One Month of Working Remotely

Sencha Headquarters

Over the course of several months and several rounds of telephone interviews, including with two technical engineers to access my grasp of JavaScript and one in-person meeting in a Sydney hotel café, I was offered a remote work job.

Toward the end of the hiring process I began to wonder if it was all real. Despite the number of interactions, there was a nagging feeling that it was all too easy, some sort of scam.

The first week was at Headquarters in Redwood City, California and I was to book my own flights, plan transport and make my way to a hotel near the office. I recall telling the customs agent at San Francisco International Airport that I was starting a new job tomorrow, not entirely sure myself. At the hotel there was a reservation - things were looking promising.

On Monday morning I arrived at the office and everything worked out great.

During my first week I took a five-day training course, meeting some of the team and got access to the company email and other accounts. I explored San Francisco, Redwood City, and caught my first Uber rides.

It has now been one month I started a new job. I am now a Sales Engineer for Sencha Inc, working remotely from my home in Wollongong.

Arriving home after that first week was a little unusual. Being in a new company with a new software stack there was plenty to learn, but most of the time the colleagues I had met at headquarters were offline. I scheduled some early morning calls to run through some software training and work on the brackets from the semicolons. A trip to Sydney to sit down with my manager, collect a hardware allocation (“a MacBook Pro and big screen”) made for a long day, but provided guidance for a number of tasks and I arrived home with a clearer understanding of the work my role required.

Having established a small work area I was able to get to work. I’m connected via email, Skype, HipChat, and the occasional GoToMeeting, but being an introvert, the quiet workspace is a welcome change in this age of open-plan offices.

Having worked remotely in previous roles I know I have a tendency to get a little hyper-focused — I used to start working and forget to leave my computer for breakfast until mid-afternoon. So I have set up hourly goals with my FitBit (once a warranty replacement device arrived) and installed Stand App so I wouldn’t remain too sedentary.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to get started with to podcasts, which didn’t work well in an open office environment. Send me your recommendations.