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08 Mar The Zero Commute

The Zero Commute
When you work for a fully distributed team like Restcomm, one of the perks is that you can choose the place where you work. It can be your house, your local coffee shop, your local Co-working space, and, yes, it can even be the beach!

Clearly, the latter imposes certain impracticalities (don’t ever let sand in your keyboard, most screens aren’t bright enough to see under direct sunlight, and it’s usually too hot to work in that weather – at least for me, here in Crete), but the whole point is that you can choose to work in the environment where you feel most inspired.

And the best part? This environment doesn’t always have to be the same! You can change where you work if you ever get bored…

Of course, apart from the benefit of a productivity boost, there is also the tremendous advantage that you no longer have to commute. Those words stick, don’t they?

I mean Have you ever really – really – wondered why you have to waste an hour or two of your day to commute in and out of your office?

This is an idea I’ve personally always struggled to come to terms with. It has been enough to ruin what was otherwise a perfectly fine sunny morning, simply because I might have gotten stuck in traffic on the way to work. Or the train was late. Or there was a strike. Or I got a flat tire. Or someone else was having a bad day and felt they had to take it out on me in the street. Or the bus changed routes. Or …

You see, commuting takes you out from what is a pretty safe, controlled environment (your home) to another pretty safe, controlled environment (your office). It’s the time in between when you’re out in the open that can be worrisome.

It’s a jungle out there…

And so many things can go wrong during your daily commute. Things that have always felt so peripheral to the work I had been hired to do anyway, that I saw little purpose on the act of commuting itself, given the effort and energy it took out of the rest of my day. Not to mention the cost. If you don’t need to commute, you don’t need to spend money on gas, or train fare, Uber, etc. And then there is the actual lost productivity in the time spent commuting.

Of course, you might argue that there’s value in physically being in the office, so if commuting gets you there, in way, it is part of the job.


Yet, for me, whatever constraint existed around where I could do my work was – in my personal opinion – only artificial.

Ever since I got my first job, laptops were already around. Even though the batteries offered nowhere near the autonomy they do today, it was still possible to take the thing you were doing your work on, move it to another desk, another office, building, your home, a cafe and wherever you really felt you were being the most creative.

You see, for me – and I’m sure for plenty of you, since you’re taking the time to read this post – the “what” that was produced was always more important than the manner in which it was produced. (What does wearing a suit have to do with the way you write software??)

If we care about the software, all that’s important is that we should empower the people who are building it, to be as creative and as effective as they can (I like to think we are creating, not producing, and therefore I am choosing creative, over productive).

And to come back to my original point… commuting never helped me in either of those aspects!

Of course, our jobs are not just about writing software. They also involve a lot of communication. And as we mentioned in the previous post in the Remote Working series, communication can and does suffer a little when working remotely. But that is probably worth a few articles of its own, so I’ll leave that for some other day.

If Remote Working sounds fun, or feels like it would be the right fit for you, please feel free to check out our Open Positions. If you’re curious about it, but not ready to apply just yet, you can find us in our public Gitter channel.

Until next time…

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