I currently work for 10up as a Senior Strategic Engineer. 10up is a distributed company, which means we have no central location or main office, it’s just a group of individuals in different cities around the world working out of home offices, co-working spaces, or sometimes even coffee shops. Don’t let that fool you into thinking we are a group of freelancers, though. We are a tight knit group doing some exciting work for equally exciting clients. A benefit of working to create amazing websites is that as long as there is some kind of wifi available, it’s possible to do some work.
Distributed working has really allowed me to make my work a more integrated part of my life as well as allowed my life to become more integrated with my work. Today, for example, I was able to answer the door for a locksmith to fix the front door lock of our rental house. This afternoon, I was able to pick my wife up early and go with her to a doctors appointment.
Two events like this would be a big deal in most other work situations. Can the locksmith come after 5? Can I get the two things scheduled one right after the other minimize the amount of time I’m not in the office? Those types of questions simply were not part of the equation because I can shift my schedule around as needed. My work fits around the needs of my life. For me, this has been a hugely positive factor in my job satisfaction.
My phone is a big factor in this equation as well. It allows me to keep tabs on things that happen while I am out and about, or while I am home and paying attention to something other than my inbox. If an emergency does come up and I need to react, it is usually not long before I can be in a location with wifi, computer open, dealing with the issue. And if I’m not in a place where I can respond quickly, I can at the very least communicate with the client or my team and make sure the problem is handled.
Most days this is unnecessary and I work a fairly standard shift. I work for about 9 hours with an hour-ish long lunch and call it a day. But having the freedom and flexibility to adjust my working times earlier or later without needing to get special approval makes the random life events that occur much less stressful.
Distributed working is not for everyone, but for me it is one of the many ways working for 10up makes me feel valued as an employee and as a human being. Remember, we’re always looking for good full time engineers, so if you think working for a distributed company might help your life fit your work and vice versa, tell us about yourself! Really, what’s the worst that could happen?