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Let's talk about remote work.

How productive are you at home while working in remote when compared to commuting to a office?

Kindly share your schedule/routine for a day.


Top comments (23)

isaacdlyman profile image
Isaac Lyman

I work from home over 90% of the time. My company is completely remote-friendly. I mostly come in for planning sessions and lunch with my team.

The great thing about remote work is it forces the company to measure people by their output, not by the number of hours they spend with their butt in a chair. I love that. If I finish all my work for the sprint early, I can take some time off. If I'm running behind, I work late. I can go to the gym at 10 AM and work at midnight if I want. I know what I'm responsible for, and I feel very motivated to finish it.

I never find myself counting down the hours until I can go home. I never get distracted by office buzz. I never feel like I'm letting my team down if I take my car to the shop at 2 in the afternoon.

My wife loves it too. I'm an introvert, and spending the day by myself leaves me with lots of social energy, so I'm much better for a night out or a party.

I try to draw good boundaries between work and home. I get up early, shower, eat breakfast, and get dressed before I log on for standup. I don't let myself work in my underwear. I think that would make me lazy.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

My company is completely remote-friendly. I mostly come in for planning sessions and lunch with my team.

Do you have any remote folks who can't come in for lunches and stuff? And in general what does the company do to promote remote-friendliness?

isaacdlyman profile image
Isaac Lyman

Yes, the company has an number of employees who don't live anywhere near one of our main offices (it's a big company, ~500 people).

There are a few things that really make this work for us.

  • Great videoconferencing software. We use Cisco WebEx for team meetings and Slack calls for talking 1-on-1. I like WebEx a lot, it does its job and gets out of the way.
  • On my team, meetings are either short (standup) or infrequent (sprint planning).
  • Flat org structure and decentralized management. My team has clear goals and deadlines but plenty of autonomy for how we achieve them.
  • Monthly all-hands videoconferences with the CEO to talk about company values, answer questions, and discuss company financial performance.
  • Unlimited PTO. I feel like this really means "unmonitored PTO". It keeps the conversation focused on what we're accomplishing, not whether we're working enough hours.
  • A benefits package that accommodates remote work. "Onsite gym" doesn't mean much to an employee who lives 300 miles away, so we have fitness reimbursements.
  • Competitive salaries, benefits, stock options and bonuses (based on company sales goals). This keeps us in the top 10 on Glassdoor, which lets us be picky about who we hire.
  • The culture is laid-back and trusting. I don't know what the process is for dealing with bad actors, but it must be good because I haven't met any.

Does that answer your question? Remote work is a nuanced topic and I know I haven't covered it completely, but I really believe it's the way to go. I'm not sure there's any amount of money that could convince me to take an onsite job again.

Thread Thread
schaary profile image
Michael Schaarschmidt

What is PTO?

Thread Thread
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Paid time off, me thinks.

chrisvasqm profile image
Christian Vasquez

That sounds awesome!

vhfmag profile image
Victor Magalhães

I am definitively more productive at home, but I do love to be in the office.

I work at a local startup that happens to have an open office. I have always loved the ambiance and the people there but, having been working there for two years now, I've seen the sometimes noisy small room of the 5 people team grow into the 30-something focus-stealing noisy big office. It's fun and the people are great, but I get frustrated when I can't get anything done.

sathish profile image

Ha.. i can understand!

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I do four days in-office and one day out. It's a good regiment for me. On off-days I feel a bit more free to explore different ideas or mix things up in some way, and in the office it's a bit more get-down-to-business.

My routine is not really all that routine in office or out at the moment I'm afraid to say.

andreasklinger profile image
Andreas Klinger ✌️️ • Edited
  • Innovation works best in person
    • reason: subtleties in human communication

  • Iteration works best in remote
    • reason: optimization based on your own needs not face-time

That being said - remote works requires enabling functional single player mode in work tasks and explicit processes defined - which most colocated teams don't have.

theoutlander profile image
Nick Karnik • Edited

I work from home. The level of flexibility I have is a privilege and it is a win-win situation for me, my family as well as the company. I'm very particular about efficiency and getting in the zone.

