I just finished up my first month of working with Bluespark. As somebody who has always had a job that I had to go to, it’s been quite a transition.
My favorite part about working from home is the fact that I get to spend more time with my two crazy dogs, Gambit and Loki. I get to take them on midday walks, get up and snuggle with them on breaks, and toss a ball for them if I need to step away from the computer for a few minutes. Not only is it easier to play with the dogs on breaks, I can also do a quick sweep of the kitchen, tidy up my bedroom, or some other quick house task in between tasks.
Another obvious benefit to working from home is the lack of commute. Instead of rushing to get to the car at a certain time, stressing about traffic, and then running from the parking lot to the office, my routine is about as stress-free as can be. I wake up, have coffee, take care of the dogs, tidy my bedroom, and then I’m ready for work. I do make a point to always get dressed (no working in my PJs) so it doesn’t feel like I’m slumming it up too bad.
Even though I occasionally get out of the house to have lunch, that usually only ends up being once a week. Compare that to the 4–5 days I was eating out when I worked downtown… and you can imagine how happy my wallet is about this new setup. I’m also eating better, since I don’t keep things like french fries and pizza stocked in the kitchen.
One thing that I was doubtful of was my ability to focus. I’ve always done better separating work from home entirely, but I’ve actually found myself able to focus on single tasks for a longer amount of time this way. Sure, I still get pinged in chat occasionally, but it’s nothing compared to having somebody sitting right next to you popping their head up to ask a question every few minutes. I do find myself distracted if the house is messy, but that only encourages me to keep up with the housework so my productivity doesn’t take a hit.
With coworkers all around the world, it can be difficult to remember who is working when. Some of my coworkers are 5 hours ahead, others are 3 hours behind. Bluespark does have core hours (mornings in my timezone), which means I have to have all my ducks in a row before the European team signs off for the day.
All-in-all, the pros vastly outweigh the cons to working for a distributed, remote team. I can’t imagine going back to an office setting after having worked like this.