Working Remotely as a Software Developer – My Own Perspective
Due to COVID-19, a lot of people had to make a shift to working from home, myself included. I have been working remotely full-time since March this year. Like for many people, this is the first time I have had to work remotely for a prolonged period. I thought I’d write up a quick piece sharing my experience and opinion my experience so far.
What has it been like for me?
I am going to be honest from the beginning I think working remote is great, and I really enjoy it.
I have a dedicated office with plenty of room, so my work environment is comfortable. I have a dual 4k monitor set up and a new PC build. These upgrades happened as a result of having to work from home, but they are not necessary for me to do my job. I can do the same job working on my old laptop.
I purchased some other upgrades for the office since starting remote work, and I did my research to see what can be claimed back on my tax return. Spare any expense when it comes to office chairs, bad office chairs will literally break you. I can sit in my chair all day.
Working from home was a slight adjustment at first, but not as challenging as I thought. I find it easy to work from home as I work well independently, and thankfully I have good initiative and know what I need to get done. Tasks assigned to me are my responsibility, if they don’t get done, I will be held accountable. I cannot slack off. In saying that, I feel just as productive, if not more, as working from an office.
I have more time to enjoy as I no longer need to travel as far (because my office is across the hallway from my bedroom), and I have a few extra bucks in my pocket that I no longer spend on travel costs. I find the whole arrangement extremely flexible and easy.
I have no problem separating work from home, and my work to home transition is as quick as I can hit ALT+F4. I don’t associate any part of my home with work. Although I can’t say the same about working out at home, I just can’t do it.
Being a software developer, I don’t really need that face-to-face contact with anyone in the office. I do miss it, as well as the coffee breaks chats or lunch time walks. But being able to communicate with the rest of the team through applications like teams more than makes up for it. We still have our daily stand-up meetings via phone conference, although I doubt anyone is standing. And for bigger meetings we utilize the same conference number or a video meeting.
Being able to have lunch with my wife every day is a bonus. And quite often we will watch an episode of whatever series we are on.
I will add that while working remotely, we have been in a lock-down for a prolonged period. I will not let this part affect my opinion on how I feel about working remotely, as the lock-downs are temporary.
Some productivity negatives
I know I have been just as productive as working from the office, but there are a some things that sometimes get in the way.
Working remotely means I have to deal with RDP, and sometimes there are network issues. Network lag is the most common, and most annoying to deal with. We've had network drop outs at the office. I've had network drops out at home. I've had at least 4 power outages at my home, all of them were planned. And there was been at least 1 power outage at the office during work hours.
These things can slow down productivity. But these they don't happen frequently.
What are my hopes for the future?
There are many people out of work as businesses had to shut or they do not have the luxury to work from home, so I do really hope COVID-19 goes away to allow people to get back to living and working normal lives.
But I also hope that working remotely continues to be as widespread moving forward. I am unsure what will happen at my current place of work. It is not clear to me whether we will return to the office full time, or part time. Or if we will be given a choice to work remotely if we want. I can’t say that I won’t be disappointed if I must return to the office on a full-time basis.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have been working remotely this year due to COVID-19 and whether you enjoy it or not.