Ashutosh Priyadarshy, CEO @ Sunsama
May 28, 2021
In this meditation, I want to explore working from home. It's been almost a year since work has gone remote-first due the pandemic. That's long enough that you've likely had a chance to experiment, iterate and form your own ideas about how to work well when working from home. I think we can engage in a more fruitful dialogue about working remotely now than we could have in April.
Technically, I've been working and living in the same place for six years, but this is the first year where my living space is not also the shared office with my colleagues at Sunsama. In some ways, I feel like I'm learning to adjust to working from home for the first time. For me, the spring was full of cliche anxiety.
Like most millennials, I searched Craigslist and Zillow looking for a places that would 'make me happier' now that I was feeling isolated and could work from anywhere. The turning point was when I stumbled across Michel de Montaigne's essay 'On Solitude'.
It reminded me of something I knew to be true but I'd readily forgotten: "we don't rid ourselves of the principle torments of our life, just because we have changed our landscape". Montaigne's essay glorifies and embraces solitude as an enabler of human flourishing. The essay helped me reframe the monotony and solitude of working and living in the same little space as an opportunity to "lighten myself and my soul of the weight of my burdens". Ultimately, I stayed put and found a way to thrive while seeing few people and places.
If there's one thing I've found helpful in examining my relationship with my work this year, it's asking myself "What can I do now that wasn't possible before?"
It's a simple question that I hope you can use to reframe a challenging time as an opportunity for experimentation and self-discovery. And it doesn't have to be big picture metaphysical answers! One thing I can do now that I couldn't before the pandemic is to defer requests for phone calls in favor of thoughtful correspondences over email. It's a tiny request that helps me work with more calm.
I'd love to hear what you've learned about yourself and how to work well while working from the solitude of your home? I'm firstname.lastname@example.org
That's it for this edition of Meditations. I'll see you again soon.