I spend the majority of my time writing software for Articulate. This isn't the offical mantra, but it is how I think of the company:
"Work when you want,
where you want;
just don't be a jerk."
Sound too good to be true? It is true.
Articulate is a "remote" or "virtual" company, meaning it has no physical offices anywhere in the world, and everyone works wherever they like. Many of my colleagues work from home, whereas others tend to shift around a bit. It is this freedom that was (and is) a primary driving force for me wanting to work with this company.
London is an expensive town, especially when you're exchanging American Dollars for British Pounds Sterling. NomadList.IO, a site that ranks cities to work remotely from, does not treat London kindly. At the time of writing, London has a -89 reputation… on a scale where positive is a good thing. While it is an expensive town, it is also incredibly friendly, and there is no shortage of WiFi.
So, where have I worked over the past two days? For starters, I had a small taste of South Kensington. I worked in a small coffee shop 2 blocks from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and around lunch I took a stroll through a few of the free galleries before receiving word that my roommate's girlfriend was locked in the apartment and could not get out. She was freed soon thereafter when I returned home and unlocked the door.
Today was spent mostly near Clapham Junction (5-10 minute walk from our house) in, first, a Starbucks and then in an Italian cafe up the hill from our house (1-2 minute walk). Starbucks is fantastic for attempting to offer free WiFi to their customers. I'm not sure who started that trend, but it is great. However, in any big city I go to, Starbucks' WiFi never actually works. It reminds me of the $1/ticket Megabus WiFi in the States (in short, it doesn't work). Thankful as I am for even having access to the Internet, whereas so many people are without, I require it for my job. And I need it to be fast. Luckily, the little Italian cafe (ran by Francesca and, I believe, her son) have blazing fast internet.
I love not working in an office. I love the freedom. I love being able to walk and ride around and do what I want (or need) to do while still being a contributing member of my team.
Many people I know ask me,
"When are you going to get a real job?"
I always respond with, "Oh, I don't know…" But what I want to say is,
"I have a real job. I have a salary, I have benefits and I have responsibility. Just because your definition of a real job involves long hours, living for weekends and generally hating life does not mean that it is a universal truth by which all must abide."
London, so far, has been amazing and has allowed me to leave my comfort zone and discover people, places and experiences that I would never have had if I would have just stayed home.