(This story was written by our very own Leandro and originally published on dev.to — a community for software developers)
What is a remote worker? What do they do? What do they eat?
I know, the internet already has many home office and freelance gurus, as well as a bunch of recipes to be successful working by yourself. So what I will try to address here are the uncommon topics, and provide a new look on the common ones as well.
Since you asked, in my personal opinion we first need to get some concepts clear before we talk about what it is to work remotely. People are talking a lot about working from home, especially nowadays, and I want to differentiate “working from home” and “working remotely”.
Working from home is what happens when you can’t normally get to work (your car broke, COVID, streets blocked by snow) or just because your company allows you to work outside the company building once in a while — the so called home office. Remote from Dublin, remote from the US, and remote during COVID are also new variants of home office.
Working remotely is when you work for a company but you don’t have to physically be there at any time. You are not limited geographically, but it’s common to find some limitations when it comes to the timezone (specific hours you have to be available). The hiring process may vary, and, in some cases, you would have to be in the office during the interviews, or right after you start onboarding, but that’s it.
I will be talking mostly about remote work, but to complete the list let me also mention the two extremes of work freedom: the onsite work where you have to be at the company office 100% and the freelancer who, at the other end, is completely free — restricted just by the deadlines of the projects.
The differences you see here will anticipate what you should expect if you decide to go on a remote journey yourself.
The recipe… (spoiler alert) there is none
Using a recipe metaphor: if I give you a Feijoada recipe I’m pretty sure you will be able to do something similar to a Feijoada. But it is also true that a person in Brazil, where I am now, may do a more similar version to mine than a person in China. The recipe is the same, the amount of each ingredient is the same, the process is the same but the meat, the beans and the condiments may be different. I think you got the idea but expanding on it you will realize that simple instructions like: get into a routine, buy you a second monitor, separate work space from home (I love this one) are not actually so simple and may just not work for you.
So, what I think is best is to consider remote work an approximation formula and write it using as many variables as possible. That’s what I will try to accomplish here by giving you my personal variables, and you will come up with your own successful formula for remote work.
Wait a minute… who are you?
Before I start talking about what I came here to talk about, please, let me give you a bit more information about me. And, with this, I am not trying to promote myself, it’s just that knowing more about me will help you understand how I see the remote work and will also help you balance what is important for you. And over the course of this series I will read comments like “you are saying this because of that” and I will be able to answer “yes, and I told you that before you read this”.
“I am a software engineer with 15+ years of IT experience. I prefer to work at night and I love changes and freedom”. That’s all you need to know to understand how I feel about remote work. I’m done talking about me, let’s get back to business.
During the next few weeks (or months, ‘cause I am not a YouTuber) I will be posting about some topics related to remote work, and most importantly how to connect despite the physical distance. My initial idea was to chat about it with a few colleagues, but then I decided to bring it to a wider audience, and maybe help some more people with the discussion.
Talking about discussion. What is your idea of remote work?