Home > Remote Workers Q&A > Do you keep a regular remote work schedule? What is it?

    Do you keep a regular remote work schedule? What is it?

  • Mike & Anne Howard

    We don’t have a boss, or anyone telling us how/when/which projects to tackle. We are travel journalists and photographers so when we are in a new destination, that means we’re out exploring, photographing, researching, and experiencing a destination to its fullest. Then we hunker down and work like mad for however much time we have between trips—hours, days, weeks. When we are in sedentary, our work schedule is full-time, 12-14 hours of work per day (each) but whenever we feel like we need a break, we’ll take a hike, kayak, or road trip.

  • Karen LaGraff

    Not really, though I often start my day very early with global-team conference calls and end my day the same way. Since I schedule my workday around meetings, it depends on what’s going on in my line of work for the day. Sometimes I start very early, take care of some personal items, and work later. That’s the beauty of the flexible schedule.

  • James Clark

    I dont have a fixed schedule but I do work a solid amount of hours per week (over 40 hours). I get up 7am without an alarm clock, have breakfast and coffee, and start working. I usually work from 2 or 3 cafes throughout the day, so I split my time between cafes and wherever I’m staying.

  • David Daniel

    No. I actually work far more than I ever did while working in an office environment. As I mentioned before, I also adapt to other’s schedules as needed. My choices for living and working should not impact my ability to provide service to my clients and coworkers.

    I am much more ‘delivery focused’ than ‘time centric.’ I gauge my benefit in the value my work provides, rather than the hours I put in. Of course, my wife tells me I work too many hours as well!

  • Conni Biesalski

    Hardly. My daily working routine changes very frequently, depending on where I am and what kind of creative/productive cycle I am in and whether I am working on a bigger project or not. My workweek can range from 4 hours to 60 hours. On average though I would say that I spend about 15-25 hours a week on my business.

    I can give you an example of how my days look like here in Bali right now:

    I get up early, meditate and go to yoga, have breakfast or early lunch, and then start work in my co-working [space] around late-morning/mid-day. I usually leave late afternoon for a surf or meet with friends.

    I don’t take weekends or days off seriously—I work when I feel like it, which can be any day of the year.

  • Kelli Neely

    We don’t have a fixed schedule, other than the normal business hours. I have calls that may start as early as 7 a.m., but most commonly at 8 a.m., then I typically work until 5 p.m., but that also can ebb and flow as needed.

  • Roxanne M. Tamayo

    I don’t have a fixed schedule because all of my work is flexible. Sometimes I also delegate tasks to my friends who need part-time work.

  • Randle Browning

    Not really. My team has a 15-minute daily check in each morning, and we also have scrum meetings (we’re a marketing team running on scrum, an agile methodology) on a recurring 2-week schedule. Outside of that, we are pretty flexible! Although I love getting a day with several hours of no meetings or interruptions, when I can put my head down and work.

  • Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

    I work from about 9 to 6, every weekday. I might put in extra time in the evenings or on weekends, as needed, but I try to keep that down to occasional overtime. Otherwise, as a remote worker, it’s too easy to start working all the time, and then my productivity and sanity suffer.

  • Taryn Barnes

    Yes: I am an early bird, in addition to having a lot of East Coast clients. My day typically begins at 4 a.m. I then walk my dog for about an hour. After, I check my email, schedule which projects I will work on, and pitch new leads if needed. I’m usually done by 2 p.m. most days.

  • Jenn Leaver

    I work roughly the same hours every day. I wake up pretty early to help get the kids ready in the morning and start checking emails and notifications around 7:00 a.m. I tend to make a quick lunch and eat at my desk but sometimes I’ll take a longer break and run errands or do chores around the house (the other day my in-laws stopped by and helped me stake out some landscaping in the backyard!). I stop working around 3:30 p.m. to pick up the kids. Sometimes if there’s other work I want to complete, I’ll jump back on after the kids go to bed around 9:00 p.m. and work for a couple of hours. There are days that I have doctor’s appointments or need to run personal errands for a few hours so on those days I tend to work later at night or catch up on the weekends if needed.

  • Lisette Sutherland

    I start my day around 8 a.m. with coffee, some stretching, and a short walk. And then I write for a couple of hours (to finish my book, Stories of Remote Teams Doing Great Things). Around noon, I go running or cycling, and when I get home, I work through my task list for the rest of the day. At 6 p.m., I get on Skype with my online collaboration partner in California and we work together (on our own projects) until 10 p.m. At 10 p.m, I have a martini while I listen to podcasts, clean the house, and get ready for the next day.

  • CarouLLou

    Typically, I’m doing my stuff, every late morning and every early evening… Whether it’s reading the news, monitoring my businesses, creating something new, or just posting…

    And every afternoon, my husband and I do activities outside and have lunch somewhere… we’re usually out between 4 to 5 hours out each afternoon…

    I have no more Sunday blues, no more Monday stress, ever since I work a little every day, and do something special every day… It feels like I’m on vacation every day… (I decided to go for that routine in the mid-2000s)

  • Audrey Fairbrother

    Somewhat. I normally work from about 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. just out of habit. But I do have the flexibility to change that around depending on what’s happening in my day.

  • Chris Schain

    Somewhat. I generally start my day at the same time every day (around 8:45 a.m.). I try to eat lunch away from my desk on most days, so I’ll often use that time to catch up the news or maybe watch a few minutes of TV. Even though you’re at home, you’re still working and I think it’s important to step away from the laptop to have a proper lunch. I try to go to the gym early (before work) because otherwise my day can get hectic and it becomes too easy to skip a workout.

  • Colin Wright

    I don’t normally keep a fixed schedule. When I’m staying in one place for a long period of time, I do get a little more organized with my schedule, working out at around the same time every night, reading and drinking coffee until late-morning, working hard for a few hours and then taking a walk.

    When I’m on the road, though, which is most of the time, I don’t have a consistent enough environment to predict what I’ll have access to, resource- and infrastructure-wise. I roll with the punches, instead.

  • Theresa Cramer

    More or less. I try to stick to 9-to-5 because my copy editors, designers, and sales people all work that schedule. But I also realize I can head to a doctor’s appointment or write a column at night on the couch if I need to. I also do some freelance work, and having a flexible schedule helps me fit that in.

  • Ben Dodson

    Over the last few years I’ve fallen into a pretty fixed schedule. I’ll be in my home office from 7.30 a.m. and then work through until lunch. After a few errands, I’ll typically do another few hours in the afternoon before shutting the door to my office and finishing for the day. This doesn’t mean that I don’t work longer or shorter hours sometimes, but this is my general schedule. I never work at the weekends anymore.

  • Shannon O'Donnell

    Working while traveling makes it impossible to keep a completely rigid work schedule. I am an early riser, however, and I use this to my advantage. I will spend the early morning hours working each day, and then by lunch I am ready to head out and explore whichever new town I find myself.

  • Harald Johnsen

    Not really, at least not over time. I definitely settle into various routines here and there, though. A lot of the time I’ll actually do the regular 9-5 thing that I got used to back when I had a “real” job—I just don’t do it in an office. Then there are other times where I’ll work until lunch, take a few hours off and go do something else, and then come back to work in the evening. And sometimes, often for weeks on end, I’ll just work from morning to night, doing 15 hour days. That happens quite a bit if I’m working on a big project. While I don’t stick to a fixed schedule, I do have a clear plan set out for most of my workdays, and nowadays I’m pretty good at following those plans.

  • Jonathan Kalan

    I don’t have a fixed schedule, but I tend to gravitate towards certain routines or places depending on how productive I feel on any given day. For example, I might exercise in the morning and work later if I’m feeling restless, or I might work in a highly social space, like a coffee shop, if I feel like I need more creative inspiration.

  • Tom Paronis

    I’ve never kept a fixed schedule but I developed a pattern of front loading the week and taking it easier later in the week and on weekends. When my career was going full tilt I would often work long, 10-hour days on Mondays and Tuesdays and knock off early on Fridays. My last consulting situation, which ended in May 2016, was a 3-4 day a week proposition so I had Fridays (and sometimes Thursdays) off. At my age (58) I found that ideal.

  • Kat Christofer

    I have no fixed schedule, but I do have a few rules that work for me.

    • Work early morning.
    • Travel on Sundays whenever possible.
    • No AFK on product launch days or meeting days.
  • Lauren Antonian

    Yes. I sign on at 8 a.m. and remain available until 5 p.m. On occasion, I will adjust these hours based on my personal needs, as agreed upon by my manager. In general, based on my availability and workload, I will likely work more than the 8-hour shift, because it’s accessible to me.

  • Jay Meistrich

    Forcing a work schedule on myself makes work feel like work. I’ve found that I am the most productive if I work only when I want to. If I try to force myself to work when I’m not feeling it, I mostly waste that time being distracted. So if I’m not excited to get to work in the morning, I’ll explore the city or go for a hike until I want to work. If I finish dinner and am excited to solve a problem, I do that. If not, I’ll relax and do something else. No matter what I do, whether it’s constant 14-hour workdays or chill 6 hours whenever I feel like it, I generally accomplish about 35 hours of real productivity a week. But I have a lot more fun and burnout less quickly when I’m flexible with my work hours.

  • Christine Bielak

    Yes, generally. I like to work 9-5 but, as my department is primarily remote and covers 5 time zones, I often start earlier and stay later.

  • Scott Hanselman

    Yes, mostly 9-4/5 then a little more from 10 p.m.-midnight.

  • Andrea Bing

    I have core hours that I have to be online—10-3 p.m. I normally work 8-4:30.

  • Jan Lindborg

    Absolutely I do. I have a fixed start time, which I do not deviate from. I fit it in around household activities—for example, I switch my system on and take the dog out for a walk. I log on, do some mail, and then take my son to school. Then it’s between 10 and 11 hours of work, broken up with a 1-hour scheduled lunch break. I ALWAYS schedule an hour in and don’t like giving it up. I usually spend 25 minutes eating with my family, but use the rest of the time for thinking or catching up on mail.

  • Jodi Ettenberg

    I tend to treat weekends as weekdays and do my bigger days off during the week, for less crowded spaces and a quieter inbox.

    My morning routine involves waking up, doing stretches and meditating, and then making a cup of coffee and working until I’m hungry. The rest of my day depends on whether I need to head out and take photos, or interview someone, or just need to write.