hunch is he’ll want us to stay home until this has all settled back down and everyone has been back for a few weeks. We’re in this for the long haul.

We’re also lucky in that working in cloud infrastructure has put us in a much better position than most. The most any of us need is an SSH or RDP session, chat client, web browser, office suite, webcam, and a pair of decent headphones. The boss just posted:

Feels like we’ve got a good pace/cadence going - our team is pretty used to working remote, so it wasn’t too hard

From a business sense this is true, though it’s exposed for me just how much I’d come to rely upon three things:

  1. Routine
  2. Distance
  3. Coffee shops

Consistently getting up, commuting, and rocking up to an office or coffee shop gave me mental time to prepare and maintain that home/work firewall. I’ve rarely had a problem working remote beyond typical Australian connectivity issues, but I’ve always found it challenging to stay focused when working from home; my brain associates it with rest and personal projects. Doubly-so now that we live in a studio apartment where the bedroom is also the kitchen and workspace.

I also just miss working from cafés. The fresh air and being around other people without an obligation to talk beyond a happy chat with a barista is somehow the perfect environment for mental stimulation. Most of this blog has been written at cafes over the years, and many posts and episodes have been spent exploring why.

Photo of an ASKHOLMEN IKEA outdoor furniture set

Fortunately for Clara and I, we bought a some small outdoor furniture set, so we’ve managed to turn our studio apartment balcony into a cafe of sorts. Getting fresh air, sunlight, and a home-made coffee first thing in the morning has helped tremendously.

I hope you’re going okay.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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