My team and I had a hybrid on-site/remote working model until the onset of pandemic-driven restrictions in the UK in March 2020.
We’ve been working fully remotely since then.
But, about 6 weeks ago, I really went for it.
Me, my wife and our son left sunny Hackney, east London for even sunnier Rome, Italy.
As I write this, I’m under blue skies in Switzerland where I’m visiting my daughter. A team call was done from this table yesterday (yes, outdoors).
With all of this moving around (done with every safety precaution), I've been thinking a lot more about what keeps me ticking and moving forward.
So, below are a few things that are working for me to make my remote working experience work well ;-)
Note: We’re a super small and tight team. What I’m sharing below may not be terribly useful for larger orgs. That said, we are building and growing an increasingly dynamic services marketplace platform that has thousands of participating clients, service providers and technology organizations.
My wife, Valeria, and I are regularly doing the New York Times’s Standing 7 Minute Workout with Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.
Yep, together. Right in our flat.
This kind of quick fitness "snack" is new for me, but I can’t recommend it enough.
On top of the 7 minutes, we also run the full length of 10 flights of stairs for 3 reps.
I’ll turn 53 years old this year, so I’m especially aware of how my mind and body are handling age these days (not well), but these exercises are making a HUGE difference to my alertness and ability to focus and produce good work.
A little exercise, for me anyway, is working wonders to maintain a positive, “anything is possible” worldview.
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I’m lucky. I’m a music omnivore. I can consume several genres in a sitting. This past week or so I’ve enjoyed listening to Rihanna, Miles Davis, Massimo Catalano, Jeff Buckley, the Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse soundtrack and lots of Hans Zimmer (especially the soundtrack to Interstellar).
One of my team members is similarly broadminded in his music tastes, so we regularly swap tips. For example, he introduced me to King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. I was so hooked so fast that I got tickets for their 2019 London show. It was amazing.
But what really gets me going is crunchy guitar work - the heavier the better. Here’s my [Heavy] Metal & Edge Spotify playlist.
When I was in London, I was lucky to have this WeWork within a 10 minute walk from home. My dedicated desk on the 2nd floor was effectively my home office. The accessibility, the service, the friendly staff, the excellent WiFi, the “free” coffee (and beer) and the community were pure magic.
Now that I’m [temporarily] based in Rome, I’ve reconstructed my lucky life/work world again by setting up shop in a co-working space called the Talent Garden. It isn't a 10 minute walk from home, sadly, but it’s a 10 minute electric Cooltra motorbike ride!
So, not only am I right at home in the Talent Garden, it’s a LOT of fun riding there and around Rome - without the rat-tat-tat-y engine noise and pollution.
Those are just a few of the things that are helping me to work at a distance from my team and from our customers.
I’ll admit, it feels like a meandering experiment at times, but our regular use of tools like Slack, Zoom, DocSend, Pipedrive, Notion, Google Docs, Outlook and a bunch of other apps make it all very seamless, fun and rewarding.
Wishing you much success in your remote work experience from sunny Goldern, Hasliberg, Switzerland.
Your success is our success. It's trite and a truism, we know, but important all the same. Just like "the customer is always right".
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