Day in the Life Of the Remote Worker: Al Chen
Justine Shu / May 2, 2019
This spotlight illustrates how each remote worker finds freedom and productivity in their everyday life, in their unique way. Want to be featured? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Al Chen
Current Job: Solutions Architect at coda.io
Current Location: NYC
Current Computer: MacBook Pro
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S8
What does your typical work day look like?
- 6AM - Wake up and make breakfast
- 7AM - Gym time with a friend. We play 1-on-1 basketball and lift afterwards
- 8:30AM - Head to Food Emporium to grab some breakfast to go and walk to office (I’m at a WeWork in Union Square)
- 9:00AM - Eat breakfast while checking e-mails
- 10:00AM - Build Coda docs for some of our enterprise users
- 12PM - Check e-mail and follow up on anything urgent
- 1PM - Usually I have meeting starting around 12:30PM since my company is based on the west coast. In and out of meetings until 4PM
- 4PM - Write content, create YouTube videos, and other content marketing-related activities
- 6PM - Check e-mails again, follow up on outstanding Slack threads
- 7PM - Go to a meetup if the topic is interesting!
Describe your workspace setup: I have an LG Ultrawide monitor which is a blessing and a curse. It allows me to multitask, but at the same time, I think having a million windows open is not actually that great for productivity. I have a USB-C adapter for my MacBook Pro which gives me USB ports for my apple keyboard (full keyboard with numpad), a headset (which is key for Zoom meetings and recording YouTube videos), and a Logitech over-the-monitor webcam.
Also have a wireless Apple mouse although I’m thinking about switching out my keyboard and mouse for a regular wired mouse and a standard PC keyboard. Sometimes I feel like I don’t get the right response time with the wireless mouse. I also use a lot of Excel, and I’m much faster with a standard PC keyboard (just old habits, I suppose). Additionally, some of my team members in SF and Seattle like to play StarCraft on Fridays, and having a proper wired mouse and keyboard helps with that 🙂.
What do you listen to while you work? A lot of EDM, but I have various playlists on Spotify so I try to mix it up whenever I can. Recently I’ve been listening to the Halt and Catch Fire vol. 1 soundtrack (huge fan of this show, you should check it out!)
Aside from your phone and computer, name a gadget you can’t live without in your workspace: Not really a gadget, but there are these coat hooks that have suction cups on the back so that they can stick to a glass surface. My WeWork has a lot of glass windows and I’m always tired of throwing my coats on a chair or on my desk. I went on Amazon and found these amazing coat hooks that stick to any non-porous surface and now hang my coats, umbrellas, gym clothes, etc. on these which makes use of these huge windows. Since the WeWork cubes are so close to each other, my neighbors saw these hooks too and they bought them for themselves, and one of them said it all started with me when I bought my coat hooks. I feel like I should get a commission for all the coat hooks I’ve sold to WeWork members 🙂