A day in the life of a remote worker
Are you thinking of making the leap as a remote worker? But you wonder what it’s be like to work remotely?
Or you’re curious about how your fellow remote workers live?
A few of our members share a peek into their daily life and how they handle working remotely.
Bayu is an Indonesia based UI/UX Designer with more than 6 years of experiences. Has been working remotely for a year and counting.
My day starts from 4.30 AM, as a Muslim I need to get up and do the Dawn Prayer. After that I usually go back to sleep or let myself drowning on some Medium articles.
Around 7 AM to 8 AM I took breakfast with my family, our favorites are toast with coffee and milk for my son. After that I usually go for workout & running. I feel so fresh after I dump some litres of sweats. After 9 AM, it is my turn to take care the kid. Take him for a walk or playing soccer and whatever play we want until 11AM.
11AM is the nap time for the kid. While he’s sleeping, it’s the quality time for me and my wife. Either we plan our next family trip, discussing her next shopping plan or helping out her online business. Then, on 1.30PM I started to working until 9PM.
Remote working allow me to do all that. It’s all about quality time with family. I feel so blessed and really grateful with this life.
Ilia is a content marketing consultant who’s been working remotely for over 2 years. He runs a content marketing newsletter.
I love to get started with my day early so I can get through most of the tasks for the day. I love the flexibility working remotely gives me. Some days I want to go for a run in the morning or around noon, when parks are less busy and remote work allows me to do that.
I start my day with coffee and with a skim of my feedly and Pocket accounts. I usually have an energy-boosting breakfast around 9-10am and then a late lunch/early dinner around 4-5pm. I try to get up and walk every hour or so. Every few hours I’d try to take a break and take a long(-ish) walk. I use Headspace and would usually try to do a mindfulness session in the middle of the day as a way to break from work and rest my brain. I usually find myself much energized after that.
Cynthia has been working remotely (seriously) just since 2017. She is a freelance writer, editor, and marketing consultant, with a BA in English, who retired early from an executive marketing job in 2009. She did a few magazine articles since then, but mostly enjoyed volunteering in dog rescue. She finally woke up one morning and decided that retirement didn’t agree with her, and now she’s actively looking to fill up her schedule with paying jobs.
She lives in British Columbia, Canada, in the Pacific Standard Time zone (UTC-7), and she likes to wake up very early and do as much work as possible.
She finds she’s more intelligent earlier in the day. She’s determined to never again sit behind someone else’s desk wearing some uniform prescribed by others. She works in her pyjamas with her dogs snoring nearby.
Corey develops business solutions and leads a team of software developers at Travelers Insurance. He’s been working remotely since October 2016.
My day starts with a daily stand up call with my project team followed by a call with all developers on the team to discuss any issues, talk through architectural designs, etc.
From there, I usually work a couple hours until lunch time, when I eat and cook lunch at home, then go to one of the many coffee shops in Chicago (or whatever city I happen to be visiting) to finish the rest of the work day. Ergonomics are highly important, so I use a Roost laptop stand and Microsoft Sculpt keyboard and mouse.
After the official work day is done I’ll spend some time providing career advice to those looking to enter the software industry, as well as those who are looking to go (or are currently) remote.
Fernando is a Product Manager who loves to figure out what it takes to make a product great. He believes that having strong opinions based on experience is great and that backing that up with data is even better. He has worked remotely for the past five years.
My daily routine has changed a lot over the years depending on my circumstances at any given time. And that is just one of the perks of remote work – it is a lot easier to make those adjustments.
I have gone through the whole gamut. From working at an office away from home during regular work hours, to working while traveling to accommodate for some life events.
My current routine starts at around 6:30 AM, when I wake up before the rest of the family and start doing some work from the couch. Then at around 8 I take a break for breakfast with my wife. I take a long break for lunch, up to two hours depending on the day.
This is important for us for many reasons – because it’s a cultural habit to have family lunches (I live in a fairly small town where this is still feasible) and also because it takes a lot of effort to get three children fed and ready for school.
Since a lot of my colleagues are four to six hours behind me, the afternoons are usually spent in “synchronous” activities – meetings, mostly, but also lots of text chatting.
The kids arrive from school at 6PM, and usually that’s when I stop working. However, again because of time zone differences, I occasionally have to attend meetings that extend until later.
Particularly when I know the day will run long, I make sure to take a few breaks during the afternoon to keep myself feeling fresh. I might go run an errand that requires me to walk a little, or have some coffee with my wife.
Through all the experimentation I have done in the past 6 years or so, I have learned a few things. Most important: don’t feel guilty about owning your own time, and make use of the freedom and flexibility that remote work provides.
