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Cover image for Are you most probably going to work fully remote?

Are you most probably going to work fully remote?

alexandrudanpop profile image Alexandru-Dan Pop ・1 min read

Really curious to find out others thoughts on remote working.

  • Is this the future for programmers?
  • Are companies shifting in this direction?

Will companies be looking for remote workers or still prefer to hire in-house?

What advantages and disadvantages do you see here? Will colaboration be hindered? Or you are already having all the measures in place to be productive remotely?

Facebook and other tech giants are slowly migrating to remote work: read more here.

What can you do to prepare?

I wrote an article a few weeks ago, check it out here:

πŸ‘‡ Comment below πŸ‘‡

Discussion

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I personally think remote is the natural way software companies can benefit from a more sustainable workforce due to the fact they highly increase their talent pool. I think the companies would have got in this stage any way, the pandemic has just accelerated the transition.

This has many advantages for companies, employees, the environment as well as cities:

  • Companies can reduce costs due to hiring remote workforce (an office is no longer necessary or can be at least scaled down) 🏒
  • Employees can avoid living in expensive cities / areas and win the commute time back for themselves πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’Ό
  • The environment is obviously more protected due to less commute 🌳
  • Cities less jamed with an advantage of distributing workforce in smaller cities πŸš—
 

We're gaining ground! I hope people can maintain the option to go into the office for social interaction and for the sake of their own personal productivity. There's a balance to be struck so that all work styles are reasonably accommodated.

 

I'm sure a lot of people will still work from their offices, if they choose to. If not conventional offices, maybe co-working spaces.

 

Agreed! Working remotely doesn't = loss of all social interaction. Hangout with friends and family after work and go outside for some exercise.
Video calls and pair programming while remote is no different than doing the same exact thing from your desk at the office haha. Only difference is now you can eat lunch with family/friends.

 

We definitely see the shifting to fully remote from the biggest companies on the market right now. And this probably will lead that smaller companies follow.
We probably never see a fully remote IT world. But more than 50%? I think it will definitely happen in the nearest future.
We should remember that "remote work" != "work from home". So coworking spaces/small office spaces will be the kings in the future.

I'm working in a remote company (although we have an office) for almost 3 years and I never been happier with my choice.

 

The question is what is stopping current companies from adopting remote? Because the cost basis seems to be in their favor... Probably the way of working can't be shifted all of a sudden so you need a long transition period.
Also it's a trust and secrecy issue, but this also has solutions.

 

Yes! All of that has solutions and it's legit and working.

But I think the lack of education on that topic is crucial.
Reasons I've seen:

  • We have a lot of meetings and they aren't working online - you don't need these meetings in the first place.
  • Productivity will decrease dramatically - no it's not. If you correctly inject remote culture productivity will increase.
 

I prefer to work from the office, because it is easier to communicate, and working at home makes me depressed. It's easier to ask colleague to help you when you can show him the code on your machine. And I like pair programming as a way of faster problem solution. Will it be a default? yeah, unfortunately. Fewer costs for the company, higher salary for programmers, everybody wins. The only thing that is being hurt is the connection between people, as we will be even more lonely than we are now.

 

I feel what you are saying, probably we got too used to having our social life in the office (some of my friends are colleages or ex-colleagues from previous work places).
Maybe we need to start separating social life from work. Work can remain strictly proffesional and we can look into our relations and building friendships in our free time.

 

Yeah, but mostly we are meet our future friends at our place of work/school. So it will be hard to meet them when we will be at home all the time :)

 

I'm in hybrid mode right now; two days at office and three days remotely. Personally I find it great for few reasons.

  • City where I work in (Novi Sad) is about two hours away from my city (Pančevo), so I don't have to travel every day
  • I can spend some days of the week working at home while at the same time I can communicate with the colleagues in person and force myself to stay active (walking between bus stations)
  • Novi Sad is a beautiful city and now I have more time to visit some places in it
 

I believe working from home has many advantages, for me the most important is to live wherever you want, far away from traffic jams, pollution, surrounded by nature (if you prefer), basically it can boost you quality life.
Anyway, current conditions are not normal conditions (remark this) since we are facing a pandemic which produces extra stress with no option to take a little ride outside, I'd like to see this remote working in normal conditions to see a fair comparison.
I worked remotely 5 years for my previous company and this was something awesome, I play tennis so I was able to play more and more also enjoyed a lot with my family.

IMHO this will be something common in the near future.

 

I think remote will gradually become the default, and creative organizations will find ways to bring people together some of the time.

I just think that's the balance that will wind up being more effective than the work from home one or two days a week philosophy.

 

Getting together in person from time to time is definitely important.

Issues can arise when people stop talking or sharing information or ideas as if they would in an office environment.

 

My experience has been curious because I was setting up my life to be remote at the end of March. My now wife is Chilean so my plan ever since we moved in together when we were dating has been for me to work remotely from Chile. Then the whole world changed.

We haven't been able to leave yet, but the plan remains the same!

