Working from Florida: A Reprieve from Winter and a Respite Amidst Chaos
2020 is behind us. The world, of course, is still full of difficulty and challenge. This week has delivered a new round of terrible chaos. Yet, I choose to focus on the positive. While much has been taken, we’ve also been given much. One of those gifts many have been given is flexible remote work. It started off as work from home. Many of us left the office in a hurry, with the thought that we might soon return. Well, that was almost 10 months ago.
I’ve chronicled my remote work journey on this blog before. I wrote about how my team enabled our company to make the overnight transition to remote work. I wrote about how I made my home office environment more conducive to productivity.
I quickly figured out that if I could work from home, I could work from anywhere. I relocated to my backyard treehouse in the woods. Then, I went even more extreme, and worked from the boundary waters canoe area wilderness thanks to miracle of rural fiberoptic internet.
These were all short stints to keep my environment fresh. I always returned to my home office after a week or so.
The cold, dark winter
Heading into this winter, I saw another possibility emerge. I live in Minnesota, where the winters are dark and cold, and seasonal affective disorder is very real. Remote work gave me an opportunity to do something dramatic. I could escape the worst of it entirely.
However, I’m not the only one that this needed to work for. My wife and I have four school-aged kids. Typically, their educational and extra-curricular schedule keeps us from leaving home for long periods, except over the summer. However, this winter, my kids are as flexible as I am, and are fully able to complete their educational tasks remotely.
With all of this possibility, the Hughes family is doing the snowbird thing this year. We left the Minnesota tundra for the Florida sunshine, and I’ll be working from here for five weeks. I’ve never done this before, so this is a completely new experience for me.
As I’ve shared these plans with friends and co-workers, I quickly learned that I am far from original in my planning. I’ve heard “me too” many times.
Stress is water soluble
I’ll be working a full schedule here, and won’t take much time off, but I will take the opportunity to soak up as much Vitamin D as I can. That will restore my energy, boost my creativity, and make the remainder of Minnesota winter much more palatable.
Additionally, the turmoil in our world continues unabated. While the Capitol was invaded by rioters, I watched the sun set on my children playing in the surf as captured in the picture above. My emotions were ignited just like yours, yet I had a setting of serenity to calm me.
Certainly, not all of my readers are as flexible as I am, and many of you won’t have the opportunity to escape winter and chaos in the same way. However, just as I have, I encourage you to consider what you can do to maintain your health and vitality through this challenging season.
Leaders have a lot of responsibilities. We need to care for our teams and respond to the needs of the marketplace. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and your family in 2021.