Ugo is the Chief Technical Architect at the Shadow Robot Company, where he drives the technical roadmap. He’s been working remotely since December 2011.
Being a father of two, my day usually starts by organising food for everyone – both breakfast and lunch boxes – while my wife gets ready and wakes up the kids. Once everyone is fed and we’re all ready for the day, I either bring the youngest to her Nanny or the oldest to school – we alternate with my wife on who does which one.
Once I’m kid free for the day, I head up for 1h at the gym. Depending on how much energy I have or how much work I have, I either do a 1h cardio-catchup (trademark pending! Basically catching up on emails / twitter / medium / pocketted reads while on the bike) or some hard-core training.
After the gym, I head up to either a coffee shop nearby or my coworking space and work on my most important task for the day during roughly 2h – distraction free. Once this is done, I catch up with my emails again, make sure my todo-list organisation still makes sense and then keep working on the items in it with a brief lunch break. I use a loose Pomodoro technique, which I strengthen more if I feel I’m getting distracted.
At 4.20pm I wrap up for the day, making sure I have at least my most important task for the day ready for the following day. I then switch to Dad’s mode and go fetch my daughters at 4.30pm. After that it’s family time until 7.30pm when both girls are in bed. I usually do a bit of scientific reading in the evening as it’s an important part of my job.
I live in rural northern Three Lakes, Wisconsin in a town of about 1,500 people. We have no stoplights and a great community laid out for easy walking/hiking and living out doors.
My day usually starts around 7AM with breakfast and such and then at 8AM I drive my daughter the 3/4 of a mile to school (two stop signs). Back home around 8:15 and usually spend from then until 9AM with my wife either going for a walk, hanging out, or cooking a more elaborate breakfast.
Work starts at 9 as I “commute” downstairs to the office I built in the basement. I use my Autonomous.ai adjustable height desk with a custom work surface I built I transition between sitting and standing about 5 times a day, it’s made a big difference in my back.
I also take a number of 15 minute breaks throughout the day to hold my two week old newborn son, James. Work generally wraps up around 5:30-6PM. Internet can pose a challenge, with us living “in town” in order to get a wired connection.
It’s not always reliable, so I have two connections and my internet router auto-fails over between the two. Speeds aren’t the fastest at 24/1.5Mbps and 20/1Mbps, but adequate to be productive.
I’m very grateful for the slower rural lifestyle, close knit community and zero commute!
Victoria is an author/translator/editor/virtual assistant based in Buenos Aires that has been working remotely for the past year. She quitted her very stable job as clerk of the court in a Buenos Aires criminal court to pursue her freelance career. She is currently working on her first non-fiction illustrated children’s book for her own publishing company!
As a clerk of the court my days were pretty much the same for almost 5 years. I woke up at 5:45, had breakfast and read online newspapers, went to the office at 7:30, left the office 7 hours later, went home, went to school/pilates, saw some friends, went to bed, slept around 5 hours, woke up at 5:45…
You get the gist of it. I was burned out, my energy was very low, I was a bit lost. I took a plunge and resigned to work full-time on my side projects: Just Ask Vic and my publishing projects.
Now, as a freelancer working remotely, my work week is never quite the same. I do have routines, mind you. Every weekend, I write down in a paper weekly calendar the activities and events for the upcoming week.
I go to pilates 3 times a week and walk at least half an hour every day, so I save time for that. I write down what tasks I need to do that week for each of my regular clients and select the days I’m going to be working on each project/client (this has been very helpful).
Generally, I get up around 8am, change into my home “work” uniform (very important, can’t really work with my pajamas on!), have breakfast in front the computer while reading the news, checking my emails, etc. I then work for a few hours, have a long lunch break, rest a bit, work again for a few hours.
Some days I will have morning meetings (I’m at my best in the morning for work-related human interaction), or I take my laptop to a co-working space, a coffee shop or a library (the National library in Buenos Aires has a shitty Internet connection but it’s an awesome space for offline work and research), and spend at least three or four hours after lunch working there while drinking coffee.
I found that I’m not at my best after lunch, so if I want to get anything important done in the afternoon, I need to leave the house.
I switch my schedule up whenever I sense my energy is low: I go for a walk with my favourite podcast on my headphones, read a book, meet a friend for a drink, listen to a record while cooking a nice meal. No guilt at all: I know now that those breaks help me give my best when I need to.
I sleep much better now, at least 8 hours per night. I’m not dealing with criminals and lawyers in a very loaded environment, a big part of why I feel so much better. Having a schedule that adapts to me and not the other way around has been tremendously helpful, and exactly what I needed.
Our community members’ days vary as much as their geographical locations and their hobbies and aspirations. I hope that it gives you insightful ideas about how remote workers live 🙂