Ten Reasons I Prefer Remote Work

1. I live in two places: Southern Colorado and Costa Rica. I have children in both places. I travel between them. It is easier for me to travel to them, than for them to travel to me. I am not alone in having family in multiple places; concentrated cultures are great, but most of us have loved ones in places away from our employers.

2. The best knowledge work is done asynchronously. Modern tools make this not only possible, but preferable. The highest value output comes from deep work, not intermittent distracted work.

3. Meetings are necessary, but office environments rarely require that meetings have agendas or recorded outcomes. Such meetings often start late and exceed their allocated time. Remotely-scheduled meetings usually respect the times of all participants. Outcomes are more easily measured and recorded for both transparency and increased results. I don't pretend that all organizations adhere to this, but this is the trend. Organizations and their teams are improving on this rapidly. See, for instance, what Microsoft has built with ChatGPT for meeting summaries, notes, agendas, and action items. 

4. For quality work output, most knowledge workers fade after four hours. As a remote worker, I often take 2-4 hours of time between four hour work windows. Not only do I enjoy my day more, and accomplish more personal and family matters, but the quality of my work is notably greater.

5. I am results-driven. Attendance is a low-value activity. Work output, and the quality of it, is a high-value activity. I examine the quantity and quality of work that is output by my staff, not the mere presence of an individual.

6. I am more productive in my home office environments. I arrange them to maximize my strengths. From choosing my desk, lighting (critical), and ambient sound, to having more solitude to work on deeper matters, to eliminating the daily time expenditure on commuting, I often output 1.2 to 1.5 the work quantity and quality that I do in an office environment. While I often feel “busier” in an office, at the end of the work week, the evidence clearly demonstrates that home office work provides better results for most tasks.

7. The longer I have worked remote, the more I enjoy discussing and meeting people from diverse corners of the world. I have been fortunate to travel to different places. I prefer this schedule over standard in-city, in-office work schedule. In the past five years, I have lived or worked in London, Germany, Colorado, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, and more. I hope to see more places and meet more people in the next ten years collaborating with global teams.

8. I enjoy writing. Communicating specifications and technical details by the written word helps identify problems, collaborate on solutions, and provides accountability to management. I read as much as I write most days. It is often easier to uncover improvements in processes and people by reading than by listening to presentations in meetings.

9. I am experienced in remote and work-from-home challenges. After running my own business at home for many years, I learned the challenges and pain points of working from home. This is one reason I have a dedicated office room in my homes. Those around me respect my work time, just as I respect my off-work time.

10. It’s the future. A thousand work-related blogs and hundreds of studies and books point to this style of working as beneficial in many industries. I enjoy being on the ‘cutting edge’ of it and often foster creative ways that others can benefit from it as well. While it isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t for every employer, the gains in many cases outweigh the limitations.


1. Written communication isn’t always superior. A heavy reliance on “figuring things out by email” can wind up creating a lot of writing, but not productive results. Limiting written communication to appropriate topics and tools is a top-down management decision that will reap benefits. Sometimes it is too easy to type.

2. Instant messaging can damage productivity if not carefully curtailed. Interruptions (whether remote or not) can derail focus, create an hourly sense of false urgency, and can contribute to burn out. I like some of the improvements to instant messaging created by products like Twist and Microsoft Teams.

3. There is a place for in-office work. I don’t subscribe to the idea that only remote work can accomplish equal results at all times. First, getting to know colleagues makes work more pleasant and adds flow to future remote connections with those same colleagues. For consulting and, in particular, problem observation and later solution adoption, some in-office visits can prove helpful. Although I think a remote-first philosophy is superior to merely remote options, I’ve come to prefer some in-office time here and there, if a company isn’t entirely remote-only. Even so, most of those companies like Automattic and Gitlab, have annual retreats and other avenues for staff to coordinate more in-person connection time as available. My preference is to be in-office once a month for a few days to a week, if possible. My daily productivity might decline, but I’ve found gains in other areas that make for better teamwork and solution adoption.