Remote work is one of the privileges we have as developers, but it has it’s down sides as well. Where you work is as important as what you are working on because the choices you make can affect your productivity, health, and motivation. For most people I feel that working remote will be a benefit in terms of being able to focus on your work and lessen your distractions. For others it might not be a choice but a necessity because of ones health circumstances.
I will admit, I am one of those people who get more work done at home vs. working in the office; particularly when working on large projects. Working in close quarters to other people turns into a nightmare when you want to focus on a problem or project where all you need is time and silence. Instead, the ability to work remote can bring you closer to your friends and family by removing the time spent going to and from an office.
Family is probably the most important motivating factor in most peoples work. Getting time to spend with family will be one of the best benefits of working remote. Instead of spending 1-2 hours traveling to and from an office you can spend time helping your kids with their homework, or placing a little more effort into making dinner for your family. This has the added benefit of saving money on gas and giving you that extra free time to decompress.
Lastly, and the most personal for myself, is your ability to focus on your health or health being that limiting factor in your ability to work. Just like spending time with your family, those 1-2 hours you get back from traveling can be the determining factor in your quality and longevity of life. Spend a little less time sitting and more time getting up and being active. Life is too short to be spending 8 hours behind a computer screen.
Remote work can have it’s challenges for even the most motivated developers. Not seeing your coworkers and sitting in a space by yourself can lead to loneliness and depression. If you do chose to work remote, be sure to spend time with your friends and family. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
You lose a little something when working remote vs. being in an office environment. That sense of comradery you get from working together on a project within a closed space. The struggles and personal face to face interaction grows your communication and leadership skills. This is not to say you can’t get these things when working remote but it’s far more difficult in a fully remote environment.
Most of what I have to give in tips can be considered common sense. However, these can often be overlooked when you start to spend more time working remote.
- Keep your desk clean and tidy from miscellaneous items and junk.
- Try not to eat at your desk to get yourself away from that monitor.
- Look at something in the distance to remove strain from your eyes.
- Be sure to keep all lines of communication open so that your co-workers can get a hold of you as needed.
- It might also be worth paying a little more for higher quality internet to prevent it from being a bottle neck in your workflow.
- Consider a hybrid approach where you work remote part of the week, but still have the opportunity to meet up in an office to see your co-workers.
To the business leaders and department leads, consider allowing your workforce to work in a remote environment more often. I am shocked at the number of opportunities I’ve had to pass up because I did not want to leave the place where my friends and family live. Yes, a career is important, but being with friends and family is even more important. You are leaving a large part of the workforce out of reach when you fail to consider allowing your developers to work remote.
To the potential remote workforce, be sure to discuss the benefit and challenges of working remote with your employers and co-workers. Holding yourself and team accountable to the work that you do and maintaining a level of quality will be what it takes to convince more business leaders that remote work is a good thing.
Thank you for reading.