A few days ago I talked about some of the things I'm grateful for working on the web and one of the items on that list is working remotely. To me it's an absolutely amazing experience to work from my home. I get so much out of the time I can spend focusing on my job, time at coffee shops, going to meetups (I actually run one Friday mornings), working during the hours I feel most productive, etc. But that's not the response I hear when I tell others where I work.
How do you get any work done?
Aren't you distracted!?
Don't you watch TV all day?
Most people look at me like I'm cursed! But the answer to staying on task while working from home is actually pretty simple – or at least simple to put into words. You have to enjoy what you do and find it intellectually stimulating.
If the only reason I worked was to earn an income I would only work just hard enough to not get fired. Think about it – if your only motivator was money then you'll as little as possible to get that money. And when it comes to working remotely that means you probably could skimp on a few things and watch some extra TV or get up really late and not put in a full day.
I'm six months into my gig at WooThemes and everyday I wake up excited. I find that troubleshooting people's support problems is actually quite fun, talking with my team from around the world is eye opening, and digging into code can be very challenging. At least one day a week I find myself working way more than I should. It isn't to make up work from earlier in the week and it isn't because of a crazy deadline. I do it because I'm totally absorbed in the process. I get lost in the flow.
Flow is a new area of research in Positive Psychology and the latest research shows that being in state of flow by being challenged is integral in achieving happiness. I don't have the credentials to talk about the inner workings of flow (but there's a great TED Talk about flow about that). Just know that the reason I can work from home is because it makes me happy. Not just the being at home – the work itself. So if you can't imagine yourself working from home because you'd be too distracted what does that say about your work?