I have a home office that I can lock myself in if I need to, but most days I work from wherever and whenever I feel like. This varies based on what I need to get done at work, if I need to watch the kids, or if we're planning on traveling.

  • Some days I work in bed while my toddler is playing near me, or watching her show, or sleeping.
  • Sometimes I hang out with the family and continue working on the kitchen counter or dining table
  • At times, I will head to the local library
  • When I get bored working at home, I go to a coffee shop
  • If it's sunny and I need to watch the kids, I will sit in the yard or the sunroom
  • Sometimes I work on the road while my wife drives us. Today, we drove a couple of hours to see my mother-in-law in Anacortes and I'm working in a room right by the ocean. Although it's sunny, it is freezing!

Now, this is not my ideal work environment because I am all about locking myself up in a room with complete silence and getting in the zone and being productive. However, I have a family with three kids and there's always something going on! So, I do what I can and where I can throughout the day and get most of my productive work done late at night. I've done this for four months now and it took a couple of months to get adjusted to it. Prior to that, we were traveling for a year through Asia and Europe.

The most productive setting is late at night in the home office because I love silence (maybe that's all you crave for when you have kids)! The only other time I've been super productive was in a closed office while @ Microsoft.

I'm thinking about getting my home office soundproofed because it gets very noisy. My kids have barely seen me leave home for work over the years, so they could never understand why I had to occasionally go to work (when I worked at other companies that weren't 100% remote). This is like one of those things where they've never seen a physical phone, voicemail on a landline, ethernet cables, cable tv, etc.

Anyway, I've had to let go of two of our engineers because they took advantage of the situation by not delivering on time or writing quality software, all while making good money and traveling the world. IMO, it takes a very responsible and trustable person to live that sort of a life and get things done. I'm still hopeful that somewhere out there exists a couple of really solid, dedicated, trustworthy full-stack engineers that I have yet to meet! :)

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

I rarely get to work from home, but I am multiple times more productive there. Part of it is wanting to get the privilege again. Part of it being happy not to make a commute that I hate. But most of the productivity comes from not being distracted by a revolving door of people in and out of the room all day (to see our main IT guy). In the office, my most productive times are after everyone leaves.

I don’t really have a set schedule when I work from home. It usually involves getting up late. :) and working late. :(

alexandrugrusu profile image
Alex George

Definitely I'm the only one who loves to work in the office. I'm wake up at 6am every day, eating the breakfast, and then, around 7:30/8am I'm in the office. I'm more productive in the morning. 2 cups of coffee makes me feel good.

imastee profile image

You are not the only one. I prefer working in the office, joking with colleagues, meet people, talking, exchange ideas and knowledge and if you have a coding (or not) problem you can ask for real support and not using a chat, it's more human!
Working at home it's like being alone with your computer for 8 hours per day, that's not for me.

mortoray profile image
edA‑qa mort‑ora‑y

I remote work almost exclusively at the moment. The company is in another country, thus I rarely go to the office.

I've done lots of work in offices as well, and I estimate my productivity at home is a lot higher. The flexibility in my work schedule helps a lot. Though I have some basic guidelines to when I work, I let my current mood dictate the exact hours. I may get up early somedays, or stay up late others working. I may take a day off, a long lunch, or work nonstop on a problem if in the flow.

I think if I were closer to the office I'd likely visit more often, possibly twice a month. Being remote means missing out on a lot of team building and corporate culture.

Note that I work on an hourly basis, and I think this is appropriate for remote workers. It requires a certain level of honesty, but affords me the option to be flexible. If you're on salary it can be hard to judge how many breaks are appropriate, or maybe can't justify a random day off. That said, I get absolutely no "sitting in my chair" pay, nor vacation pay, nor sick pay. There are trade-offs to the hourly model.

kmack profile image
k-mack • Edited

I have been a remote employee for almost 3 years. I am fortunate in that my employer supported me needing to move away from the city the headquarters is in for family reasons (wife got a better job elsewhere). That said, I don't have experience onboarding with a new company as a remote employee.

