MartianCraft is a 100% remote company — something we are insanely proud of. Not only are we able to get the best talent from around the world, we allow our staff to work from anywhere in the world. When I was interviewing with the company, I recall Kyle, MartianCraft’s CEO, telling me: “I don’t care if you are working from the back of a moped heading up the Swiss Alps — just as long as you are doing good work.”
That mental image always stuck with me. And when you are a remote worker it is hard not to imagine all the amazing, cool places you could work from: Bali, or a surf-friendly co-working location, the space station, the Moon, Budapest, Abu Dhabi, Manchu Picchu — so many awesome choices. Why wouldn’t you choose something like that?
There are people here who have even designed out a mobile workspace in a van — I am talking 3D renderings. On the home front, my wife and I have considered driving cross-country for the summer, seeing the sights, hanging out with friends…all while I got my work done.
That’s the rose-tinted picture that remote working often paints in the brochures.
It seems like the perfect dream. The reality, however, isn’t like a feature in a travel magazine. Instead, I’m simply working at home. It isn’t very glamorous, yet it elicits the one question I hear most often: “How is it, you know, working from HOME?”
Many people want to know how I can focus. How can I be in a workspace — an office — while I am also at home? The thing is, most people gloss over the true advantage of working from home, which is…
The point of working from home is being HOME.
As a parent of small children, working from home is amazing. It has its challenges, yes, but the value in being at home is more than I could have imagined:
It is sharing in the giggles.
It is helping with the tears.
It is about your loved ones — your spouse, kids, pets — being the small daily interruptions, and not Milton complaining about his stapler.
Working from home is not about isolating yourself from the rest of your home — it’s about being a part of the home. I’ve been on video calls and watched and heard coworkers calm an upset child, share in the joy of a child’s small accomplishment, or even have those kids sit on their lap while we chat about things the kid simply doesn’t care about.
It’s about being there.
And it is amazing.
As much as we cling to the romantic notion of not being tethered to any one location for work — I think the reality of being there at any moment for my family is far more compelling than those Swiss Alps. It’s a constant reminder for many of us that we get the best of both worlds: to have an amazing career, and to see our kids whenever we want — and yes, occasionally when we would rather them not barge in to ask where their My Little Pony books are.
I’ve been a remote employee for just over a half of a year now, and I can already tell you that I couldn’t imagine taking a job where I couldn’t work remotely. My kids don’t cry when I start work, because to them work is just daddy being in that room. Just a door away.