Day in the Life of a Remote Worker: Scott Dawson

Day in the Life of a Remote Worker

This spotlight illustrates how each remote worker finds freedom and productivity in their everyday life, in their unique way. Get inspired and see how you can improve your workspace, workflow, and work/life balance.

Name: Scott Dawson

Pronouns: he/him/his

Current Job: User Experience Architect

Current Location: Trumansburg, New York

Current Computer:
Dell Ultrabook Laptop (company-provided)
Apple iMac (personal)
iPad Pro (personal)

Current mobile devices: iPhone X

What does your typical workday look like?

5-7:30 a.m.
My wife and I wake up early, pour ourselves coffee, and do our own thing until the kids wake up to get ready for school. My morning routine varies over time, but lately, I’ve been enjoying a half-hour of reading and a half-hour of writing during this quiet morning time. It’s actually how I wrote The Art of Working Remotely — in half-hour stints during the pre-dawn hours! When the family’s all together around 6:45, we make and enjoy breakfast and prepare the day’s lunch. My wife teaches at the local middle school, so when she and the kids head out the door, I’m alone in the house.
7:30-8 a.m.
I’ll do a household chore, catch up on the day’s news with NPR, or prepare something in the kitchen as part of dinner. Administrative work happens here, too, like paying bills or doing some personal correspondence.

8-8:30 a.m.
I open my laptop and check email, do some light work-related correspondence, and set my priorities for the day.

8:30-9:30 a.m.
I like to get my fitness done early in the day, so if my workout plan calls for a run, I’ll lace up and put in 30-45 minutes of running. Then I can get cleaned up quickly and ready for the workday.

Running at Taughannock Falls. I’m fortunate to live just 5 minutes from this amazing park, with the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States!

9:30 a.m.-noon
Work typically starts with several stand-up meetings. I like to schedule meetings back-to-back in the morning to avoid context-switching later in the day. Some mornings are packed with collaboration, and others I can get into deep work with a mostly meeting-free calendar.

Noon-1 p.m.
I’ve blocked time on my calendar for lunch for as long as I’ve been working professionally. It’s a fantastic way to safeguard the time to eat well and reset for the afternoon. If I’m alone, I enjoy something that I’ve had heating in my personal Crock-Pot (an amazing device), or I plan to meet up with someone for lunch. When my wife is home during the summer, we enjoy a 20-minute walk around our neighborhood before I go back to the office.

1 p.m.-5 p.m.
This is a massive stretch of productive time. I’m at my best when I can have swaths of uninterrupted time to design, code, or strategize. Sometimes we have working sessions in the afternoon, but mostly it’s mine to really put my head down and do some solid work.

5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Evening commitments vary based on activities, but with few exceptions, we enjoy a home-cooked meal together as a family. Sometimes it’s late, but it’s such an important part of our day. We enjoy taking turns preparing the meal, including the kids, and chronicle most of our creations at dawsondinners.wordpress.com.

8 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
If we watch any television, it’s during this time. Generally, my wife and are into a series or a movie, so we watch 45 minutes to an hour. It doesn’t happen every night, though, and some nights we’re so exhausted, we turn in at 8:45 or 9. We’re usually lights out by 9:30, though (might have something to do with getting up at 5!).

Describe your workspace setup:

I love my home office! We designed this room with remote work in mind: I’d already been working remotely for several years when we built our house, and knew exactly what I wanted. The office is upstairs, away from the main flow of the house, and has a door that I can shut when others are home and I need to be distraction-free. There’s even a little extra insulation in the walls and floor that separate the office from the rest of the house. I have a standing desk with my two computers and a separate glass-topped table that I like to sit at when doing paper/pencil design work. When the standing desk is down, I sit on a ball chair. The best feature of the space, though, is our family rabbit, Phoebe. She’s free-range in the office with me! She has a cage in the corner that she can come and go from as she pleases, and her necessities are all in there. The room has a large pair of windows that overlook my backyard, garden, and sauna.

What do you listen to while you work?

Not a lot, actually. It’s usually quiet since a lot of the work I do requires focus. When I do want music on, though, I reach for a variety of things: brain.fm, country, and classic rock are all fair game!

Aside from your phone and computer, name a gadget you can’t live without in your workspace:

I ADORE my Ember mug. I was a fairly early adopter when they released their mug and I am a huge fan. The charging coaster is on my standing desk and I generally refill the mug 3-4 times per day. It always keeps my coffee or tea the perfect temperature, no matter how slowly I drink it!

Connect with Scott:
www.instagram.com/phoebe.the.bunny (my office mate!)

← Back to Blog