Where I work

Originally published on Butterfly Mind, April 2016.

“Is this going to be like getting concert tickets? REFRESH, REFRESH, REFRESH!”

I asked this of Andrew Spittle, co-organizer of SupConf and our Happiness team lead, when the SupConf Kickstarter went live. We were purchasing tickets for colleagues, and I wasn’t sure how fast they would go.

“Ha. You need to get out more,” he said.

“It’s in my OKRs,” I said.

He thought I was joking. Then I showed him my my Objectives and Key Results spreadsheet, which clearly states, “Work outside of home 2x per month.”

The reason I don’t get out more is that I love working from home. I’m here when my kids get home from school, my shower is right here after I’ve walked 4 hours on my tread desk, the kitchen is here and stocked when I want a snack.

And after I’ve walked my 4 hours in the morning, showered, and eaten lunch, I move upstairs to our new living room to work from the lounge chair.

lounge chair 13
Afternoon workspace (our living room)

I get to be here in the open when the kids get home from school. Even if I’m still working, I like sharing the space with them while they eat their snacks, school is fresh on their minds, and they just might be willing to talk to me about their day.

To be honest, leaving the house is a hassle. I’m so spoiled. Even though a coffee shop is less than 5 minutes away, it seems like a lot of work to get there compared to padding around our house in my slippers. So much time wasted, what with getting dressed, packing my laptop bag, putting on shoes, opening car doors, driving 5 minutes, parking, standing in line for coffee.

I do love the one day a week I leave the house for a couple of hours and am out in the world, but there’s a reason I only do it once a week. I love my home setup. I love my Key Lime Studio. I’ve got a tread desk where I walk at 2.1 mph for a minimum of 4 hours per day. My Fitbit daily goal is 15K steps, but I usually hit more than 20K with my walking desk. As I age and my body becomes less inclined to survive high impact  workouts, this tread desk is an amazing investment in my long term health. I love it very much.

Home office with treadmill desk
Home office with tread desk

The walls of my office are decorated with artwork gifted from our Minnesota friends at Studio on Fire, and with souvenirs from places I’ve been with my Automattic, the company I work with: postcards from Philadelphia where I spoke at the inaugural WordCamp US and from Hawaii where I traveled for my first team meetup.

Studio on Fire print and postcards from Philly and Kauai

Inspired by my friend and coworker Wendy Scott, I’ve also started a photo wall with images from events I’ve travelled to: our annual company meeting in Park City, Utah; team meetups in Kauai, New Orleans, and Phoenix. This year I will get a chance to add more, from San Francisco for SupConf; Vienna for WordCamp Europe; and Whistler, British Columbia for this year’s company meetup.

Photographs from places I've been with Automattic
Photos from Hawaii, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Park City, UT

I am getting out more to work, and I enjoy my surroundings every time I do. I love the clink and clatter of coffee shops, the almond croissants at Our Daily Bread, the white noise of café conversations. But I am so grateful that I can work from home, too, and get healthy while I do it.

Automattic is a fully distributed company, with employees from more than 40 countries and from time zones all around the world. Sound like a cool place to work? We are hiring.

For the month of April, I will publish a 10-minute free write each day, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Trying to get back into the writing habit.

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