Working from…  somewhere

Over the course of the last 10 years, my company has gone from ‘completely resistant to remote working’ to ‘grudgingly accepting of remote commuting in bad weather’ to ‘more or less accepting of remote commuting provided the person and role are suited to it.’

That turn has suited me just fine. The convenience of not having to drive in snow and ice (or use up a wasted personal day to avoid it) is more than offsetting to the fact that, in the rare case the office closes due to weather, I’m still on duty because I’m not IN the office (and the company never closes). 

Then when I bought my house, and set up a formal remote working arrangement, I was careful about how I phrased it. “Up to X days in the office per week.”  An upper but no lower threshold…. Zero days in the he office technically qualifies. 

Yes, that’s been good. 

Now, my company got bought by another company. They are still living in a time 10 years ago, when remote computing was a strange and suspicious thing. My direct manager is cool; he sees I get the work done the same either way. I just start the day that much earlier without a commute. 

His boss, who has not even bothered to meet me yet BTW, is not so cool with it. 

And he is planning to relocate to the same office I don’t always work in. 

Where space is increasingly at a premium. 

So he would like to see me either in the office a lot more often, or give up my spot there. 

So now I have to decide which of 5 states to choose from. 

  1. My old home, which is 3-4 hours away but my friends have been super gracious about having me to stay, which makes that doable. Going forward, however, the office will want me there with so much frequency of visits I’d pretty much need a full time place there. I mean seriously, I can’t be moving in with friends 2-3 days every week. Not to mention the wear and tear on my car, and on me, with so much road time. 
  2. Where their old HQ is based. Pluses: Lots of visibility, only need to be there a day or two a week(?).  Minuses: 2 hours each way plus tolls and parking; soon to be no convenient stayover options. Nope
  3. The next state over. Pluses: moderate visibility, multiple internal clients based there; no tolls depending on route taken; onsite parking available; definitely space for me in the office, only need to be there a day or two per week (?). Minuses: 75-90 minute commute; no convenient stayover options. Best suited to 1-2 non consecutive days at the office per week. 
  4. My home state. Pluses: in state status; “only” 60-70 minute commute; tolls variable to route taken. Neutral: Unclear space availability; no onsite clients (low visibility). Minuses: paid parking, expectation that I be in-office daily; possibility that office may get merged with next state south. 
  5. Next state south. No discernible pluses. Neutral: No onsite clients. Minuses: traffic, tolls, parking, 2 hour commute. Nope

Looks like I’m going to have some decisions to make.  

Exciting times.