About Remote Working

Posted on July 13, 2020

I have to be honest: I never thought I wanted to write a post like that.
During the last two years I worked in a consultancy company (openmind), where I had the possibility to work from wherever I wanted for two days per week.
Despite this, I never really wanted to work from home.
Colleagues were great, working environment was really cool and we even had free coffe and table tennis, so why the heck should I have worked from home?
After two and a half years, I resigned and started to work for ViacomCBS, which is an amazing company too!

But something happened.

I started to work for ViacomCBS during the lockdown in Italy, and after four months, I haven’t had the chance yet to go to the office.
That has been incredibly life-changing to me, because I’ve never really considered the possibility to work remotely for such a long time.

Life quality is more important than work life quality

I’ve started to work as a developer around 2013, and since then I’ve never really worked remotely. It happened some times, but after a couple of days I always come back to the office.

After four months working 100% remotely, I can definitely say that my personal life quality improved drastically.

In my past jobs, I had to wake up really soon just to take the train/car and go to the office as quick as possible.
Today, I can wake up just one hour before starting to work, do a great breakfast, play with my dog, take a shower and then start to work.

My productivity has definitely been enhanced.
Working from home means that you’re working in a really familiar environment. I feel more relaxed on my own chair, working on my own desktop and deciding how cold my room have to be (I love cold rooms!).
If I struggle a lot with a very specific problem, I can just distract myself playing for one minute with my dog, clearing my mind before going to work back that specific problem… most of the times finding the solution more easily.

During my last few months I’ve encountered many problems to solve, and I’ve never felt so relaxed when working on them.
That is not because I’m working in a new company with different problems. It’s just because of the environment.

And what about monthly expenses?
I used to spend between €50 and €150 per month just for going to the office (by train or car).
I also used to spend around €100 per month for lunch (yes, I have meal voucher, but lunch is often more expensive).

Last but not least, I just want to spend more time with my family than working somewhere. Private life quality is more important.

Enhanced communications between colleagues

When working in an office (it doesn’t really matter which company you work for), there are much more distractions.
A customer calls, your boss comes to your desktop and you have to quit what you were doing just to take care of that new problem that changes your plans. After working on that, a colleague wants to play a tennis table match, so how can you say no?
And what about all the meetings you have to attend in a day?

Remote working solves all these problems.
Thanks to the great organization of my current company, I know that I have a specific time interval scheduled for asking really specific questions to my teammates.

Let’s say that I cannot merge my feature branch into develop after completing my task.
Normally, I could go to the devops guy and stress him until he fixes the issue with the Jenkins pipeline.
But working remotely, I know that I have to wait until (let’s say) 4pm for asking him. Most of the times I’m not the only one experiencing this particular problem, and the devops guy fixes that issue because of Jenkins/other-CI-tool alerts way before 4pm.

That’s just a silly example, but there are a huge number of cases where problem solves just by waiting.
Are you struggling with a bug? Try to do something else. Most of the time you don’t need external help for that, you just need to take a break or focus a bit more on it.
But if you really need help, you perfectly that (again, let’s say) at 4pm there will be people that can help you.

Meetings are scheduled following everybody’s calendar, that needs to be compiled in order to avoid overlapping events.
You perfectly know when you have time to code, to make some code review or to schedule another meeting.

Also, Slack and other similar tools are just better for keeping track of everything you need for working.
Writing down everything helps you a lot when you need to work on something new (or if you have a bad memory, just like me).

Conclusion

That said, I really hope to work more remotely in the near future.
I just bought a new house, adopted my first dog, and I’m living with my girlfriend.
Remote working gives me time to handle all my personal commitments with ease and spend more time with the people (and dogs) I love.

Remote working is a form of respect for employees.
We don’t need to be closed in offices in order to achieve our results.


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