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Beyond the corner office

Western Civilization to us is like water to a fish

When when we live in the West, we rarely notice it or question it. The ubiquitous feature of developed countries is corporate life with it’s cubicles, offices and 500$ chairs. During my years in major corporations in America, it became apparent to me that the amount of natural light that any single employee gets during the day is the symbol of their status.

  • I’ve sat among contractors and interns who get to sit in windowless rooms.
  • I’ve sat among associates and analysts who get a glimpse of a window down the hallway.
  • I’ve been to the offices of middle managers who after 12 years of service get an office with a window.
  • And finally I saw the executives, who get to enjoy a corner office with a couple windows

Why is this so? Light, in particular the blue light is a signal which humans use to distinguish day from night. It energizes us, and as such, offices with a window is one of the perks that a company can offer to key personnel to keep them more productive without offering any more monetary incentives.

Beyond the window

While I’ve had my own software projects for a long time, it was in 2016 that I finally took a leap of faith and moved abroad to live as a “digital nomad” – a highly skilled professional capable of working remotely. And I love it.

I started living on my savings and accomplished a couple personal projects before quickly finding remote work which I continue to do up to date. Below is a picture of my work environment. Armed with a Macbook Air I worked on my porch for months while seeing the sea just mere 100 feet away.

Yes, sometimes I have to mute myself during long phone meetings, because my coworkers get jealous of the birds chirping and the sound of the ocean waves.



Think outside the box – get rid of the walls

During my travels I’ve met a number of interesting people, some of whom are also doing a digital nomad thing. Many of them recommended joining Toptal as an iOS developer. It seems like a smart idea, as abandoning the security of corporate America, I have to be ever mindful of diversifying my income streams and always having a backup option.