Working remotely means being able to work from anywhere as long as you have a internet connection. I’m working remotely since more than 3 years now so I wanted to explain the pros and cons of this increasing trend, expecially in the tech field.
This is by far the main reason why I love working remotely. The commuting is mostly a huge waste of time and money. If you require, for example, 30 minutes to get to work, that’s 1 hour a day, so 5 hours every single week! You could use that time for working out, reading a book, attending a course and so on.
Another advantage is to not depend on external factors like transit schedule, traffic, strikes, weather, etc. If you commute by car is the worst case since you almost cannot do anything else than driving and you may encounter an accident, bad weather, traffic jams or a combination of all of these together. If you commute by train/metro at least you are able to read a book or do something in the meantime. In short, not having to commute gives you more time for yourself and also more money.
Silence / Music
Since I’m a developer, I’m way more efficient with silence or with music I like. Constant interruptions obviously decreases my focus and so my productivity. I hate being in the office while: many other people are talking, some collegues ask me something stupid and another collegue invites me to have yet another coffee break. Some people may see this point as negative because it seems like you’re being too isolated or alone, but I usually prefer to meet with people after work or in the weekends instead.
Remote work and working from home are very different. Working remotely actually allows you to work from anywhere in the world as long as you’ve an internet connection. I don’t necessarily need to be at my home. That’s a huge thing since I can work from a Starbucks, from a university, from a library and so on! While travelling around Europe, many people told me that being that free is like “having the dream job”. Honestly, I cannot deny it.
Cooking your own meals not just allows you to have a better and more varied diet, but also to spend less money to eat. Tired to cook by yourself? You can always go out or order something at home. This point is most of the time an advantage expecially for those who have several and particular meals during the day because, for example, they workout and so they need a custom and strict diet.
By office setup I mean (when I’m not travelling somewhere) having my own powerful computer with my own stuff, my own external display(s), a fast internet connection just for me, my own comfortable office chair, my personal desk, etc. Some good companies give you all of that though.
Another thing I love about smart working is being able to have relaxing or productive breaks. It’s a science fact that everyone should take several breaks during work, so do it because at home you have plenty of breaks to choose from: reading a book, doing stretching, drinking tea or coffee, lay down on your comfy couch, etc.
Laziness and distractions
While staying at home you may have difficulties on being productive, expecially if you are used to office work. Since you don’t have anyone that watches you, it’s easy to get distracted and start doing something else instead of working. My advice is to have fixed working hours everyday (like 9am-6pm) and to limit your time on social media.
No networking or social interactions
This is absolutely a downside of working remotely. You can’t actually meet new people in your industry or field of study while staying at home, so you can’t expand your connections. Networking, expecially for non-developers, is an essential part of work, so you probably can’t miss it. To solve this you may begin working in a co-working space or something like that, but you would have to renounce to all the other pros described above.
As I explained above, for me there are way more pros than cons about working remotely, but it also depends on what person you are. I know people that prefer to strictly separate work and life, so they like to leave home everyday and going to the office.
To conclude I think that the best is staying in between of both worlds. It’s absolutely nice being at home or travel while working, but it’s equally nice to meet your co-workers once in a while to have a face to face conversation or a beer.