What I don’t like about working at a remote job

Working remotely permanently had been my wish ever since my managers started calling me back into the office. There was no possible way I would suffer through hours of commuting to feel awkward in an office again.

My wish got granted at the beginning of this year when I joined Wave. In the beginning, I was basking in the sparkly allure of freedom. Oh the possibilities! I could work anywhere, at any time as long as I get the work done. What a world!

However, with time came getting used to my situation. Even in the best possible world, your brain is always seeking something better. Although I really, really love remote work (please don’t take it away from me), I’ve noticed some things that make me sad about it. Here they are:

  • it feels like I’m living in Groundhog Day everyday. Every single day looks exactly the same
  • I feel like someone who has just retired. I had all these dreams about what I’d do when I had more time. And now I do. It feels like a retiree trying to finally write his great American novel and not being able to get a single sentence out.
  • It’s hard to make friends as an adult
  • I can’t move out bc I have nothing determining my location
  • I have an unstable schedule
  • A lot of these problems are discipline problems — it’s hard to build and maintain discipline when you have no one to enforce it for you
    • willpower is a limited resource and you’re spending a lot of willpower for everything when you work at a remote job. Everything is under your control so to live a good normal life, you need to set rules for yourself and enforce these rules yourself:
      • waking up at a decent time — not sleeping too much (bc sleeping a lot makes me depressed)
      • setting a regular work schedule and working enough
      • not working too much
      • exercising everyday
      • sleeping at the same time everyday
        • when you are forced to come in to the office everyday, you accept the consequences of working after a sleepless night
        • at a remote job, you know you can just sleep in so you’re much more lenient with yourself
      • overall making a daily schedule and sticking to it takes a lot of mental energy
    • it’s great that people treat us like actual adults but most adults need to be supervised to a certain extent
  • It’s extremely hard to be friends with your co-workers. You have to go out of your way to reach out and be available. Friendships don’t happen “organically” like they do in the office
  • It’s hard to determine how to spend your time in a meaningful way. Should I write on my blog that no one reads, should I practice my stick-figure drawing skills, should I create new projects that no one will use
    • When you have no interesting hobbies, you’re spending a lot of your time dabbling. You don’t have the discipline to force yourself to stick with something you’re not good at and you don’t see any benefit from
  • Extremely busy jobs looks appealing
    • My partner’s surgery rotation looks so exciting and full and life (and death) even though he wakes up at 4am and ends his day at 7pm
  • You sit on your ass all day and even walking around so your legs can get some circulation requires discipline

I have solutions to a lot of these problems. I just don’t always have the mental strength to actually use the solutions. And the weeks when I slip feel like I'm falling.