 

For my team nothing has really changed but the small daily (15-30 minutes). Besides that one there were no new meetings. I would actually argue that we have more available time because we can't distract each other as easily with questions.
But I would still prefer to have some days in a shared environment. Maybe the meeting heavy (review, planning) days that rarely are the productive ones anyway. So instead of focusing on coding I would like to use those days for team stuff, discussions and even lightning talks to get the team up to speed on new topics.
On the average day I would prefer remote work. No full trains or streets.

 

There was a good discussion recently on this on The Changelog's interview with Jack Warner, the CTO of Github. They discuss how if there is a drop in performance of ~5% then it is a worthwhile tradeoff to work from home, whereas if it's more like a 90% drop then obviously it isn't suitable and that with most businesses pre-COVID it was mostly a perception that the latter was the case.
Personally I enjoy working from home. I work in a city that's an hour away by train (and that's assuming they're on time, which 90% of the time they aren't), so for me it saves me a good 2 hours of my day, each day that I can work from home. That time is invaluable to me, not to mention the comfort of being in my safe place so to speak, as well as the convenience of being able to do various tasks like collect parcels, walk the dog etc.
Professionally, I find there isn't much of a difference. If I were in the office working, we'd still be using Slack to communicate, JIRA to manage the project, Confluence to document things... The only difference is the face to face element that comes in handy when you hit a block and you need to vent/rubber duck with a colleague. We've found that this can also be solved by throwing in some short ad-hoc Zoom calls when they're needed (sub-10 mins usually).
On the flip side, I do see the importance of meeting up occasionally, both recreationally for team building and socialising, as well as if a meeting needs it. We are social creatures and nothing can assume that feeling of a proper chat by the watercooler or while getting coffee.

On a macro scale, benefits such as less congestion and pollution from transportation also comes into play, however this would probably balance out when you consider that there is also more heating being used as everyone is now heating their own homes rather than a singular office space.

 

Thanks for the podcast link, will check it out! Yep I guess we also need to wait a bit and see what the data tells us. This can be the only indicator that helps us see where we are headed.

The lack of interaction seems to be a problem for a lot of folks, so it would be really interesting to hear from those remote-first companies how they fix this.
Lookins at Ben's comment, probably by hosting ocasional meet-ups :

I think remote will gradually become the default, and creative organizations will find ways to bring people together some of the time.

I just think that's the balance that will wind up being more effective than the work from home one or two days a week philosophy.

 

I always wanted to work remotely from college days. I got to work in an office environment for my internship before COVID and now working fulltime due to COVID-19, we have to WFH. Comparing the two. Reality vs Expectations πŸ˜…. I'd prefer the office environment. From a junior dev's point of view, it allows one to easily interact with senior devs and gain a lot from their mentorship. WFH feels like you become a nag when you keep calling or slacking all the time and this may hinder juniors from much-needed growth. Also working from home feels like I'm always working non-stop. Which begins to get irritating after sometime

 

Yep onsite is better for juniors and onboarding people in general. But you have a few advantages nevertheless:

  • struggling to solve the problems yourself will make you a much better problemsolver long term in detriment of short term productivity
  • your colleagues will most probably appreciate your questions and be helpful if you organize them and keep them to the point
  • there's also no shame in asking for mentorship or pair programming sessions from more senior colleagues
 

No. Here's why:

Working remotely for 5 years, I chose a physical office environment again because I didn't feel like I was growing as a developer. The small talk (when productive) and over-the-shoulder coding really showed me a lot of things I would have struggled on my own.

But the cons it opened up was a 1000x increase in office politics and distracting smalltalk. I'd probably prefer to shift to a 60/40 schedule with 60% in-office work.

 

When I WFH I pretty much work all the time. Our team meets during the work hours and later around 10 pm. Is it the problem of only our team? I dunno.
More productive? Nah. I have been productive working in the office too. Productiveness is the approach that you build.
I would rather work 3-2: 3 days in the office, 2 days from home. I can still go out of my house and see my colleagues (don't tell me to meet them on zoom/teams/slack. We all know its now the same. )
Cons: I have much more meetings now!
Pros: I wake up later in a day and I don't spend time driving my car (even though I don't mind since i listen to my audio books at that time).

 

This. I worked from home for like 2 months and felt like I never turned off my laptop. I would definitely do 3-2 or create my own routine to some day WFH and other days work from office.

 

Have you tried creating a schedule or following the same one as if you went to the office? This turned out to work for me, as I avoid overwork or underwork. I've written more about it here.

WFH should improve your lifestyle and workstyle not make them worst.

 

I am doing that now. I think moving forward there will be a rise in remote working coaches. Much like project management and DevOps consultants. I believe it might play a huge role in training and preparing developers for remote work.

 

Due to lockdown, since last 4 months I'm wfh. And I feel more productive and able to read more books and spend time on my hobby projects. I will definitely work only for remote companies in future

 

Lot's of people feel more productive working remote, myself being one of them. I also started blogging during the lockdown, probably because of the extra time I got not needing to commute.

 

My job, which I got from my last internship, will resume for the next 1 month and I will WFH. University automn semester start in august and will also be remote.