Jean-Philippe Boily / @jipiboily

Developer working remotely from Alma for Rainforest QA, often in pajamas.

July 5, 2013

Work where you are happy

July 5, 2013 - JP - 

This sentence could have different meanings:

  • work for the business you like
  • work on project that makes you happy
  • work from wherever you want

Why not all of those?

I am lucky enough to work on cool stuff at Gracious Eloise. Add to that, I do that from Quebec City while our office is in New York City. For me, this is one of the best things that happened to me! I am now free as I never was, thanks to remote working! There are numerous upsides and very few downsides, at least, for me.

Welcome, fun stuff!

I have the chance to work with tools that I love: Ruby and Ruby on Rails. These days, I am working on internal APIs, fun stuff, you can't deny, right? At least, it is for me, which is the key here! ;)

Goodbye commute!

Title says it all. 5 seconds commute instead of 30 minutes (roughly an hour a day, which was not that bad already). I can get back from the office to get a fresh glass of water and back to the office in WAY under a minute! Ok, you get it, right?

Welcome, freedom!

Am I free? Hell yeah! I can work from home, in the best office I ever had: nice wood desk with two 27 inches monitors plugged in my laptop! I want an awesome chair? I just buy it!

The world is your office

Almost. Wherever there is internet, you can work! At least, I could not work without internet for more than a few hours! :P

I work from Quebec City right now, but I am about to move with my wife in my (small) native town (Alma, Qc) where finding a fun job (for me) would be almost impossible. This would not possible for me before. In fact, we moved in Quebec City so I can find a challenging and enjoyable job.

You want to work from somewhere else for a week or a month and at the same time discover the world? Go for it! I am planning to work for a week from Miami and attend the Ruby Conf this year. Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun while still working? IT DOES!!!

But I can't work from home because of YXZ

Some people can't work from home for different reasons.

  • they are easily distracted by home tasks: I am not. I do nothing in the home during the day besides working and eating. Not even starting the washing machine (even though I am sure my wife would love that!).
  • they are not able to be alone for a long time: I can stay in the house for a couple of days without it being a problem at all for me. Maybe that would have been different 10 years ago when I was young and getting out with friends often. Things change, and it works perfectly fine for me! Add to that, you might have meetings via Skype or Google Hangout, you are not really alone, at least, I am not! :)

I am often asked: but isn't that hard to focus and work? (Seriously, this is the question, by far, that I am asked the most often) No! I am paid to do a job. I do it. If it is a problem for you, don't do that. People are smart and will see if you are a slacker! ;)

Another subject that often get in conversation when talking about working remotely is how some people need to dress up and wear shoes (!!!) to have a feeling to be in some traditional work environment. Cool, if it works for you! The first 4 to 6 months, I was roughly doing that, without the shoes! Now: if I feel this is a pyjama day, fine! Someone once told me that every day for him was a pyjama day and working for him: awesome! It doesn't work for you? Find what works for you!

That said, some people can't work from home for different reasons…too bad! This is soooo awesome! It changed my life, nothing less!

Bonuses I got

Bonus #1: English is not my native language, but working on a daily basis native English speakers is helping me get better and better. Thanks to my co-workers who were (and are still) patient when it's hard for me to say or pronounce something.

Bonus #2: our office is in New York City where most of the team works, but we are few working from elsewhere (Wisconsin, UK, Washington state and myself in Quebec). I have to get there a few times a year to have a few meetings and do some face-to-face work. I also have the chance to just hang with the team too there. Everything (or almost) is possible and exists in New York! Want cool parks in a big city? Washington Square and Bryant Park are there for you! You are gluten-free AND lactose intolerant, but once loved Mac'n Cheese? S'MAC got you covered, and they are AWESOME!

What would be your bonuses?

Be happy

All that to say: be happy! What would make you happy? Are you doing it now? Why not? Just do it! There are many ways to be happy, just find your path! There is (almost) no reason not to be happy both in your professional and personal life, so go for it!

Hint #1 to be happy: be able to recognize happiness when it knocks to your door!

You loved that? Tell the world!