What motivates web workers?


Working in a comfy location, like the confines of your home office or local cafe could potentially aid in the relaxation and slacking in the work department. With no cubicles to pass the time working or suffer in a grey sea of boredom, what keeps you motivated when you have all the distractions of the outside world to deal with? Is it the fear of going hungry? Or is it a fear of entering the cubicle farm that was once your home from 9-5?

What do you do to stay motivated? Are there tools, reminders, time trackers, task lists that you use to help you out? Do you monitor your incoming cash flow daily or weekly to ensure you are on the right track?



I’m glad that someone else is talking about the workplace as it pertains to web folk. I’ve been doing a combo of web dev/design/mgmt for almost 10+ years now and music is a key factor for me.

If I need to get right brain, creative, and spend all day in the Adobe products, mellow is the best.

If I have a bunch of tedious required copy changes and code refactoring that needs to be done, metal/hard rock usually dominates my virtual airwaves so that I just barge it and get ‘er done.


Parag Shah

I love my work (teaching), and the web gives me an opportunity to reach out to many more learners than a classroom ever would. Moreover I really believe that blogs and podcasts will change the way people learn in the future.

The web also gives many people the oppurtunity to work on things they are passionate about.


I just love the work, where I work I have a large office (no cube bit no windows) but still are able to work from home when we wish to. I never seem to have an issue with motivation OR concenration which is just the opposite of what I expected.

When you think about it, for many of us there is really no reason to be at the office unless there’s a department meeting or you need to speak with a client face – to – face


I love what I do and don’t often need extra motivation. When I do, I remind myself how much I like the freedom of being my own boss. It may sound funny, but I’m more likely to need a reminder that I have a ‘life’ outside of work. When I get wrapped up in a creative project, it sometimes distracts me from things like meals and talking to friends. :)

Neal Watzman

What motivates me?

I’ve been at it for awhile, and have done pretty good as a consultant. I get motivated by the positive feel I get from my mostly repeat clients.

I enjoy my work and am pretty good at it.

I have a variety of clients that I enjoy, for the most part, working with. I have fun with them.

I like the life style. Time off when I want. No dress code, so I can come to work in shorts and no socks. Job security, as I’m not going to get randomly fired.

I now have two children of college age that deserve some financial support from their parents.

I am very fortunate and blessed to have the job that I do, and am so grateful that I have been able to feed my family well for these years. That is probably the most important motivator.

Mary Deaton

I have no dress code.
I have no set work hours.
I have no cubicle mates.
I have no boss.
I have my dog in my office.
I have my office wherever I am.
I choose which projects to do and which not to do.
I do not work if I do not want to work.
I make really good money when I do work.
I have my music as louded as I want it.


guess the thing that keeps me going is that Im writing apps for myself and the more I work the more i need not depend on the big schools of big fish. the cubicle farms work alright, though Id prefer them more if they were sound proof (my neighbor loves barabra striesand) .


You touched on my motivation in your post – the fact that I DON’T want to go back to the cubicle (although my last employer had nice cubicles and it was a great place to work, company politics aside), and that my income is now totally dependant on my need to work.

I’m probably one of the few that doesn’t have a spousal income to help support us, so if I quit working the money dries up.

And that’s why I use a few different apps to keep track of things. And when I have free time I explore other ways to make myself more productive, or I just sit back and recharge for a bit.

Judi Sohn

I’m motivated by the fact that I’m passionate about what I do, and I’ve had the good fortune of being able to start from scratch and build something that is truly wonderful with people I like working with. The fact that we are not in the same physical location seems secondary, and I find myself anxious to get out of bed in the morning and get started.


When I need motivation all I need to do is watch SwordFish, Hackers or Pirates of Sillycon Valley and I’m ready for a hole month of pure and sweet motivation! :-D

Frederic de Villamil

Two things :

I just love what I do, which is the greatest motivation I’ve ever met.

And when I’m not in the mood for working, which sometimes may happen, I just imagine how the customers will get mad at me and harass my cellphone and email until a get the job done.

Derek Coleman

Ah, two things…
[1] I have to get my ideas on the drawing board and set into motion before my brain explodes. And there’s nothing worse than not being able to remember what that great idea was you had yesterday but never took down any notes about it.

[2] If I don’t get my projects off the ground quick enough, some like-minded person or group will do it first. Do it now or come in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. That’s my motto. Or to quote “Talladega Nights”, “If you’re not first, you’re last”.

David Storrs

For me, it’s pretty straightforward: I run a startup and we expect to launch in about 2 months. If everything goes well, there is a chance that I end up a multimillionaire. If anything goes badly, I probably end up broke (having sunk all my cash into the company). Most startups go broke, so I need to do far better than the average. On top of that, I’m the Chief Evil Overlord (aka CEO), so the rest of the team is coming to me with design decisions, questions, and proposals. I can’t afford to be bored or distracted.

Do I sometimes get bored and/or distracted anyway? Yep. Occasionally I even take a short nap in the middle of the day if I was up late the night before. I have a playlist on iTunes called “High Energy”. I try to step away from the computer periodically, make some tea or walk outside, but generally just let my brain reset.

It’s all a balancing act. The key part is to maintain a level affect…get enough sleep, don’t get too excited or too depressed about anything.

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