Don’t get me wrong, there is some feeling of desire to head out the door in the morning, make my way to an office and settle in for my work, to then return home once I am done for the day.
To interact with others face-to-face, to have a change of scenery that provides the mental switch from home to work (and back again), to try different coffee and food from different vendors near the office.
But what might be nice for me, isn’t always right.
Life Can Be a Rollercoaster
See, my life over the past few years hasn’t been as straightforward as one could wish. I am a husband and a father of three, but it was nearly two…
My youngest daughter, at three months old, became ill. She had an infection that hospitalized her for a few weeks. While recovering, a nurse (who until the day I die, I will owe my all), thought he felt a lump, so requested some scans for her.
These confirmed there was unfortunately a growth, which after a biopsy sadly revealed it was an aggressive cancer called neuroblastoma.
This meant that for the next 18-24 months she would be going through a treatment plan that would push her little body to its limits. It meant extended periods of time spent in the hospital with either my wife or me accompanying her, while the other was with our other two children.
It was a whirlwind few years where her survival percentage went up and down as her body fought the side effects of the treatment that was trying to save her life. Also navigating my own mental health through the experience and supporting my wife and children through their journeys was a whole other challenge.
Remote Flexibility and Supporting My Family
Fortunately, Mahli completed her treatment plan and came out beating the odds. Although she will carry scars and will have to navigate some of the permanent effects of the treatment, she is running around as wild as any other four-year-old would.
During that chapter of life, without a doubt, there was no possible way that I would have been able to keep a job that wasn’t remote. The remote async nature of XWP (let alone the empathetic and supportive community) gave me permission to be who I needed to be for my family, whilst still allowing me to contribute to the company’s goals.
TBH, as my personal life has settled down, I have realized that I can still (and need to) carry forward the rhythms and principles I established that gave me a healthy work/life balance.
With my children starting at a new school, my wife transitioning from being a full-time carer back into work, and my dogs… well… being dogs, life is full-on in a different way, maybe just a little less emotionally draining.
So, having the flexibility to look the week ahead at my family’s and XWP’s schedules I have the ability to create my calendar in a way that I feel confident and comfortable with.
It’s Not Right for Everyone, But It’s Right for Me
You may think “Well I am not going through anything like that at the moment, so the in-office experience with its perks seems right for me”. Brilliant! If it is what works for you, with what you need & want in life, don’t change it for anything.
For me, sometime in the future, I will most likely look to find an office I can work from to enjoy those experiences I outlined at the beginning. But for now, I won’t be looking to change up the flow that works best for me, my family, and XWP.
So although remote isn’t a singular place, it’s the place that I need to be. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.