Being Remote Only.

You were redirected to this post because you’ve asked me to meet face-to-face. Here is what you need to know.

I decided to live my professional life differently since April 2020, as a result of some kind of post-pandemic personal life lesson.

  • I’m no longer accepting any physical meeting.
  • I’m taking calls everyday (most week-end included) between 9 and 11, and after 4pm
  • I’m no longer going to work anywhere but from my Home Office
  • These decisions give me back about 2 workdays every week so, good news, I have room to lead more exciting business opportunities at Stoomlink.

You can read further to understand the details of this decision.
Or get in touch if you have any mobility-related project you’d like to talk about! Get in touch now.

Where it comes from:
Doing work that matters.

Humanity is going through the never-before-seen crisis of COVID-19.
It would be crazy to just go back to normal ASAP, right?

We all learned a lot about us, as a society.
About our fears, about what we miss in hard times, about who we are. Regarding my professional life, I’ve been one of the most fortunate person there is.
I was able to keep working, quietly, with a team used to remote work and orders signed for the months to come.

And I’ve learned so much about myself. But, relax, this is not some kind of ”I just found myself back” stuff. While I’ve always seen the “workaholic” startup culture as toxic (always felt closer to DHH than Elon) — I really love my job and it’s one of the major sources of joy in my life.

I’m leading a team of amazing people, and do not want neither intent to work less than before.

This is not, either, some kind of “you should work like this” tutorial.

This, really, is nothing more than a personal decision — only written down as a way to explain to my partners, clients and coworkers why I’m now working fully remote.

This is really about the way I work best
— and things I suck at.

I suck at working with anyone else in the same room.

I suck at dealing with micro-interruptions.

I suck at working in small chunks.

I suck at being on time.

Because of all that stuff I suck at, I too often felt like a lot of things where keeping me from doing my job. I was mostly remote already, but saw every physical meeting, every day at the office, every trip to a client HQ as something that kept me away from real work.

As a result, I could have weeks where I felt like 20-25 hours of work were completely vain and lost. As trying to mitigate this, I was sometimes waking up early to do some “meaningful” work (coding time!) before going to the office. And failed at it, coming to the office in a rush, most of the time late for every meeting. Can you imagine being frustrated because your day is “lost” at… 10 am?

Being forced to cut down every meeting changed everything.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m blessed, and was already :

  • The way we designed the company with François Halin is meant for this. A lot of our team members where already partially remote, and we encountered no issue going fully remote for the duration of the crisis.
  • We are successful enough so that I can afford this: to some extent, we proved what we are capable of already, we can push some of our rules to clients. And it allows me to do my best work for them.

I’m no longer accepting
any physical meeting.

During this whole lockdown process, we proved we’re able to ensure quality meeting moments remotely.

  • Brainstorm Session? Easy with tools like Miro.
  • Weekly Team Meeting? Now taking 2 hours while they used to take half a day.
  • Sprint Planning? Being remote makes us more focused (for a shorter period of time), they increased in quality.

I’ve saved hours of my life, and I won’t come back from this.
I’m working at my best, more focused and serene than ever.

But what about the
human relations?

It’s not about avoiding human relations, not at all.
It’s about not mixing things.

Is this a meeting with a straight-to-the-point goal (showing an offer, pitching a product, designing a feature,…) ? If so, I’ll happily attend it remotely.
It will ensure we — or at least, I — stay focused and efficient.

Is this a casual discussion, with no specific goal? As soon as this is possible again,
I’ll be more than happy to share a business lunch with you. Or an afterwork drink!

All the things I’ll be able to do.

I’ve earned about 2 workdays every weeks working like this. It’s giving me balance and energy to achieve so much more.

And I - we - need that time to speed up tomorrow’s mobility. The one we need to get us out of this crisis in the most secured and efficient way, for ourselves and our beloved ones.

Wanna be part of it?
Get in touch now.


A note from Thomas Hermine

CEO @ Stoomlink.
JS Developer, Mobility Nerd.
Desperately trying to finish the renovation of a (smart)flat.
Sprout to be living in Brussels 🇧🇪