I'm working remotely quite long time already. This is why I want to share my pros and cons of working remotely and actually it's not for everybody.
We will discuss:
- Public transportation
- Better computer setup
- Working conditions
- Eating healthy
- More difficult to find a job
- It's bad for beginners
- Bad internet
- Bad setup
- Higher bills
- Difficult to stay motivated
- Are you working at all?
- Lack of social interaction
- Lack of strict working hours
First of all let's start with positive things. We don't need any time to spend on transportation. If previously you worked in the office so normally your job is situated somewhere in the city center and you need half of an hour or an hour to get to the job and then back which means you spend two or two and a half hours every single day just to get to the office and back.
Obviously with remote job you spend zero time and it is really awesome. Which means you have more time for yourself or your family.
The second important point when you are working remotely is that you normally have a better setup compared to the office. When you come to the office normally you get a macbook and maybe a monitor. It's not bad but most people at home have better setup. They have mouse and keyboard that they want, maybe 4k monitor that nobody will buy you in the office, a standing desk or a really nice chair. Which means your setup at home almost always is better that at the office because you will just spend more money on yourself than your company will spend on you.
Next important point is of course working conditions. If you want in the office you normally have a huge openspace where you have like 20 or 100 people and it's not super comfortable and is really noisy. You have a lot of people, different smells, people are getting sick and so on.
If you have at home a room that you can lock and nobody disturb you then you have your perfect working conditions. You can open a window, you always have fresh air, there is a complete silence in the room and nobody disturbs you. Also when you are working remotely it is difficult to get sick. When you are in the office every day or in public transport there are lots of people who are sick. You communicate with them or you just nearby and then you just sick again and again.
Then next point that is really important for me is that at home it is easier to eat healthy. When you are working in the office you might just go out and grab some quick snack. At home you normally will cook what you prefer and it might be really healthy.
And now you may think that remote job is really awesome because we have just positive things there. This is why here is my list of negative things and not all of them were clear and visible from the start.
Difficult to find a job
The first point here is that it is much more difficult to find a remote position. It happens because companies and managers want to see you in the office. This is just their mentality and they really want to control what you are doing the whole day. And it's much easier to control you in the office. Normally people won't play games in the office or do some other stuff. When you work remotely nobody can control you that strict. This is exactly what so many companies want to see you back in the office and it might be really difficult to find a 100% remote job. Some companies can still offer you to come only several days per week in office so it's not that bad.
It's bad for beginners
My next point is extremely important for beginners. I don't recommend you to work remotely if you are a beginner because it is much easier to communicate with people in the office, it is easier to come to somebody and ask for help. If you are working remotely and you write somebody he can simply ignore you if he is focused on his task and this is completely normal. Inside the office people normally won't ignore you and as a beginner you will have hundreds of questions every 10 minutes. This is why I highly recommend for beginners to work in the office if possible.
But obviously if you have lots of experience it's much easier to work remotely. You simply understand what needs to be done, you get your feature, implement it several days, you test it, show it to your manager and you are finished. You don't need that much communication with other people because you are mostly just doing your job.
One more problem that I see is bad internet. When you work from home and your internet is not working or simply bad, you can't really fix it. Which means you can't participate in meeting and when all people are in office and you are remote and your internet is not working it is your problem not theirs and you can't work like this.
The same goes with bad setup. When a lot of people started to work remotely they normally had just their macbook and this is it. A lot of people didn't even have additional monitor. Which actually means they were using microphone of their macbook and the camera. And both are really awful, the sound is bad and the image also. With image we can live but it is really difficult to communicate with other person if they don't have a decent microphone. Actually any microphone starting from $20 which is external will be better than default internal microphone.
Which means you need to invest a bit of time and money in your setup to make your communication with other people much easier.
The next point is something that people are not that aware of. When you work from home every single day you consume a lot of water and electricity. Which means your bills every single month are much higher than expected. And this is something that you must keep in mind because in the office you get these things for free.
Difficult to stay motivated
The next problem that I see in a lot of people it is difficult for them to stay motivated. Just imagine that you sit alone at home and you have your normal boring working day. You have some feature that needs to be done but you don't have this feeling that you want to work. And then you start playing games or searching something in internet and your feature is not ready. It happens a lot in remote work because when you are in the office you have this office mood. You see other people working, you are also working and you are in the mood to do something.
Remotely it might be more difficult for you to stay in focus. This is why you need at least to have standups with your team at least once per day so you show some of your progress and you can feel some pressure and that some stuff needs to be done.
Are you working at all?
And you might have one more big problem from the management perspective. Just imagine, they saw you in the office every single day and now they don't see you at all. This is why they want to control you. They can call you, they can write you every single day, maybe every two hours. This really disturbs and doesn't make you work better. Which means you need to clearly communicate that you have features, that you do them on time and you do your job and you don't need to be disturbed that often.
Lack of social interaction
The first thing that people lack is social interaction. When you are in the office you've communicating with other people, you are talking about code, about work, about something, so you are interacting with people every single day. Now you work remotely and yes you chat with some people, you have calls but it's not the same. Which actually means you are isolated and it doesn't fit everybody. A lot of people still need some social interaction.
Lack of strict working hours
The next problem is lack of strict working hours. When you work in the office normally people come at 9 and leave at 6. You see people leaving the office and you go home also. But when you work remotely it's much difficult to control this. You start working in the morning and you end somewhere in the evening, it might be 6-7-8. It doesn't matter because you are already at home. This is why I highly recommend to track your time and always start and end at the same time like you do in the office. For example you started at 9 then you must end at 6 and not later.
Lack of movement
And my last point is the most important. We are lacking movement when we work remotely. If we just sit there at home every single day without any movement it's not healthy at all. When we go to the office we normally walk at least several kilometers per day. But we don't do that when we work remotely. This is why you really need to control it. For example in your lunch time you might go outside for 20 or 30 minutes. Also I highly recommend you to do your sport at least several times per week. It is really easy to forget about it because you are simply at home and you don't want to go outside.
As you can see there are quite a lot of negative in working remotely. It is not for everybody.
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