Henry grew up in the North-Eastern part of Kenya, close to the Somali border. Henry did his primary schooling there, before moving to Nairobi to join a secondary school. Henry pursued a bachelor’s in Computer Science from Moi University in Kenya.
Life had been all robotic for Henry (wake up, go to work at 8:30 and come back at 5:30) until AllRemote found him. He is currently working remotely as a Frontend Developer at RemoteLock and discussed how well it has worked out for him.
Henry states the journey started by taking many steps to polish his overall profile. This included updating his LinkedIn profile, taking skill assessment tests, and expanding his network.
Talking about life at RemoteLock, Henry said RemoteLock is professional and friendly. It’s people-first: the employees come before the customer. He also mentioned that working in a distributed team has helped him understand the true meaning of ‘diverse teams.’
I now know better how to work with team members from different countries, and effectively how to respect differences and celebrate similarities in our cultures.
Henry is family-oriented. He runs with the mantra “You are totally replaceable at work, but not at home.” Being able to work remotely has positively affected his personal life.
My family sees me more, I keep fit, and at the same time, I’m able to maintain a social circle. The part I like most is being able to see my daughter grow. I do not have daily commutes!
Here’s what a typical day for Henry looks like:
5 AM East Africa Time (EAT): Wake up, 1 hour jog around the neighborhood followed by a cold shower
6 AM EAT: Fix breakfast for the family, 2 hours of programming practice
8:30 AM EAT: Have breakfast with my wife and daughter
9:30 AM - 11:30 PM EAT: GitHub Pull Request reviews
12 Noon - 1 PM EAT: Lunch break
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM EAT: Working on Jira tickets
4 PM - 6 PM EAT: Playing basketball
RemoteLock operates in Mountain Standard Time (MST) which is 10 hours behind East Africa Time (EAT). Flexibility to work at anytime allows Henry to work four hours in EAT and four hours in MST.
9:30 AM - 10 AM MST: Daily Engineering Standup
10 AM - 10:45 AM MST: Supper with my wife and daughter
11 AM - 3 PM MST: Working on Jira tickets, pairing up with colleagues via Slack huddles, and opening Pull Requests for my tickets on GitHub
The time zone difference was initially a challenge since Henry wasn’t used to it, but after slowly getting the hang of it, he realized this provides him ample time to relax, recharge and work again. Slack, he says, has been a great tool to help him manage notifications based on his time zone.
Working from a designated space has helped Henry maintain his productivity. He converted one of his bedrooms into an office and equipped it with everything he required for work.
My wife designed the desk, and I had to buy an office chair with good lumbar support. And, the color had to match that of the table!
He also advises taking regular breaks, staying hydrated, and exercising. Henry got a treadmill and a water dispenser installed next to his workstation. Third, he vouches that customizing the workplace can do wonders. Unable to do this at his former workplace, Henry has exercised the freedom well enough by hanging a family photo on his office wall (a reminder of why he works), and a TV screen where SpongeBob Squarepants plus the Garfield episodes are playing back to back.