Not for everyone.
According to the American Community Survey, fewer than 6% of Americans worked from home in 2019. I knew a few of these people, both computer programmers for companies not based in the US. It always seemed like such a dream. The idea of working in your socks, work a little bit, take a nap, work a little more, get lunch and on and on into some idyllic perfect work-life ecstasy.
Then in March of 2020,… well we all know what happened. I found myself having lunch with my wife and daughters (of course they were home from school too) living that dream. But it really wasn’t, I was just in the honeymoon stage of change. It only lasted for three months. Then we were back in the office making calls, having Google Meets or Slack Chat meetings and emails trying to navigate the maze of who is comfortable with meeting in person. I thought in my head I wanted to go back to working remotely. Being a GIS consultant from home, yeah that’s the goal. The epic peak!
Well, I got that opportunity and in November of 2020 I started work at GISinc, a fully remote geospatial consultant. It was fun to come home on Friday and see 5 boxes on my porch all-ready to go for my new job on Monday. I spent all weekend setting up my home office picking the best background for all my upcoming video meetings and zip-tying monitor cables.
16 months later, I’ve learned a few things about myself:
- I am not work from home material.
- I miss face-to-face coworkers.
- I am ready to be done being a consultant.
This is not a statement of value on any one of these things. Those friends that I have still work from home, as do a lot of more people that I know. My own son-in-law migrated to a work from home environment and absolutely loves it.
Also, The professional world needs consultants to advise and guide best practices within any industry. I am convinced that being a consultant is an honorable and difficult job. It requires you to be on your game all the time and continue to learn your trade. I’ve had this occupation for a long time it has served me well. I have learned immensely more than I would have staying in my local government position. That being said, I am interested in moving on.
So, I am leaving GISinc (Axim Geospatial) to run an engineering and GIS department at a local fiber broadband provider. I will have an office to drive to and an in-person team to lead. My last day is tomorrow, February 25. While this is a growing experience for me personally, it still is humbling to tell friends and family that I am so quickly moving on. Sorry mom, it will be OK.
I am thankful to have had the experience and find out that #WFH is not for me.
I am glad to learn that my house is not setup for working from home.
I am grateful to have worked with some of the brightest minds in the geospatial industry.
I am honored that our wonderful clients trusted and listened to advice and direction I gave them over the past 9.5 years.