From a Dev’s Perspective: To Work Remotely or To Not?
In this series we are going to be including interviews, opinions, ideas, discoveries, projects, and more from our devs that represent the core of Jobsity.
In this first blog post, we reached out to two longtime members of Jobsity’s family, Frank who is currently experiencing his first remote work assignment and Jorge who has always worked remotely. We wanted to compare their experience and understand from their perspectives if remote work can be a suitable opportunity.
Let's check it out!
Frank started working around mid-2009 and, since then, has worked for four companies as an in-house developer in mass transportation, enterprise, agriculture, and call center management. Let’s see what his thoughts are about his first experience of working remote:
Frank, tell us how was it for you working in a traditional environment and then transitioning to a 100% remote company?
So far, it's been pretty nice. I first learned about remote work after I was assigned the task of searching for a VCS replacement in my last company. Then I discovered GitLab, they have a 100% remote workforce and their way of doing things is open for anyone to read and learn about. Approximately 2 years ago I decided that remote work was something I wanted to do.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you think working with a 100% remote team is different than working in a more traditional in-house team?
First, a major difference is with the communication process, as we mainly do written communication. You have to make sure your messages are as clear as possible. Additionally, we also have to pay special attention to the organization of tasks to have a good workflow.
What was the most difficult part of adapting to a remote job position? What was that aspect that cost you the most in the transition you made?
To be honest, the lack of human interaction was one of the most difficult parts in the beginning. Eventually, you get used to it, as you start interacting more with your coworkers every day through internal communication tools.
What benefits do you have by working remotely?
You practically forget about the traffic jams, that daily 1-hour trip to go to your office and then 1 hour back. If you keep your schedule organized you have just a regular workday and 2 extra hours every day just for you. An additional perk with my client is that we work 9 hours a day 4 days a week, and then just 4 hours on Friday… The weekends feel very long now, which is awesome.
Do you think there are more benefits to working remotely or in-house? Why?
Personally, I would go with working remotely. It allows me to manage my time better, depending on where you are working remotely from, a co-working space, a coffee house, or a private office. There are fewer distractions... you know, a coworker going to your desk to ask you something while you are “in the zone”, someone walking in front of you or things like that, although you need to have more discipline.
After taking a glimpse at Frank´s perspective about the remote work environment, let's see what Jorge has to say about it.
Jorge is a software engineer with over 4 years of experience and since the beginning of his work life he has always worked remotely. Jorge comments that “in my first remote job I had to face a completely different paradigm that I was not used to. I have to admit that at the beginning it was difficult”. Let's see how he feels over the years about remote work.
So Jorge, tell us what have been the benefits of working remotely?
The benefits that are most well known, are the comfort of working from home, saving time by not having to commute to a workplace, and optimizing the extra time. However, I think the main benefit of working online is that you can connect with incredible teams and people, who are not only technical experts but they also have an immense capacity to transmit their knowledge and experiences effectively.
Managing time in remote work can be challenging, how do you manage your personal time with your work time? Do you have a routine?
Rather than focus on work times, I prefer to focus on being productive. I try to maintain a logical balance to take advantage of the day but without overloading myself. I consider that it is much better to concentrate to the maximum for a short time than to do it halfway for a long time; especially in programming where your main objective is to solve problems in the most optimized way possible.
We are always going to be part of a team, so can you share with us how your team leader makes all of his colleagues feel part of the team that is remote?
I am lucky to be part of a great team where we all do our bit to carry the project forward. Our Team Lead is always with us, not only technically, but also to help us solve any problem we have within the company. I consider his soft skills to be his main characteristic. Naturally, and thanks to his leadership, the team feels wrapped up and we have a sense of community among us. We are a true team!
What is the most important thing you have learned in all these years working remotely?
I think that the most important thing is communication and dealing with other team members. One detail that I do not want to leave out is that most of the communication will be recorded. This can help us a lot in certain needed cases, we can review it and clarify those doubts that we have. It is also good support for possible conflicts and helps with transparency amongst the team.
What tips/advice can you give people that are adapting to a remote work environment for the first time?
Be clear and precise. Effective communication is the most important thing. Being remote, your only backup is what you share with your team. Be grateful and collaborate with your peers. All of us, at some point, are going to encounter conflicts, whether technical or otherwise, and having your colleagues is essential to complete the tasks in a timely manner.
To understand if for both of them, who they had totally different working experiences, remote work is an opportunity now a days we asked them the same 2 final questions.
Do you think working remotely is something good that companies should adopt?
Jorge: Without hesitation. I think it is the present and the future. Not just in the programming industry but in any job that doesn't require that physical presence is mandatory.
Frank: For sure, especially for work that doesn't really need someone to be in a specific place. A lot of people and companies could benefit from this.
Do you think that having the opportunity to work remotely opens opportunities for people around the world? Why?
Jorge: Absolutely. In fact, I wouldn't have had a chance to work at Jobsity if it wasn't for remote work. As everyone is connected to the internet, job opportunities are many and very diverse, so you can find the ideal place for your professional and personal growth. It is important to highlight that, as everyone is connected, your competition is too. The excellence of your service must correspond to the existing demand in order to be successful.
Frank: Absolutely! In my case, I live in a country where not many people speak English, and it's very easy to lose practice, so working remotely gives me the opportunity to practice. You also get to know people from different countries and cultures, which opens your views of the world. Additionally, professionally you will meet with a completely different work culture than yours.
We can conclude that everyone that has tried this new work trend, which we are now forced to adopt thanks to COVID-19, recommends that working remotely has more positives than negatives.
So in a dev's perspective, they say yes to remote work!!
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