At the begining of December I started working as a front-end developer at Scalac. The work is fully remote – I’m in Wrocław and the company is located in Gdańsk but a lot of its employees are also working remotely. I’ve never worked like that before so I had some concerns about what it will be like and if I will be able to handle this situation easly… Today, after a couple of weeks, I can share my current thoughts about working remotely with you!
Most common problems with working remotely
Before I started working for Scalac, I spent some time reading various articles about working this way. Please see below the three most common challenges you will be faced with if you decide to try it:
- It is hard to motivate yourself For me, this is not true. I see that now I’m even more productive than whenever before! After I wake up, I get dressed, make coffee and start working at around 8 am. I only have a short break for more coffee or for lunch. Of course, it’s not only because it’s remote work – I think now I’m doing really interesting things so it’s easier to be motivated.
- Lack of friends to talk to is depressing This is the other thing I disagree with. In Scalac, we have a very distributed team and everyone communicates on Slack. We also organise video-conferences using Google Hangouts so, this way, I can contact people in a more direct way. As you can see, now I can also have lots of colleagues – with only one difference – they are online.
- It is difficult to separate work time from private time It’s the thing which is, for now, the hardest for me. It is most likely connected to what I wrote in the first point – now I am doing interesting stuff and just forget what time it is… So I have to try to remember that at 4 pm I should finish and close WebStorm. It is sometimes not easy for me but it is possible.
My additional insights
I believe this kind of work is not for everyone. If you are sure you can’t motivate yourself, you probably won’t be good at it. You should also be self-motivated enough to look for things to do – that’s why you should be proactive and not hesitate to communicate with others. If you don’t know how to achieve something you can’t be shy. Instead, you should ask someone else – preferably on some public channel on Slack (or another communicator you use in the company) because this way you will be visible to others and they will remember that you exist.
The other thing is that the whole company you are working for remotely must be ready for this. This means that everyone in the office should remember the people working outside of it. I think communication is the key here… Tools like Slack really help but for it to work, everyone, including guys from the office, should use it to communicate with each other. Only this way remoters will be fully a part of the team.
I have been working remotely for only about three weeks – I’m curious if I will still like this kind of work in a few months. We’ll see. I will let you know if I change my mind 😉