Working from home has irreversibly changed me. The very thought of returning to the routine of a full-time office job feels antiquated, almost absurd. It’s been four continuous years of remote work for me, and I’ve embraced every second of it. While I occasionally make a brief appearance at the client's office, it's a far cry from the "hybrid" work models that have become increasingly popular.
You might wonder why I'm so attached to this way of working. Two years ago, in a bold move, I relocated back to Hawaii during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some might say it was a gamble – relocating to a place so remote while banking on the longevity of remote work. Yet, sometimes, in order to truly understand what we desire, we must place ourselves in situations that force a decisive outcome. Today, two years after my move, I'm still thriving, even more convicted in my decision.
So, why is remote work so pivotal to me? The answer is threefold, yet incredibly simple:
- Quality of Life: Living in Hawaii, I've had the chance to reconnect with nature. The daily view of the pristine beaches, the intoxicating scent of the flora, and the rejuvenating ocean swims have become invaluable parts of my day. These experiences contribute greatly to my well-being, mental clarity, and overall satisfaction – aspects that would have been compromised with a daily office routine.
- Quality of Life: Without the constant hustle of preparing for office, commuting, and navigating through office politics, I have been able to reclaim a significant portion of my time. This allows me to allocate hours to personal development, such as exercising, indulging in hobbies, or simply taking a moment to breathe and appreciate the beauty around me.
- Quality of Life: A stable work-life balance is not just about physical well-being, but also mental and emotional health. Remote work has granted me the space to avoid office distractions and truly focus. It has eliminated the unnecessary stressors, enabling me to produce better quality work and maintain a positive state of mind.
Work, while important, is not the entirety of life. No one, I believe, reaches the end of their journey wishing they had spent more hours at the office or in mundane meetings. I'm no slacker – my days are filled with 8-10 hours of concentrated work. But without the added burden of travel and preparation, I am left with ample personal time that once used to be eaten up by the 12-hour cycles of corporate life.
In addition, contrary to some beliefs, I've found that I'm more productive working from home. Tools like Zoom and Teams have revolutionized meetings, making them more focused and efficient. Gone are the days of wandering from one conference room to another or getting caught in impromptu chats that often veer off-topic.
Remote work has not just been a temporary shift for me; it’s a lifestyle choice, one that places emphasis on living as much as it does on working. And while the world navigates the post-pandemic reality, one thing is clear for me: I’ve tasted the freedom and quality of life that remote work offers, and there’s no turning back.