I often get people telling me things like:
“What? You’re working on the weekend?”, or
“What? it’s 9pm and you’re working?”
The implications being that I’m working all the time.
On the other hand, I often get weird looks from my landlord and neighbors when it’s 2pm and I’m out in the yard gardening. I’m pretty sure the landlord thinks I’m some sort of internet scammer that doesn’t do any real work or something.
Both of those show the strange relation we have with work. That it’s all the same and that he best way to do work is to get up at 8, get into work at 9 and then get home at 5. And you shouldn’t do work outside those hours because that’s over working and you shouldn’t not work in those hours because then you’re lazy.
And to be fair, that system works for many people. I have many colleagues who like the 9 to 5 and that’s it. They are always there at 9 and always leave at 5. One of the great things about working remotely and my job ( you should think of joining us ) in general is that you can set your own hours. If I don’t feel like getting up for 10 am today. I don’t need to! If I feel unproductive at 2pm (which I often do) I can just go outside and spend 30 minutes to an hour gardening or doing groceries or playing a video game.
Now that’s not to say it’s all just fun and games. We all have responsibilities and things that need to get done by a certain day or time and we have some on call shifts (usually during hours that you’d work anyway) and we take turns being on call on the weekends (for which you take time off for). I’m a big fan of a Matt Mullenweg quote:
[…]We think someone’s working if they show up in the morning and they’re not drunk, they don’t sleep at their desks, they leave at the right time[…]
And that quote was actually a contributing factor to why I applied to Automattic in the first place.
I personally greatly enjoy the flexibility, the autonomy and the trust we have in eachother in my team. If you’re interested, maybe you should check us out.