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So one thing that isn't mentioned in this article that I think is incredibly important is making sure you maintain a social life outside of work.

When working at an office you tend to spend time with your coworkers outside of work and that is something you don't really get an opportunity to take advantage of when you're remote. Be sure to make some effort to get out of the house and be social in some form. Otherwise it becomes too easy to become isolated and you can suffer because of it. It also helps with counteracting the problem of overworking, since you have other obligations in you day that push you towards wrapping up work for the day.

Totally agree, and thank you. As much as I enjoy being alone, if I go too long without any significant social contact my "social muscles" start to atrophy. I start misinterpreting others' social cues, I forget how to do the usual give-and-take of a normal conversation, I start coming across as aloof or pushy (which is enough of a problem for me already). It's particularly helpful to have social contact, even if it's just VC, with the members of my team, so I can "stay in practice" interacting with those particular personalities in that particular environment, but social contact with anyone is almost as good.

Author here. I 100% agree with this. That's one of the many reasons why I enfoce the 19:30 stop. After that is for socializing and other offline activities (such as reading).

Working 10 hours per day? Looks extreme to me, as a European.

He is the founder of a company, and is probably doing a lot of meeting & email work which doesn't necessarily have to be mentally draining compared to fixing bugs. There might be some long lunch breaks in between there too.

(For me, meetings are draining in other ways most of the time)

Having fixed bugs /coding for nearly a decade and now having more meetings & emails,I would argue that if anything meetings & emails drain _more_ energy because of the context switches. You are more likely to do deep work fixing bugs than in meetings in my experience :-(

You might just be an introvert of some sort, sounds eerily familiar from the description

Extroverts gain more energy from being around other people and in social situations.

Introverts (like me) can handle social situations perfectly well, but need some time to recharge afterwards. Preferably completely alone without human contact.

If I spend a day coding and just talk to my coworkers occasionally, during lunch and coffee breaks etc. - I'm just fine when I get back home.

If it's a day full of meetings with customers, I'm completely drained and pretty much useless to my family for the rest of the night (at least socially)

Heh! I am INTJ if that helps :-) . Agree on the rest of your comments.

I'm an American, and 10 hours a day seems extreme. I've worked remote for about 10 years now, and I aim for about 8 hours a day.

Sure, I might hit 10 or 11 hours in a day occasionally, but that doesn't happen very often.

For a founder or any other exec, 10 hours is pretty tame. It also depends on your definition of work. I’m always “on” so to speak. Meaning I might be cooking dinner, but I can easily answer an email on my phone while cooking. I don’t necessarily consider that work, but I know a lot of people do.

Not going to happen with a kid, unless you have a full time+ nanny and are willing for them to maybe hate you later.

Seems like a valid point. I wouldn’t know as I don’t have kids, but being a high output exec + having a kid seems like a recipe for a mental breakdown, but I’m sure a lot of people do it.

I just miss when I could think about work at home while cooking and doing anything else. Now it’s make sure toddler doesn’t climb up and hurt themselves.

It's worth remembering that the 10 hours include "commute" and lunch, so it's about the same as as a nominally 8 hour workday.

My first thought when seeing the domain and title was, ok, a guy in sweden who chooses remote work ... We're isolated enough in this country already.

Glad for you not both points seem to be true.

The 7:30 stop?! Is this parody?

No, just the "American way of life".

As a remote employee I never worked more than 8 hours a day (including lunch break), knowing my friends in the office sit there for 8 hours INCLUDING lunch breaks, table tennis sessions, kitchen chats, multiple smoke breaks, meetings, scrum sessions and so on.

Also I know very great programmers and literally NONE of them can stay really focused for more than 5-6 hours a day, regular devs will struggle to be productive for 4-5 hours, I'm happy if someone actually works for 3-4 hours a day. Sitting or standing in front on computer for 10 hours a day is a highway to carpal tunnel syndrome, haemorrhoids etc.

This is actually an interview question I use: "How many hours of productive work can you do in a day?"

If they say 8 hours (full work day), they're either lying or using some kind of performance enhancing drug.

