Dad reminded me that I haven’t blogged in a while again. I’ve been caught up with work, and catching up with class. But I thought I’d share what my life is like now, after I quit my five-year job and pursued work as a game writer.
I saw some of my ex-officemates last week and they asked when I’d be moving to Singapore. My answer was, “I’m not – I’m staying here!” And that caught them by surprise. I’ve had at least ten officemates migrate to better game development or animation jobs, and I’m the first one to work for a foreign company and stay home.
So what’s it like working in a virtual office? This is how the past month has been:
I don’t set my alarm in the morning. After a month, my body has its own sleep pattern now – asleep by 1130, awake by 7am, and if I feel like it, I sleep again! If I also feel like it, I take a 30-minute brisk walk, half-awake.
My freelance friend Dante told me that when I get used to working from home, I’ll find my own work rhythm. I’ve discovered my brain is veeeery slow in the morning, my body overheats in the afternoon (because my bedroom is built like an oven), and after dinner I am pretty much exhausted and useless. I work best, and I shit you not, from Bona Coffee. (I have raved about Bona in numerous posts so I won’t rave about it again. Okay, maybe a little bit. I love Bona! Rave done.) The two or three hours I spend there, armed with coffee and a muffin, are the most productive part of my day.
The job itself is everything I thought it would be, only more 😛 It’s more creative, more challenging, more awesome. I’m in a team of four and our game just went alpha ahead of schedule. We have daily builds, random conference chats, and we criticize each other’s work (I’m still getting used to that last part – we Filipinos are sooo afraid to speak up, aren’t we?). Most of the time I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but apparently, I’m doing fine. (Here’s hoping it stays that way!)
Being in a virtual office means that if I want to run an errand in the middle of the day, or meet up with a friend mid-afternoon, I totally can – as long as my work is done. I don’t have to BE anywhere, and that feels great. It’s also allowed me to be with my mom when she needs me, which is also great. There’s no bureaucracy about it – I just leave a message on MSN letting the team know what time I’ll be back, and then I go. And I’ve discovered I do need to go out once in a while – being cooped up in my bedroom leads to cabin fever pretty quickly. So going to Bona, doing errands, seeing friends – they all help me stay normal.
It also means that if I want to take a break during the day, like watching an episode of Felicity or playing Disgaea on my PSP, I can. And I end up doing that too, just to break the monotony of working straight hours.
Five weeks have gone by and so far I’m liking my virtual office life. If this progresses, I plan to rearrange my room to have a real mini-office area, and maybe invest in good coffee. What else do I need, really? 😉