Before The Situation, I used to work in the Clearleft studio quite a bit. Maybe I’d do a bit of work at home for an hour or two before heading in, but I’d spend most of my working day with my colleagues.
That all changed three years ago:
Clearleft is a remote-working company right now. I mean, that’s hardly surprising—just about everyone I know is working from home.
Clearleft has remained remote-first. We’ve still got our studio space, though we’ve cut back to just having one floor. But most of the time people are working from home. I still occasionally pop into the studio—I’m actually writing this in the studio right now—but mostly I work out of my own house.
It’s funny how the old ways of thinking have been flipped. If I want to get work done, I stay home. If I want to socialise, I go into the studio.
For a lot of the work I do—writing, podcasting, some video calls, maybe some coding—my home environment works better than the studio. In the Before Times I’d have to put on headphones to block out the distractions of a humming workplace. Of course I miss the serendipitous chats with my co-workers but that’s why it’s nice to still have the option of popping into the studio.
Jessica has always worked from home. Our flat isn’t very big but we’ve got our own separate spaces so we don’t disturb one another too much.
For a while now we’ve been thinking that we could just as easily work from another country. I was inspired by a (video) chat I had with Luke when he casually mentioned that he was in Cypress. Why not? As long as the internet connection is good, the location doesn’t make any difference to the work.
So Jessica and I spent the last week working in Ortygia, Sicily.
It was pretty much the perfect choice. It’s not a huge bustling city. In fact it was really quiet. But there was still plenty to explore—winding alleyways, beautiful old buildings, and of course plenty of amazing food.
The time difference was just one hour. We used the extra hour in the morning to go to the market to get some of the magnificent local fruits and vegetables to make some excellent lunches.
We made sure that we found an AirBnB place with a good internet connection and separate workspaces. All in all, it worked out great. And because we were there for a week, we didn’t feel the pressure to run around to try to see everything.
We spent the days working and the evenings having a nice sundowner appertivo followed by some pasta or seafood.
It was simultaneously productive and relaxing.