I've been paid for software development for close to 20 years and I've never done anything productive before lunch. Mornings are for documentation, code reviews, emails, stuff that doesn't really need constant focus. Afternoon and early evening are when I get shit done, that's when I can get into the Zone.

Lol so what if they're using a PED? Many people have ADHD diagnosis and use amphetamines to focus. Filtering them out at the interview stage is a huge mistake. Abnormally productive people should be seen as a benefit not a cheater.

I didn't say it was a bad thing.

The point was that being "productive" - that is to say fully focused - for a complete workday just doesn't happen all the time without medication of some sort.

> When working at an office you tend to spend time with your coworkers outside of work

Never experienced this. Is it really that common? I love my coworkers but they are colleagues, not friends.

They don't have to be friends, but it does help to know people's specific interaction styles. Are they quick to voice an opinion, or hesitant? Do they play the "strong opinions loosely held" game? Which people will speak up in the group, which would prefer one on one, which will avoid one on one because of culture-specific gender or hierarchy rules? Which people are generally "progressive" early-adopter new-shiny types, which are "conservative" use-proven-technology types? Who welcomes new people? Who enjoys a bit of teasing banter, and who seems bemused genuinely hurt by it? A little light social interaction can answer all of these questions, and those answers can be very useful when interacting with them later in more structured and directly work-centered contexts.

It can vary greatly by age, location, and company culture. I have a bunch of 20-something coworkers who all hang out together. My coworkers in London can often be found together at the pub after work.

That said, plenty of my older coworkers tend to go home immediately after work.

Depends on a country. In the UK, you are very likely to get a lot of social interactions after work aka the pub. In some, like France,I was told it's not really the case.

Second this. Over the 15 years that I have worked in the UK, most of my best friends are ex-colleagues. I moved back for a while to my native Norway and worked 6 years there but there were nearly no social interactions with colleagues. Perhaps once a quarter you would go for a beer or pizza but very rarely. (Though some of the work organised sports events, lunchtime football, floorball, etc, was good.)

I was relieved when we decided to move back to the UK and I could have a quick pint after work once or twice a week again. Some quick banter and gossip improve camaraderie and spirits a lot. Though as a parent it has to be a quick drink but still enough to bond.

But also in the UK, it has been very different depending on if the office is located in the city centre or an office park. One of the many reasons why I try to avoid companies in an anonymous office park...

Though now I am working mostly remotely in a tiny town where I know no one so I make an effort to occasionally jump on a train into London just to meet ex-colleagues for a drink for my social interactions (and possible contract networking...)

The pint after work thing is a culture thing. In London and maybe. If cities where everyone gets the train in it isn’t unknown. For most in the country people drive to work, it seems rare to have after work pints.

Yeah, I was surprised at how that was phrased at well. I've made friends at work who I have spent time with outside of work, but that's a select few group of people.

I've definitely not experienced that one generally tends to spend time with coworkers outside of work. I think this could be more common in other industries like Finance where having drinks with people is essentially a job requirement.

Not in my experience, and I've worked at a couple large US tech companies. I've had groups of friends who happen to work at the same place who I never interact with at work, but for actual people I work with, I'd say spending time with them outside of the work is reserved for once-every-couple-months happy hours.

In the EU countries where I've worked, coworkers usually shared some activities (e.g. weekly soccer matches). For some, especially parents, it's their main social schedule outside their home.

Agreed, the hardest part of remote work and the lack of accessible coworkers iRL are these in-person opportunities to be out of the house. If you move somewhere that you don't know people, still getting into groups, volunteering, and generally having a thing or three that forces you to be somewhere not on your own time with people who need you to be there is a good thing.

I’m working on a project to help with this problem — basically trying to combat isolation by connecting with small groups of remote/indie workers that are local to you.

I’m collecting interest to see if people would find this useful. If this sounds interesting to anyone, please let me know (contact info in profile)

I thought it is a given that people have (social) life outside of work?

Unfortunately it’s not a given. Especially in our industry. Doubly so with remote work where you have to make an effort to separate work/not-work lest the two blend together into a state of always working/thinking about work/etc

Hahaha hahaha! Hahahahahaha! Ahhhhhhhhhh. /sigh/ wipes tear from eye. Best laugh I’ve had in awhile, thanks for that.


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