Most weeks I go to the warehouse on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, leaving Wednesday and Thursday to – in theory – work from home. I say “in theory” because those days always get filled with errands and the gym and lunches with friends, especially lately because during the holidays I was at the warehouse more often and didn’t get around to a lot of that type of stuff.
Case in point, last Wednesday. Here’s how my day unfolded:
- 6 AM – Wake up, shower, eat.
- 7:30 AM – head off to the VW dealership to get my car looked at. Brought my computer along to hop on the wi-fi and get some work done. Turns out there’s an issue with one of the sensors in the airbag system. They have to order a part. I’ll be heading back this Wednesday.
- 9:30 AM – back home, I answer some emails and grab a snack.
- 11:30 AM – lunch with my cousin Brian, who is an up-and-coming Italian pop star (seriously).
- 12:30 PM – I stop at Starbucks to get some work done. Disappointed that they no longer sell the Berry Blossom White tea, I settle for a (mediocre) China Green Tea.
- 3 PM – Rather than driving all the way back home (~30 min drive), I decide to drive just a few minutes over to my parents, arriving hours early for our usual Wednesday night dinner.
- 7:30 PM – home and tired, I spend a little while on my computer and then relax for the night.
Why is this post-worthy? Because I had a shockingly productive work day. One of the best work days I’ve had in a long time. I had several 1-3 hour sprints where I was able to get a solid amount of work done. Everywhere I went had free wi-fi. From my apartment to VW, back to my apartment, to Starbucks, to my parents, and then back home again. Each place I was able to flip open my laptop and work.
Since I work from only one machine (and prefer to keep doing so), the only difference between working at home and on the road is having my home-made docking station. For all intents and purposes though, I’m equally as productive wherever I am. Starbucks. Warehouse. Apartment. Parents house. Doesn’t matter.
10 years ago this wouldn’t have been possible.
I had this discussion with Greg and he thought it was more like 15 years. But it wasn’t. Wi-fi was not readily available 10 years ago. 10 years ago I was a freshman in college. When I was a student, RPI was ranked the #1 most “connected” campus in the country by Princeton Review. The campus was described as a “technological nirvana” in that story. Even there, circa 2000, we still had to carry ethernet cables with us and plug in to the network at our desks when we got to class. It wasn’t until 2003 or 2004 that the entire campus became wireless.
It really is crazy to think about how far we’ve come in such a short time. Our business and our lifestyle wouldn’t have been possible just a few short years ago.