From office worker to 100% remote nomad

Let’s face it, working from an office is not for everyone.  There are so many distractions and often you just find yourself surfing the Internet in order to keep you brain active because you just did a day’s work of mind-numbing tasks.  Are you telling me you really couldn’t have done all that work from home in your nice PJs?

Ah, the joys of going to the office.

  • The small talk that interrupts your workflow.
  • The un-necessary meetings that could have been an email.
  • That daily communicate that you love.
  • Oh and let’s not forget that you finished your work day within the first hour.

Well that was my life for about 2 years.  I began my IT career in 2012 working as a software developer.  I enjoyed my job and my co-workers were fun and shared similar interests (the nerd was strong with us all).

Interestingly enough while my career began to progress so did that IT movement of remote work and telecommuting.  Heck my organization even had VPN that allowed for remote access.  I started to wonder, “Why do I need to physically be here if I can do all my work from home or a coffee shop?”  I mean, the infrastructure was in place and I myself am much more productive when I’m not interrupted by office chatter.

My career took an interesting turn in 2015. I accepted a new position as a Software Security Analyst that was out of state.  My fiancée and I moved to Illinois (like the middle-of-nowhere part).

FYI, if you ever want to find out if your relationship will work out, try moving somewhere where you don’t know anybody but each other.  

The best thing about my new job was that they embraced telecommuting.  Their remote/VPN infrastructure was fulled implemented.  Not only did I enjoy what I did, but there was the opportunity to work from home.  So I bid my time and told myself that I’d work hard for 3 months before asking to work remote.  I mean I didn’t want to be the new guy that was already not showing up to work.

So, I took on a large number of tasks and ensured that they were completed.  I knew the big thing about being about to work remoter was going to be accountability.  If people couldn’t count on me to accomplish tasks then there was no way that I’d be granted the green light.

After the 3 months, I started to ask to work remote 1 day a week.  My manager saw no problem with this since he knew he could count on me to get my tasks done and be available to assist if any issues would arise.  Slowly after a few more weeks I asked for 2 remote days, again no push back because I continued to show strong work ethic and accountability.

Fast forward less than a year after I had started the position, I had a sit done with my manger. I explained that I work best when I’m remote.  I gave detailed reasons on why mentally I am a better worker when I not physically in the office and how I actually get more work accomplished.

My manger appreciated the honest feedback and request.  Ever since then I’ve been a 100% remote worker.  This freedom allowed my wife (oh yeah, I put a ring on it) to travel and find out where we really wanted to live.  We now live in Denver, Colorado and couldn’t be happier.

Working remote has given me the freedom that I had been longing for.  I have my home office setup as I would like and I do set dedicated office hours for myself.  I can also enjoy my free time or go for a walk.  Sometimes I’ll shot off emails right before I go to bed that way I have a jump start on the day.

Being remote worker has made me more focused and I have a better understanding of time management and productivity.

Well that’s my story, until next time.

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