The Online Idea Factory

Why Working From Home Should Be The New Normal

Silhouette photo of man throwing a paper plane in front of a sunset.
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad from Pexels

Yesterday, I woke up to the warm rays of sunshine pouring through my windows. It was the early portion of the nautical sunrise—that cool moment of gentle dark blue skies when the small birds in nearby trees begin to sing. I love waking up that way, without an alarm clock in front of a clear view of my favorite mountain range of all of California framed by a large window. My jaw drops every time as I let the cat out of the apartment onto the balcony, and then back in, and then back out again a few seconds later.

I swear that cat is watching the sunrise along with me as I water the miniature Amazon Rainforest on my balcony. I manage to grab my hiking buff cloth and squeeze in a two-mile run before yoga and then my daily morning meeting for work.

I sometimes look in the background of my own camera feed on my video conference call to see that I have forgotten to roll up my yoga mat. As I do, I realize that I’m usually always in an overly fantastic mood when I see the mat lying there. Everything suddenly stopped feeling like “work-work.”

I realized something about myself during this quarantine that I couldn’t figure out before. I look through all my past work experiences and couldn’t figure out why I would ever want to leave each position when I made so many wonderful friends from each job. I couldn’t see how the perfect job could ever exist until I was forced to work from home.

I’m an introvert, but I love working and collaborating with smart groups of people. You end up creating better things by building off of everyone’s ideas. You end up becoming an idea factory. However, when you are working from home in quarantine during an ongoing global pandemic, to make this amazing experience work, you end up having to become the online idea factory.

I got off of a video conference meeting with another group of cool people the other day, and we ended up tossing around some exciting ideas. I could never figure out how I could essentially live all of my dreams of living far away from the city, having a job(s) that would allow me to be creative, and being able to wake up to the sunrise and still be home in time to play with my cat before the sunset. I could avoid the hour to and from my old job or any kind of commute that would eat away at my free time to create insane things like an entire full season of a podcast with multiple guests including film, and help manage a full print and digital magazine.

I used to do the math on the hours lost to the day from driving, the money spent on gas each week, and then each month. I used to make this drink with Matcha green tea powder and straight black coffee for a while until I finally gave up coffee and noticed I was only drinking it because I was so tired at work. Now I noticed my calmness and the ideas that flow out of the factory.

I’m not sure how the future of work will be for everyone, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way I would like the future of work to be. I believe I have been the most productive I have ever been in my entire life. The fact that Microsoft is marketing the hell out of their Microsoft Teams software is only a clue into how well video conferencing for many offices is working during this time. I’m not saying having a team of actual amazingly talented people living in the Cloud that you get to download from sounds like an amazing idea, but—no, that actually sounds like a brilliant idea.

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