For me, remote working has been a part of bigger journey; one where I have discovered the importance of self-reliance and the joy of independence.
My attitude in my old office based life was one of ‘entitlement’; where I believed I had the right to good life, just so long as I kept on working hard and doing all of the things that were expected of me. Like that of a child to their parent; if I did what I was told then my employer would always look after me. I think that attitude is probably something that has been carried over from previous generations and I would suggest that, in today’s changing world, it may not be entirely relevant. The world and our workplaces are changing at such a rate of knots that we need to be able to adapt our thinking to match these changes and to advance our own opportunities.
In considering the idea that ‘you work to live, not live to work’ I find that I now understand it. The opportunity to work remotely has enabled me to find a work/life balance that I am happy with. My working has been there to finance and facilitate my lifestyle; I have been working to live. In my old life ‘who I was’ was defined by my job title and I had to dedicate so many hours to working and the logistics of working (eg; travelling etc), that I had very little time for anything else, or to learn to be anybody else; I was living to work.
I will always be grateful to my company for allowing me the opportunity to work remotely. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience but, more than that, it has enabled me to learn new ways of living (and to make a living) that is not wholly derived from a single source of a salary. My salary is a very welcome part of a number of different streams of income, rather than the single one that we were wholly dependent upon.
Financially speaking; we are not rich. This is not one of those articles written retrospectively by somebody looking back on the various events and hard times that were endured in order to get them to the comfortable position that they enjoy today. This one is not like that. This is it folks. There is no agenda to further the advance of remote working or a war cry for everybody to ‘down-tools’ and do the same as me.
I do not believe that remote working will be the right thing for everybody, nor do I realistically see a time in the very near future where remote working becomes the norm. If, however, it is the right thing for you at this point in your life then I sincerely hope that my experiences can help to serve as an inspiration and help to guide you on your own journey.
As for us; we will certainly never regret taking the path less travelled. By gaining the priceless gift of time and sharing in the many adventures and experiences with our family, we will always be glad we came.
I would like to end this series of articles with the same quote that I opened them with:
‘The world is still young and we are all pioneers’