Although the idea of remote working is becoming more and more popular, it is still not a standard among employers. For many potential employees, those companies which offer the opportunity of remote working are definitely more attractive, because working at home brings numerous mutual benefits such as: flexible working hours, time saving, greater employee productivity or lower costs incurred by the company. Let’s look at five of them them closely.
Flexiana is a company where we work 100% remotely and this work model works out very well. For more details on how we work, see Working remotely – Part II.
Some employers are vary from remote working because they are worried about the effectiveness of performance and about efficiency and convenience of long distance communication. I have heard statements that if someone works at home, he procrastinates. In my opinion, this is mainly due to the fact that employers have found irresponsible people or are guided by stereotypes in their opinions.
Contrary to some employers’ concerns – one of the most important benefits of remote working is greater employee efficiency. A person who works remotely is more focused on the task and performs the work faster because, compared to work in the office, he is exposed to a smaller number of distracting factors, such as private conversations with colleagues, loud behavior (e.g. phone calls) or sounds made by office equipment. A person who works at home is often also more motivated to work effectively, because he wants to efficiently perform the tasks and then devote time to private life.
High trust from the employer side often transfers to a higher level of commitment to work, and thus to higher productivity.
Apart from the workplace, another very important benefit of remote working is time flexibility. The programmer is appraised for completing tasks within specified deadlines. However, it does not matter at what times of the day the work will be done. Moreover, certain analyses require leaving the workplace to experience nature, which often results in better ideas than staying in the monotonous office “landscape”. If the programmer is working at home he can examine what time of day (or night ☺) he is the most effective and decide for himself when to get the job done. The company also benefits from it by developing products at lower costs. In the case of work in the office, the programmer works at fixed specific hours, which aren’t necessarily their most productive times.
From the point of view of the final customer, the programmer’s workplace is also irrelevant, because even in the case of cooperation with a company employing employees in offices, the client contacts the contractor mostly via email, phone or Internet communicators.
Thanks to remote working, employees can also work in any place – best for themselves – at home, in a cafe or in a coworking office (so-called creative space), which positively affects the productivity and creativity of the programmer and can result in many interesting ideas. In addition, remote working allows the programmer to overcome the limitation in the form of distance between place of residence and place of work. Thanks to it, a programmer can decide to work in a company located in a distant city or even in another country without relocation. Additionally, he can choose the best job offer for him from anywhere in the world. In turn, a company offering the possibility of remote working can attract the best specialists from around the world. However, if any personal meeting is needed, you can easily buy a plane ticket. ☺
A programmer who works at home works when he is the most productive so he can develop more features in less time then a programmer working at the office.
When developing something I sometimes need to take a longer break of several hours to get away from the computer, take care of other matters, think things over, organize my mind and get back fresh to work. This makes it easier to find ideas for solving problems that I encounter everyday. In addition, I sometimes like to work at night – then in absolute silence I can perform tasks most effectively. If I worked in an office at fixed hours, unfortunately I would not be able to decide for myself when I work.
3. RESOURCES SAVING
Remote working also allows programmers to save time and money that they would have to spend on getting to the office. It can also have a positive effect on the environment – less exhaust gas ☺ In turn, the company does not have to spend money on renting and maintaining office space. A customer who establishes cooperation with a company, which employees work remotely, can get a better price offer, because there are no costs associated with maintaining the office.
The advantage of remote working is also that it more allows programmers to maintain a good work-life balance. The time they save due to the fact that they do not have to commute to work they can used to relax, enjoy, develop their passions or spend it with family. For young parents, remote working, and the flexibility associated with it, makes it easier to combine work and childcare.
4. FOCUS ON A SPECIFIC TASK
I appreciate the fact that when I work at home, I can fully focus on the implementation of a specific task. Compared to working in the office, there are fewer factors distracting me, nobody talks to me or throws me out of work.
Remote working requires a lot of self-discipline, but thanks to it I learned how to organize time better.
From my point of view, remote work is a great help for a programmer, but I think that a junior programmer who is learning and starting his adventure with IT should work in the office, so he will be able to gain valuable experience under the guidance of his mentor, who help him to properly implement the job specifics, point to the right direction for personal development and will be the source of the right attitudes and patterns.
After gaining basic experience in IT, the programmer is able to work remotely effectively and I think it is much more effective than working in the office.
To sum up, remote working brings a lot of benefits for both the programmer, his employer and the final customer. We maximize them every day! We are also aware that there are potential difficulties associated with remote working, but our experience and a responsible approach allow us to overcome them in time. For example, this kind of work can sometimes blur the line between private and professional life. However, the key to overcoming this difficulty is self-discipline and proper planning of tasks.
5. SOCIAL LIFE
Many people think that programmers who work at home may have a feeling of lack of social life. They have less direct (face to face) contact with people compared to working in the office. However, in reality, each of us, apart from work, also has a private life that we share with other people, so you should not be afraid that by remote working you will lose contact with the world.
For me, remote working is the best thing that happened in my professional life. I started my career in IT from working in the office, where I gained skills under the guidance of more experienced colleagues. I have been working remotely for 2 years and I really appreciate having such an opportunity. I can work whenever and wherever I want, although I usually work at home ☺
The fact that we work remotely does not bother us in establishing interpersonal relations. As in any typical office work, we also talk about our private lives, we can find common topics for conversation and hobbies. Generally, we mostly keep in touch virtually, but some people also meet face to face, especially if they live near to one another.
We have developed effective methods of work management and development of programmers, for more details on how we work, see Working remotely – Part II.