Probably many of you had chance to work remotely once for a while and felt that it’s great, refreshing new point of view on your everyday work.
However, many of us, IT guys: admins, developers, consultants etc. have the opportunity to do so much more often the others.
Recently I had opportunity to work remotely for over a month from my wife’s parents’ home, over the lake, with no city-life distractions.
And to be honest while those days were mostly a blessing, I’ll try to point few reasons why I find remote work hard, based on my recent experience.
You’d ask why?
Well, it’s quite obvious for us engineers to look for why something doesn’t work or where something can probably fail in a first place, isn’t it? :)
Pros of working at home…
That’s pretty straight forward, isn’t it?
You have full control over your time. Wanna work at 1 AM? No problem, go for it.
You have full control over your wear. Wanna work in on t-shirt on or in bathrobe or even in underwear only if it’s super hot (damn you summer!)? Sure, why not!
You have full control over your environment. Wanna work from your PC from beach – don’t hesitate any minute. Trip to another country? Give it a shot.
While many other freedom-related examples come to my mind, there are many things that can easily be lost halfway.
…and cons of it
One thing that I found terribly distracting working remotely is how others (family to give as example) perceive way you spend time in front of PC.
It’s extremely hard to make others understand that you’re not watching funny puppies all day long but you’re actually working.
Looking for a few minutes onto an empty wall made my family ask if I’m bored and got nothing to do.
That’s a perfect example of misunderstanding how engineer (or any other mental job) work looks like.
You’re not only supposed to click through things mindlessly. You got to think things through.
Other thing that I found extremely lacking for my productivity is workmates interaction on daily basis.
I love to spend time with my wife and my family but when you got same place and same people 24/7, you start to get tired.
And when you get tired, your creativity and productivity go away. You lose your focus.
You also lose chance to talk over your ideas out of your head with a group.
Sure, you might try to write a mail (and probably spend like hour to prepare it and think everything through to not sound dumb), but you’ll miss the very fresh, fist impression on others.
To be precise: I don’t neglect going through cons and pros of anything over the time, but think of it that way:
How many ideas have you abandoned, because you overthought them instead of acting?
Think of it.