The following is my personal experience and what I’ve heard from working in the industry in the past few years. It does not mean that this is how stuff works everywhere.
I’ve been working remotely for 2 of the last 3 years, across Italy and Poland, both as an employee and freelancer.
The freedom you get compared to a typical 9 to 5 office setting is staggering. It is worth a lot.
You can manage your time and know that you can always take a break. Do something else for a while. Go outside to think about a hard problem that needs to be solved.
In an office setting, there is often the mentality that whenever you’re working you need to be in your cubicle (or open office chair). If you’re getting up, you are surely taking a break.
I find having those 5 minutes to come up with a fresh perspective on a problem to be really important.
You also don’t have to waste time commuting to and from work saving both money, the environment and time.
Sometimes though, you need to meet people face to face and even though Skype and Hangouts are great, it’s not the same thing. And some people are not great at talking over Skype.
You need to also be focused and be able to work independently. You won’t have a boss to order you around most of the times. Because of that, it’s not a job for everyone, but if it is for you, it’s really fulfilling. You are going to find out real soon after you start if it’s for you.
Just don’t think that because you work remotely you have it easy and don’t have to work hard.
You need to be careful to keep your office time separated from your home time. Otherwise, it’s going to eat through both since there is not a clear separation between your home and your office. Make that separation. Physically if you can. Setup a different room as your home office and work exclusively from there and once you get out to stop working. The best thing to do to force the separation is to buy a desktop that you leave there (and also have a laptop to bring around whenever you need to go to the office or to a client) so you’re forced to walk back in the office to work.
Unless you’re working for yourself the attitude of the company matters a lot as well.
This if from my personal experience, it might not reflect the general situation.
- A few companies are fully remote and know how to handle it really well.
- A few companies are very open and receptive, only caring about the great work and the results you bring, no matter where or when.
- Most companies are not well equipped to go remote.
From my experience, the bigger the company, the worse it is in that regard. Meetings after meetings rigorously face to face, but even smaller companies have their problems.
Most will outright say no if you ask about the possibility of going remote without giving you a chance to explain yourself. The ones that accept (only after you proved your worth for years coming to the office) will put limits on how many days you need to still come to the office.
Remote work is the future of Tech. There is no denying it.
If you want to get the best talent you need to go and find it wherever it is. You can’t limit the pool to whoever lives next to your headquarters.