Digital nesting

I’ve been working remotely for around six months now.

It is awesome and I love it very much.

There’s one thing about remote work that surprised me: I, uh, don’t really move around that much.

One of the things I thought would be especially awesome about working remotely is the ability to work wherever I wanted. No office means, well, no office – I could work from my desk, sure, or I could work from my couch or my comfy replica Eames or the coffeeshop down the street or take the train up to Portland and work there for a week or fly back to Richmond to visit my family for a couple weeks and just work there!

Total freedom!

But, since settling in, I work something like 95% of the time just from my desk – just like pretty much everyone else.

In a tiny, silly way, I feel like I am betraying the possibilities afforded to me.

Don’t get me wrong: occasionally I’ll set up shop for a couple hours at Cafe Ladro and blitz through my morning emails and pull requests. Or if I’m feeling a little post-lunch haze I’ll sink into my couch while mocking up a feature. And my East Coast trips are longer now – a week or so, instead of a long weekend, because I can just work from my old Richmond home.

But it’s not quite the same.

I’m starting to realize that structure and routine are more important to my productivity than I thought. My desk is where I have my big-ass monitor, and my keyboard/mouse, and enough room for coffee and a Nalgene.

It’s where my muscle memory is sharpest. It’s a place I associate with working (and little else).

Working from home is freeing in a lot of ways, but it also forced me to learn the importance of of having a place where I can just get shit done. It used to be my little team room at Amazon; before that, it was the Daily Grind in Williamsburg; and now it’s inconveniently placed corner desk in my apartment.

(It is also tremendously nice that the place where I get shit done is sweatpants-friendly, and that the coffee is close-by. And you can’t beat the commute.)

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Justin Duke is a writer and developer in Seattle.
He likes good, practical things.
(And writing in the third person, I guess.)


@justinmduke
me@jmduke.com