Honey, I’m Home-Officer! : Breaking the Myths of Remote Work
Work from the outside of a corporate office has been feasible for a long time. Nowadays working remotely is becoming mainstream, and is nothing new in the dictionary of the modern labor market. Developers, marketers, even sales are eager to use the possibility of remote work.
However, there are still many myths around this case, that don’t make it easy for people who are just thinking about working from home. In the following post, we’ll try to refute them and show you how well-organized home-office can work. Who knows, maybe you’ll find mobile work pleasant and effective for you as well!
For over 8 years, Stack Overflow website has been asking developers community on different subjects related to their job, as of how they learn, build their careers, which tools they’re using, and what they want in a job. According to the last Developer Survey 2018, 10.3% of developers indicated the possibility of remote work as the most important issue in assessing a job.
Such work organization is becoming a natural environment for both programmers and employees of different industries. The associated flexibility and mobility attract talented people seeking something more than regular 8-hours office work.
There are many varieties of mobile-working, from time-to-time work from home and flexible hours to completely remote work.
The benefits of such solutions are more than the ability to work in pajamas (let’s be honest – it’s probably your first thought then when you think about “working from home”? ;))
But despite how cozy your bed outfit could be, let’s keep feet on the ground because society have a few more misconceptions about remote work and home-officers.
And here we come – to bust some of those myths once and for all!
“Working remotely is not efficient” Myth
When thinking about remote work, you see a person unproductively hanging around the apartment in slippers and stretched tracksuits?
Work outside the office is based primarily on trust. In addition, it should be assisted by an appropriate ecosystem that supports productivity. And it’s not home furnishing what I’m talking about. Tools such as TeamSpeak or Slack effectively simulate team meetings and improve information exchange. It easily eliminates situations where people are left alone with problems as they can’t ask their mate form another desk.
“Communication in a remote environment is ineffective” Myth
Appropriate communication is essential while you work in a team. It allows you to solve problems and prevent unplanned downtime in projects, or conflicts.
While working at home you can’t visit your friend in open space and start conversations. In addition, without non-verbal elements, such as body language or tone of voice, it’s easy to misunderstand, right? Not necessarily. There are many solutions that allow remote teams to communicate effectively.
There is a whole list of tools ready to be used to communicate effectively. Here you may find few of them with a short description:
Skype, Hangout, Zoom – for conversations both with colleagues from the office and clients
Trello, Jira – for efficient project management
Slack – written communication and a central communication hub
BigBlueButton – for streaming video
TeamSpeak – voice communication and a central communication hub
Confluence – internal Wikipedia for documentation and knowledge sharing
Join.me, Zoom – for programming in pairs and company presentations
Git – a flexible version control system
GitHub, Stash – for code review
“A home office is not a healthy space” Myth
Actually, this myth is partially true. But only if you don’t organize your space properly. What does it mean? Is your home office set correctly? It is easy to be checked:
Stop whatever you’re doing and don’t move, just freeze. Now, evaluate your body. Does anything feel achy? Perhaps it’s your neck, isn’t it? How’s your posture? Are you sitting straight? Are your wrists and fingers fine after all day of typing?
If you’re lucky, you may provide consultations on ergonomic to your colleagues. But, if you’re among the majority without such luxuries, it’s time to change!
Your workspace at home should include not only the right seat position but also appropriate insolation. It should be also suited to your needs and tastes.
The best solution is to have a separate room reserved exclusively for work. This will help you clearly separate the workspace from the home space and realize that being at home doesn’t mean being at work and vice versa.
Workspace created in the way you want really pays off. You should take care of the necessary equipment and tools that will make your work smoother, such as an additional monitor or headphones, and the most important – access to a good Internet connection!
“Remote work = imbalance between work and life” Myth
It doesn’t matter if employees work at home or in the office – they still spend as many hours at work as they should. 8 is 8, 40 is 40 – none of them feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
People working at home perform their duties like everyone else, with a similar time. However, when they work remotely, probably they have a more flexible schedule. In this case, planning activities such as gym, time for the family, animals, passions, and hobbies is much easier.
If it’s necessary you can smoothly organize your workday around important family matters or other responsibilities. When you are at home, you are present at important moments of your private life, such as growing up and developing children, first steps, the first day at school, unexpected courier knocking on the door, plumber’s visit etc. It is a luxury that only some working people can afford.
And one more big bonus: remote work means no commuting, which means saved time, money and less pollution (environmental high-five!).
Bearing in mind all that busted myths, remember – the three most important principles of remote work:
- Never “disappear” from communication channels without prior notice
- Have a “to-do” list that helps you organize your tasks
- Don’t avoid social interaction – there’s great life after work, whether you are a remote or an office employee!
Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash