Since I'm stuck for a few hours at the airport in Prague, and spending it being productive, I figured I'd jot down a few thoughts about that.
What I do isn't really novelty anymore. It wasn't that much of one when I started either. Remote work is being smart with technology to enable ourselves for greater flexibility. That's all there is to it. So back in the days when teleconferencing was new and hot, that was essentially the same thing.
Of course, the tools became a lot better since then.
I am now sitting at the Prague airport departures, waiting for my flight. I'm writing this blog post longhand on my iPad. I'm on my way to Iceland to meet and spend a week with a client for whom l've been writing in the past months. I didn't bring a laptop, just my phone and tablet. I've been traveling since 9:30 am, and haven't missed a beat, save for the time spent flying.
When I was traveling in SE Asia, I fixed an issue (I do some pro bono sysadmin work for a company) while boarding any plane to... Singapore, I think.
Technology enables me to work from anywhere, at any time. Now there are proponents and opponents to this sentiment.
The opponents will talk about how all this blurs the line between work and personal life. That being constantly connected enables employers to exploit their employees beyond the normal work hours. That it contributes to the already on-the-edge levels of stress and anxiety of the modern man.
I don't disagree with any of those points. They do raise valid concerns. And I myself am worried about our collective inability to handle these new communication and productivity tools properly. There doesn't seem to be a healthy middle ground: there are those who don't use these tools and those who use them way too much.
We can neither connect nor disconnect well.
That said: it works for me. I don't think of myself as particularly smarter or more disciplined or better suited for the digital age than others. Wells may be that last one I do, a little.
By age group I'm more often than not classified as a "millennial." I hate those stereotypes, and about 99% of them don't even apply to me.
But I do have an affinity for technology. I don't know (nor care) if that's because of being part of my generation or not. I didn't grow up with technology. For one thing during the 90s (when I was a teenager) Hungary was mostly still in the 80s. For another, we were so poor I literally had to travel to the other side of the city to see an IBM PC. Not kidding. (It was an XT, and it was awesome.)
Thus, I don't think I have a superpower or anything for taking full advantage of technology. What I am, however, is lazy.
When you're lazy, your time is spent balancing your desire to do anything but work and your need to eat, pay bills, and all those horrible adult-y things.
When you're lazy, you start working smarter.
Yes, I work from airports, coffee shops, restaurants, or from the bus. Because I can get stuff done in those places, as quickly and smartly as possible, so I can either go home to read, and play World of Warcraft, and write my own things; or go back to whatever it was I was doing before I had to work. Laziness is a powerful incentive to figure out what works for working the same (or more!) amount in much less time.
So if you want a sharp line (or a chain fence with a minefield) between work and private life: good for you. There's nothing wrong with that. Just let me be lazy and work smart from wherever.