I currently live on the West Coast and work for a company on the East Coast. My day starts around 5:15 AM, and I'm at my desk by 6 AM. I work 6-2 to stay on the East Coast team's 9-5 schedule. It's actually really nice getting done with my work day that early. The grocery store and gym are less crowded, which makes those experiences much better IMO; and I have enough time to comfortably spend a couple hours after work contributing to open source projects.

I immediately noticed that my productivity increased when I started working from home. I don't get distracted that easily, but I can see how people could drift away from their desk and get distracted with something at home.

Communication with the team consists of instant messenger and video calls. This was a bit of a culture change in the beginning as it took a while for everyone to become comfortable talking through a webcam. With screen sharing capabilities, however, collaborating is almost just as good as having a brainstorming session in your coworker's cubical. Also, with modern software tools (GitLab, GitHub, JIRA, Confluence, Slack, etc.), the dynamic of doing code reviews or posting issues doesn't change.

The big downside for me has been the separation of work and home. I find myself wandering into my office after dinner to "just polish some code." Next thing I know it's midnight. Doing this probably won't go over well if you are living with your significant other.

If you have the option to work remotely, I highly recommend it. My two tips would be 1) to wake up in the morning with the mentality that you are "going to work" (shower, dress yourself, eat breakfast away from your workspace) and 2) make sure you leave your home for some part of the day (go for a long walk after work, go to the gym, meet up with friends, etc.). I'm embarrassed to say it, but, in the winter months, I've definitely not left my house for 3 days before.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

I think I am just as productive, if not slightly more so when I work remotely. Overall, I am highly productive (on average).

I work remotely a few times a month. I have the same schedule as when I'm in the office, online from 9am-6pm with an hour lunch break at mid day. I feel that working from home gives me a break (less in person distractions) and I can better focus on longer term projects.

codevbus profile image
Mike Vanbuskirk

I'm 100% remote for a company in the Seattle area, and I live in the EST timezone.

I've worked in-office at big tech companies, and have now been fully remote for a year.

I'm definitely more productive/available as a remote worker, and overall it's been a win/win for the employee and employer.

My schedule generally starts around 7:30AM to get my child ready for school. Depending on my schedule alignment(if I'm following the EST based team or the PST team) I might go back to sleep for a while, or I'll get cleaned up and sit down for work by 9:30 AM or so.

The days I'm aligned to PST are a little funny, as I generally don't start until 11-12, and work until 8.

The flexibility is huge. If I need to go run errands, it's minimally disruptive. I'm much more available for piano recitals/school functions etc...

On top of everything else, the CoL in my area is much more manageable compared to a tech hub like Seattle. We were able to afford a nice house with a big yard, and we live close to family.

I understand not every employee or role is suitable for remote work, but I can't recommend it enough if you can make it work.

dougmckechie profile image
Douglas McKechie

As well as going in to the office Mon-Fri I usually work from home for a few hours most weekends to make up 40hrs for the week. Occasionally I will from home during the week. I like working from home, but couldn't do it every day.

I think I am very productive when working from home; Working from home during the week saves 2 hours of commuting a day so I am more likely to work longer, I am less likely to be interrupted by other devs or general noise in the office, and the big plus is my stereo, record, and CD player are all here so I usually have music on all day which really helps to get in to the "zone".

miku86 profile image
miku86 • Edited

At home:

  • I work lesser hours
  • my productivity is higher, because I work when I have the energy
  • I can take longer breaks w/o feeling "bad"
  • I save 2hrs everyday not commuting
  • I am in "my" working environment
sujithjr profile image
Sujith Kumar

You are almost my community, well i save almost 6 hrs a day commuting up and down. In my case, leaving to office and returning home the next day, is Weird !

julia_moskaliuk profile image
Julia Moskaliuk

I love working remotely. Especially I love to communicate with colleagues (there are so many ways to meet online, to take part in some competitions, complete quests etc). And my absolute FAV - present gifts ;) To make this process more easy and convenient, guys from TMetric have created a post-guide for those who want to please their remote workers\colleagues and give gifts to them on Christmas and New Year holidays. I'm sure, you'll take a lot of juicy information from this article -

eljayadobe profile image

As soon as my work switches from software engineers working in offices with doors to having an open office floor plan, I'll be working from home.