Over the past two-plus years we have seen a major shift in how workers and students get their work and schoolwork done. 

While remote work was gaining popularity before the pandemic, the subsequent lockdowns forced companies and students to work from home. Now as we attempt to emerge from the pandemic, it’s apparent that the option to work and learn remotely is something more and more people and companies will take advantage of especially engineering from home.

In 2020, I was already working remotely, living in Las Vegas. I was able to see first-hand my Boston-based colleagues move to remote work. Because Onshape, a PTC business, is at the forefront of SaaS technology and native-cloud CAD, the transition was seamless for the team as well as for our users. 

As more people searched for a way to transition to remote work and performing engineering from home, it was amazing to see the millions of students and professionals sign on to take advantage of Onshape over the last two years. 

In the early days of the pandemic, hardware startup Meter pivoted to creating ventilators for hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. The Meter team used Onshape to speed up communication and streamline the design to build the Rise Emergency Ventilator. You can read more about their story in our blog, How an Emergency Ventilator Was Built in 21 Days

Students were also able to take advantage of cloud-native technology with PTC-sponsored Robots to the Rescue. In 2020, when the FIRST Robotics season was canceled, PTC held an online robot design challenge to keep students engaged.

In a time when STEM education is becoming more and more important, Onshape is allowing students to continue their engineering work from home with any computer or operating system connected to the internet, making collaboration vastly easier with their peers and educators. 

Now that remote work is here to stay for many, Onshape is there to help make it a smooth transition. 

As for me, remote work is nothing new.

Engineering from Home: Peaks and Valleys

I’ve been engineering from home for the last 18 years and it’s had its ups and downs. 

It’s both a blessing and a curse when your computer is mere steps away from where you sleep. Sure, there’s no commute, but it’s far too tempting to sign in along with your first cup of coffee to see if “anything happened overnight.” Then, of course, there’s the “I’ll check it one more time” thought before bed. (Maybe I need a class on work-life balance.)

When my kids were young, distractions were plenty. Try telling a seven-year-old that you don’t have time to help him find the Hercules video that he must watch right this minute. 

There were cats, too. Memorably, one who insisted on a daily routine of belly rubbing until he was darn well good and ready. 

And perhaps my least favorite distraction – the quite too often ”as long as you’re here, can you do a few loads of laundry?”

Meme from memegenerator.com

These days I have an executive office. OK, it’s a studio apartment, but it’s roughly the same size as some CEO offices I’ve seen. My office also has a full kitchen where I can prepare tasty meals instead of visiting the food truck or cafeteria, and my own private restroom complete with a shower and bath. There’s even a place to take a nap if I’m so inclined. There’s also neighbor noise, the occasional delivery person, and the extra $20 to $30 bucks on my monthly electric bill.

Exterior of Richard Doyle's house
My office is kind of “kitschy”.

But I really enjoy what I do and I’m fortunate that I can do it from home. I do miss the regular interaction with the CAD community, and I hope there are still live events in my future. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to contribute to the Onshape community through the Innovator’s Insider Podcast and Onshape User Group meetings.

But right now, I have some laundry to do.

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