Making remote work, work.

Barry McGee on February 18, 2019

I have been working remotely from home full-time for the past two years, and I love it. Previous to this, I had always worked in an office envi... [Read Full]
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I've worked from home since 2011. Everything you've said is spot-on and would be my own advice.

One thing that I would add is about boundaries. You don't want work life and personal life to affect each other, so that office space is really important. The computer you use for work shouldn't be the computer you use for fun. It can be tempting to bring your work laptop into a common area and watch netflix, or to work on a side project. Don't do that. Because that brings the temptation of checking work emails and messages with it.

Do your side projects on a different computer.

 

I take a slightly different view actually - I quite like that I can grab a cup of coffee and sit down to a little coding or email late at night if I fancy it. I like being able to work through messages when I have downtime at the laundrette or wherever.

However, this is not so I can clock up 40/50/60+ hour weeks, it's because that then gives me the flexibility to drop out of my workday if I feel like it.

When I have worked for an extra hour on a Tuesday night, that then gives me permission to take a two-hour lunch on Wednesday.

This means I can do things a lot of my office dwelling colleagues can't like nip out to the barber at 11am on a Tuesday when it's super quiet. This flexibility is one of the great perks of remote working imo.

 

While I think it is crucial to have a clean separation between work and personal life I'd love to have the flexibility you're talking about. Finding time to run some errands is really difficult, I don't need to take personal time off too frequently but I'd find that option really useful!

 

Nice write up. Remote work can be more productive because I can save an average 2-3 hours a day for commute.

How is remote work normally agree upon?

Does it usually transition from full time office into partial remote than to full time remote, after mutual trust is earned?

 

In my current role, I worked full-time in the office first. It was widely known I was moving countries at the end of that year and I had assumed I'd have to leave the company before they offered to support me remotely.

This meant that through circumstance I already had quite a bank of trust built up so my employers were able to trust that I could successfully work remotely.

If you're not in that situation - you will have to find other ways to build that trust. I'd start with one day a week and build on it from there.

 

I'm balancing between home office (Monday, Friday) and work in actual office (Tuesday-Thursday). Some days spent in normal office are little bit necessary, as some work need to be done after some discussion or after some code review, there are some team meetings etc and this is always better face to face. Anyway in my case, where commutation takes like 3 hours, working from home has real value. I can wake up 1 hour later, take a morning run and I'm still a little bit earlier "in work" than in case of normal office! Anyway it is true, that I have problem with my finish hour then, my working time is often prolonged till late evening. I agree it need to develop quality space and habits.

 

Does the photo in the picture represent your desk? If yes which monitor is that one?

 
 

Really cool man.
I have a macbook pro 2015, for the time being I have a Dell 27" 4k, have you connected easily to your mac? which model do you have?
In the photo it seems just a cable to the DP.

I'm also running a 2015 MBP and yes, the screen is connected via DP.

Really excellent, thanks a lot for your answer I will plan my birthday present I think (XD)

 

Hi Barry,
thank you for sharing these tips, very useful even for working on personal projects.
I'm a junior dev without any experience and I'm searching for a remote job (for the moment I could not leave my town) since you are working remotely do you have any advice for someone in my situation?

P.S.: First post on DEV.to, be gentle guys 😁

 

If you've zero experience, I wouldn't recommend a remote job to start - get into an office, learn from those around you - learn about business requirements and deadlines. I was working for ten years before I moved remote full-time. Good luck.

 

Thank you again Barry, I would look for some "in office" local job.

 

Hi Barry,
thank you for sharing these tips, very useful even for working on personal projects.
I'm a junior dev without any experience and I'm searching for a remote job (for the moment I could not leave my town), since you are working remotely do you have any advice for someone in my situation?

P.S.: First post on DEV.to so be gentle guys 😁

 

You're going to need to prove you can work successfully from where you currently are;

  • Have a strong portfolio of projects
  • Contribute to open source
  • Try to pick up local freelance work so you can prove to potential employers you can meet deadlines
 

Thank you Barry, I'm working hard on portfolio, I hope to start contributing to open source soon and I'm on a couple freelance works, so I think to be on the right track for a future remote job.

 

Thanks for sharing how to make it work. Self-discipline, and gaining trusts are very good points. How do you negotiate with a manager for 100% remote? Should we selectively choose to work only at a company that supports remote work?

 

You could but depending on your experience, that might have quite an impact of the pool of roles on offer to you. There are sites however dedicated to advertsing only remote work:

 
 
 

Thank you for your sharing. Can you share with me the ways that you get the first job when becoming a freelancer?

 

Figure out a niche (restaurant websites, for example), build a really good example site and go knocking on local restaurants saying "Look, this is what I can do for you too."

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