Hi, I am Nicolas

Full Stack Software Engineer at GitLab who deeply cares about UX. Passionate to build magnificent products everyone loves to use.

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Working remotely – Expectations

In September I will join GitLab and while this a very exciting challenge on its own, it will also be the first time I will work fully remote.

While having worked with a distributed team before, I have high hopes that a fully remote lifestyle will improve the quality of my life. This post will go over all the expectations I have. The plan is to write another blog post later about the reality.

Working out more

Sometimes I am motivated enough to wake up early and go to the gym and on other days I get the motivation during the day. But then I am in the office and stick to my desk instead of going for a run. In the spirit of the book „let my people go surfing“, I’d like to schedule workouts when they fit my mood and the weather instead of forcing myself to sit at the desk just because the others do so as well.

Eating more healthy

While my cooking skills are rather minimalistic (which is already an overstatement), I want to cook every day. Inspired by Danielle Morrill’s meal planning Spreadsheet, I have created my own spreadsheet and try to follow a very strict diet and well-planned shopping list.

The reality will look a bit different and there will be a strong correlation between failing tests and me spontaneously buying ice cream instead 🍦.

Socializing more

You read correctly. While socializing is the biggest issue of remote work , I hope to socialize more because of being remote. The goal is to visit more friends abroad, my family and work from coffee shops together with friends.

Also, GitLab has “virtual coffee breaks” which is hopefully a great way to get to know my future colleagues.

Wake up early

Just kidding.

Not disconnecting from work

My job is more of a hobby with the side effect of getting paid for it. While this is amazing, it requires effort to separate work and life. I can already see myself starting the editor at 2 am when I am not able to sleep. I plan to stop every work-day with a fixed routine like a walk in the park.

Traveling More

I will probably not live the digital nomad lifestyle and travel through the world while working. I don’t enjoy traveling while working since it can be uncomfortable and stressful. Also, I am used to my routines and having a hard time when my environment changes.

I still expect this to change, but it will not really be about traveling, but to get more often out of my comfort zone.

Are these expectations even related to remote work?

Have I always just found excuses for myself? Not going to the gym in the morning, because my colleagues could judge me for being late at the office or not going for that walk to have a fresh mind but sticking to my desk since everyone else does this as well.

Some of it might be an excuse but there is also a certain pressure that I always felt - even if it was not intended by any of my colleagues. I hope that this behaviour will change. There is a good chance to be able to run on my schedule and can concentrate when I need to instead of being pushed out of “the zone”.

But I guess, with great freedom also comes great responsibility?