When people find out I work from home, they frequently ask how I manage it all. Incredulous responses vary from “I'd never want to be isolated, I need the office interaction!” to “How on earth do you keep the kids from interrupting?”
The truth is that at-home work can look like so many things. It's totally different for every influencer and consultant and telecommuter that I work with. I always feel like I need to throw in a disclaimer that my results may not be typical, and every family structures their space and time differently. You may already be doing some form of telecommuting without even realizing it! A ton of moms and dads I know juggle numerous household duties such as grocery delivery or turning AC on and off with the help of the internet, and they don't even realize that they're digitally remote-delegating their home work…from home.
How very meta.
Our partner Cox recently invited me to tour a “Home of the Future” that they setup at the Pinnacle penthouse here in downtown San Diego, showcasing the many ways that home life can be aided with the help of high-speed internet like Cox Gigablast. At speeds up to 100 times faster than average DSL (up to 1 Gbps downloads) I was amazed to see how a massive amount of technology can be employed to genuinely make life easier! I think of my home as pretty tech-forward, but this was next-level stuff.
The first “future workers” I encountered seemed a lot like myself. There was a YouTuber cooking up a storm in a connected kitchen and sharing her tips and tricks via a channel on the internet.
Jason Yang, a talented violinist, imparts his wisdom to students who schedule live face-to-face sessions with him from across the world.
This guys gets paid to let other people remote-stream his every move in the latest-and-greatest video games. Yes, I'm serious. This is a thing.
Basically, anything you can possibly think of that you're talented at and that other people are interested in can be converted into a work-from-home job. Makers can now 3D print whatever they can imagine, no third party or warehouse visits required. Hands-on work has been slower to evolve, but it offers to unique opportunities as well. At one point in this house I saw a physical therapist replaced by a computer screen that could automatically assess and critique user behavior to ensure that strength exercises were being done correctly.
The medical field is definitely an area where I see leaps and bounds in internet achievements. A lot of workers spend their lunch break rushing off to doctor's appointments. Did you know you can manage most of that from home? I sat down and chatted with one of Sharp's doctors, who told me he could handle lab reporting and other non-physical exams right over the internet…so I can get that checked off my list and get back to work without even getting up from my laptop!
Not all “at home” work is necessarily done from the house, though. Nate and I manage a ton of assignments on-the-road, as do many other remote workers. I spoke with an architect whose designs are largely inspired by the outdoors and unconventional office settings. So instead of dragging people into a stuffy office building to lay out his ideas, he brings the data wherever his clients are thanks to reliable WiFi hotspots and a handy projector that turns any space into a presentation.
As far as the question about keeping kids occupied? Well, this girl commanded a corner space where she delved into homeschool. Not just any homeschool, though! She spent the entire afternoon remote-dialoguing with her teachers in real time through Virtual Reality.
Some say that the ability to bring all of these tasks in-home means families will become splintered and less integrated, but we've seen it do the exact opposite. It lets us plow through our work and quickly get back to each other without skipping a beat. And at the end of the day – when we're all expended out energy on all that remote-dialoguing – we can crash on the couch together for some good old-fashioned TV-watching with Cox Contour. Or we could be rebels and put our TV on a lofty patio like Cox did in their “Home of the Future.”
Because in our dream merging of technology and family, we tell technology what to do for us. Not the other way around.
All in all, technology itself is a wonderful thing to behold. Where I truly get giddy is thinking about the lifestyle it makes possible every single day. I work without ever getting stuck in traffic, giving me the ability to wake my kids up and tuck them into bed every night. When we're at the grocery store and I can't remember if we need milk, I pull up my phone and peek inside my fridge as opposed to wasting money or making an extra trip. Instead of spending Saturdays sweeping, I tell my robot vacuum to do it.
Working from home isn't so much about the “working” or the “home.” It's about all the other opportunities that open up when that aspect of life is run on YOUR terms.
How does technology make your lifestyle better?