Four years working remotely, this is my experience

After working for a year and a half in the cold Denmark, I decided to move back to my home city, Barcelona, in May 2015. Even though I was not looking for it, the company that hired me was remote-friendly.

Indeed, it didn’t have offices at all. So I had no other option than learning to work from home. Here is my experience.

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I enjoyed these views from my “office” during the entire summer. I usually even had time to go swimming during my lunch break.

The good side

You can work from wherever you want. It turns out my parents have a summer house, so I enjoyed all summer working from a beach town while during the coldest months I moved back to Barcelona. That was pretty cool.

You don’t have to commute. That’s a lot of time and money you save!

You eat at home, which means you can eat healthier and cheaper food than what you would eat in a restaurant.

You can work in your pajamas, nobody cares. Just make sure to look a little bit decent if you receive a video call.

You can travel while working, you can even become a ‘digital nomad’. In these last year, I worked for one month from Costa Rica and for a week from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Working from the airport.

The bad side

Some people say it’s difficult to get out of bed to start working. Honestly, I never had this problem, but if it’s a problem for you, make sure you have some appointment you can’t miss in the morning: bringing your kids to school, buying the breakfast or calling the bank, whatever which forces you to be out of bed.

When you work in an office, you talk to several people every day, even if they are not your best friends, they are humans and that fills your social life. But when you work from home, it’s you and your computer, nobody else.

You have to force yourself to go out, otherwise you end up getting crazy. I have been very strict with the policy “always get out, even if it’s just to the shop around the corner or to run a little bit” and it went quite well, I only stayed at home during the days of heavy rain or that I was sick. But still, those days suck. Going to bed after the entire day at home feels like a lost day.

Even though I love working remotely, sometimes I miss working from an office. In Denmark, we used to have free beers every Friday, and we played beer pong almost every week. It was an awesome way to start the weekend.

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That’s a typical Friday afternoon in a Danish office.

Conclusion

Don’t get me wrong, I love working remotely and I want to continue doing so, but it would be foolish pretending it doesn’t have trade-offs. In the end, it’s a question of personal preference. The advantage of working remotely is that, in the case you don’t like it, you can go to the co-working which is closer to your place and make that your office.

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