Welcome to PM in PJs

I got my first remote job back in 2013. Actually, that was my first job ever. I was still a student then, so the idea of working from home and having time to study instead of commute was more than attractive. Since, I’ve changed jobs and careers, but one thing remained constant — I still work remotely. For dramatic effect we could say I’ve had 5 year long career of working in PJs.
I think it’s worth noting here that I’m not a freelancer, in those 5 years, I was employed by companies on long-term contracts. I worked in teams on projects, just as you would in a regular office job, only I worked from bed, in more than 10 different states, many beaches, mountains and probably 50 different homes.
To be honest, I didn’t think too much about the nature of my remote job, it was perfectly natural for me. The benefit was clear, I could live and work anywhere I wanted, I was more focused and motivated because I didn’t waste time on commute. I even grew used to a smug people gave me when I’d say that I worked from home, the smug was mostly followed by “Oh, that’s like a real job?” To be fair it was mostly bank employees who were puzzled by my rather peculiar employment so it didn’t disturb me too much.
Basically, I didn’t think too much about the way I worked and lived, that is until April this year, when in Haifa I went to see a digital nomad friend’s lecture on becoming a digital nomad. My mind was blown. The space lecture took place in was packed with over 50 people who were more than eager to land a remote job and become digital nomads — that was the dream! The very lifestyle I was living and was basically taking for granted was a dream of many! They had so many questions about it, how to land such job, how to stay motivated, how to communicate, how to travel and work and so on. All these things I’ve been doing rather successfully and effortlessly without much thinking concerned some of them.
It’s interesting that on the one hand, to most people working remotely and having the freedom to be digital nomads sounds more than appealing and desirable. And why wouldn’t it be? You get a chance to live anywhere you like, you get a chance to either work comfortably in a home office, outside in fresh air, or from a nice coffee shop, you get a chance to spend more time with your family, you get a chance to eat healthy home cooked food, you get more time to focus on your hobbies instead of being stuck in a traffic jam.
On the other hand, most orgazniations are still hesitant to go remote and allow themselves to have considerably less control over their employees. They seem to be concerned with questions such as: how will those employees work efficiently if they’re not constantly supervised, how would companies even know those employees are even working when they say they are, how do you communicate effectively when your colleagues is somewhere half-way across the world, even worse, how do you manage people, projects and products, how does a company achieve anything without stuffing its people in an office like in a can of sardines under full surveillance.
Once I started thinking deeply about all these aspects, it downed on me that the company I work in, my team and myself have been doing this quite successfully. To make matters even more complicated, I work for an organization that basically doesn’t have work hours and offers unlimited holiday days. How do we get anything done you must be thinking — easily! We’re free, we don’t feel trapped, so we do because we want to, and not because we have to. Although, at a first site this sounds ideal, it does come with its own set of challenges. Who would have thought that not being controlled can be a problem, right? All these realizations led me to the idea to start PM in PJs and share my experience as a home-flexible (a term I prefer over digital nomad and remote worker) Product Manager on this blog with a hope of helping individuals overcome some of the home-flexible challenges and to convince companies that working remotely is not as scary as it sounds. I also wish to share my travels as I spend most of my days living out of a suitcase somewhere abroad. So, if your interested in remote work, product management and travel, you're in the right spot. 

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