Remote worker

With the recent trend, distributed teams are growing rapidly and it seems like more companies are changing, adding work from home option. “Work from home” and “remote work” are different in nature in term of the full-time job though they sound and work similarly.

For instance, a remote worker may not always have a physical office near to their location and team can be distributed all over the world - working on a specific domain i.e. software development. While people usually “work from home” for a certain period of time and they probably have a physical office too.

Now, you can imagine why remote work could be great. I personally had a pleasant experience working full time as a software developer. But there were obviously some of the things I missed comparing to traditional office-based jobs.

Things you will enjoy

Work flexibility and Location

First thing, work flexibility is great! You could be working from your home or a cafe in the morning and take a couple of hours break to meet with your friends, and you can continue later.

The location doesn’t matter although you need to have a stable internet connection since you will be connected with the team most of the time and use tools like Google Meet, Zoom, Asana, Slack. You will get the chance to work together with Clients, Co-workers all over the world in various time zone - the best part, again this will differs slightly to your profession and position.

In situations where self-isolation is essential like COVID-19, you are already working from home.

Learning opportunities and High productivity

If you are a beginner or the first time, you will love the workforce. The first thing I enjoyed was the team collaboration and pair programming. You will likely get a mentor if you are starting fresh and you might also have a chance to brush your skills through online learnings - usually included.

Likewise, you will make friends that will help you and vice versa. Apart from the work, you will also have an opportunity to travel and join meetups or events happening around the world.

In my opinion, after working for a few weeks, you will soon realize your level of skill. You will likely improve your weakness and look for suggestion and you will work harder, this is because you are directly connected to high skills workers around you. Moreover, it will also help you to increase your soft skills such as communication, time management.

Save costs and health

It saves you money; you don’t have to spend on the commute, lunch breaks. You can use this time to read a book or play a game or do something that would de-stress you. For me, I started writing a blog.

When you are not travelling and often working from home, you have time to incorporate physical exercises and when you are sick, staying home allows you to take care of yourself while working together- no more junk foods.

Things you might not like

Social life and technology

Let’s be clear here, there are tons of things in your home that might distract you completely while trying to focus on particular issue especially when the deadline is near. You can relocate to a peaceful environment but repeating this is harder since you will not be saving costs. I think ones need to find the best suitable hours for productivity but this will not work if you are pair programming.

You may think working from home is a great chance to balance work/life but it really isn’t, your workplace and home blends it together. You might develop a habit of checking notification and calendar constantly even when you are already off for the day. Likewise, if you are working on technology as a programmer you will likely spend over-hours fixing bugs or many times deciding which is better design and end of the day you might not have time for yourself.

Similarly, working remotely means completely depending upon the technology and having the right tools. If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with video conferencing, the rights tools that are used by your colleagues like team management, you might miss out if your employer doesn’t provide you with a time frame to learn those stuff or you aren’t provided access to those tools.

If you are a type of person who actively loves outdoors activities and meeting new people, you might be anxious not being able to make face-to-face communication, spending more time in one place - I remember, one of my colleagues dropping out because of this very reason. On the other hand, this could be a plus point for others.

Language barrier and open-mind

This is the most important of all, proficiency in the second language is a must if your native language is not English. Without right and clear communication with the team members, there is really nothing you can do. I would say slightly above intermediate to fluent is good, you need to also practise listening dialogues, slangs and different accents for improvements.

In spite of working with the right tools, there is a high chance that you will miss something in the team meetings if you don’t ask questions. Having friends, helpful people is also important if you got stuck somewhere - they are the one to help you. You are constantly talking with new peoples when video conferencing, and you need to understand them quickly and brushing English skills is important, listening podcasts, reading books helps a lot. Let’s be honest here, we sometimes don’t understand and get nervous when dealing with clients.

The ability to precisely redirect the same queries to other team member that he/she could definately answer, that’s the skill we need to master.

Learning new things is very important, as you practise there is a chance that you will make mistakes, a lot sometimes. Open to the criticism and improvements are extremely essential, this is the reason you need to work as an open-minded person - your team will like you more.

Things to understand first

There are some of the things that you need to have a clear understanding before involving with any organizations. Most of the remote work is based on a full-time, part-time contract base. You need to first understand the what type of work you will do after joining as an employee, rather than reading reviews ask for opinions from ex-employees - you can find them in Linkedin, might help to crack interviews.

Likewise, when you have a first interview or meeting, always be confident and ask if they are planning to hire for long-time or for a specific period of time and be clear about the benefits that you will get.

Especially, if the organization don’t have a physical office in your city, there is a high chance that you are being recruited by a third party agency to work for them, this is not necessarily a bad thing if you are starting fresh but you need to have a clear idea about further plans - usually pays less, many of such partnership keep changing.

Final thoughts

At last, working remotely full-time could be a enjoyable experience, I tried to display my writing in helpful ways as you might have noticed. I believe there are unique factor varies to every organization depending on principal and transparency. If you are considering working remotely, you should definitely give it a try.

I’m writing primarily from my personal experience if you have a suggestion that I might have missed? Please don’t forget to write them in comments.

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