Allen Moore

Design Engineer at 10up

Remote Work – The New Wild West

Don’t be alarmed by the title of this article as this is not another blog post bashing remote work. The title is the feeling that I have had, lately, as I have been discussing with colleagues that I will be working from home.

I’ve had the opportunity to share with co-workers, colleagues, and friends about the opportunity that lies ahead and how I’ll be joining a team of distributed designers and developers. As I start talking about what I’ll be doing and my new career, the support seems high and the congrats flow freely. Then there is the point where I mention that I’ll be working from home. This is the point in the conversation where the weird looks happen, confusion seems to set in, and comments take place. This reaction is the reaction that I would expect from someone outside of the design/development community, especially the people who are working in the 9 to 5 office environment.

One of the most outlandish comments that I heard was “Working from home just doesn’t work!”. My immediate reaction was “Why doesn’t it work?”. I watched the person for a minute and you could see the wheels literally turning in their head as they were trying to give a good reasoning. That good reasoning was “Well, it doesn’t work for me. I have a hard time not being distracted.”.

The reason I feel this is such an outlandish comment is because distractions don’t happen just at home, they happen no matter where you work. This can be in the office setting or sitting on your couch in your underwear (a reference to “A Year Without Pants” by Scott Berkun). Distractions are all around us, it’s learning how to manage those distractions that will set you apart. This isn’t limited to remote work as it spans across any work environment.

While, I do understand that there are pros and cons to remote work, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. This isn’t something that I’m new to anyways. Prior to working at NC State University, I was self employed and spent the majority of my work days (or nights) working from home or a local coffee shop. I did maintain an office but it was used primarily to meet with clients. I would say that going from remote work to an office environment was harder than I ever imagined.

It seems as if there is a disconnect somewhere in the corporate environment in regards to remote workers. With today’s ability for live interactive sharing, video conferencing, and cloud computing, you would think that companies would be leaving their offices behind and allowing their employees to work from home, but the case isn’t so. Remote work is still seen as something that is on the bleeding edge of the cutting edge.

Needless to say, I will not miss my 25 minute commute each way to work everyday. I’m excited to be trading that in for a 15 second walk to my home office.

photocredit: archives.gov

Change On the Horizon

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing. – John Porter

Change, when used in the form of a noun, can be defined as “a transformation or modification; alteration”. Change is one of those words that either excites or scares people. We tend to create a box of comfort that we live in and rarely deviate outside of it. We could almost say that we become hermits in our own little world.

As I look ahead and see the changes that are ahead of me, I feel excited and scared. Yes, I do feel it’s possible to have both emotions in this regard. I’m excited for what the future holds but scared at the same time. When I say I am not scared, I’m not saying that I am scared that something will go wrong and I’ll regret the change. I’m using this in the context of more being nervous.

These changes that are ahead for my wife and I are big. We’re moving to a new city, we’re going to be a part of a new church and community, we’ll both have new jobs, and so much more. To say that I am scared is a valid feeling.

I’m one week away from leaving my job at NC State University. In the last two years of employment here, I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most brilliant developers that I have ever met. They are passionate about what they do and love to create amazing things. Leaving that behind is going to be tough, but the future is even brighter. The opportunity is before me to go to work with a company that employs some of the most talented and gifted developers, engineers, and designers in the WordPress Community. I’ll refrain from naming the company until a little later on.

So, as I look on this opportunity and reflect on the ones behind me, I can say I am blessed. Not only because I have worked with great people and have had some great opportunities, but because I can see how the pieces are all fitting together in my life and the life of wife. I’ve been in this business of making things for the interwebs for over 10 years now, and at times, I felt as if I was treading water. But those years were a training ground that has allowed me and prepared me for the road that is ahead.

Change can be good, when it’s needed or for the better.

P.S. Karoline and I are excited to be relocating to Wilmington to be a part of a new church called The Bridge Church. The Bridge Church is a part of The Summit Network and being planted by The Summit Church.

photocredit: Drew Roberts on OpenPhoto.net

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