Remote work – would you choose it?

(Sarah Hawk) #1

In the past month I have been asked by several people for tips/quotes about being a remote worker, for articles that are being written. That implies to me that it’s a hot topic.

I love remote working and couldn’t imagine going back into an office, but I suspect not everyone feels that way.

Would you take a remote job if it was offered? Or an office one, if you’re already remote?

(Courtney Howell) #2

I recently moved from remote back to an office (was working remotely for a little over two years). The office life suits me much better. I’m sleeping better, feeling way more productive, exercising more, and really enjoying life. Having a schedule forces me to budget my time, and I’m someone who needs that in order to accomplish all the things I truly want to accomplish.

I know this isn’t everyone’s experience. Before I went remote, I HATED working from an office (it could’ve also been that particular office), and I couldn’t wait to go remote. But now that I’ve experienced both, I prefer that office life. (I do miss daily snuggles with my kitties though…)

(Sarah Hawk) #3

How much of that comes down to the job vs the environment do you think? (i.e. are you happier and more productive because you love this job?)

(Travis King) #4

110% of the time :smiley:

(Mark Baldwin) #5

I’ve done both remote work and office work and as much as I loved working from home for the freedom it gave me, I have to agree with @courtney_howell that working in the office is better in regards to me feeling like I’m in the loop better. Working from home would often require me emailing the guys in the office when I had questions and that would add a considerable delay onto some aspects of my work, where now I just shout at people and bug them at their desks. :slight_smile: I also think the industry I’m in lends itself much better to office work rather than remote. I also know that I found it harder to manage my time better when working at home, I would often be answering emails late on in the day, where now, I feel I can switch off better when I get home. I do miss my long runs in a morning, but maybe I just need to go to bed at a decent time and drag myself out of bed earlier.

(Courtney Howell) #6

I lovedddd my previous job. In fact, I still do some work for them on the side. So it wasn’t anything like that. I wasn’t great at managing my time and would have to stay up late to finish stuff. I still always got my work done and would often work extra, but my work-life balance was not great.

(Sarah Hawk) #7

Both of these I totally agree with. Turning off is my biggest issue. I’m getting good at it now, but only after my family got pretty upset last year.

(Shreyas) #8

I would choose remote any day over an office job. It means so much more flexibility. [quote=“Mjbill, post:5, topic:5325”]
now I just shout at people and bug them at their desks

I would miss doing this, but I think an efficient Slack channel can help to an extent(also a strong believer of technology cannot solve all the problems :wink:). I look up to the Buffer team for their transparency and remote culture. I think culture really plays a huge role in keeping an organization alive and, most importantly, the employees motivated.

(Sarah Hawk) #9

I think one important aspect of this is the organisation that you work for. I’m not working remotely for an organisation that has an office. We’re fully distributed so we’ve mastered remote communication.

In the past I’ve been the only remote worker for an organisation and that was pretty tough – especially missing out on the social stuff.

(Mark Baldwin) #10

This is more important to me than I thought it was. I didn’t realise how much I missed the social aspect of an office, especially the banter and occasional pub lunch. :slight_smile:

(JoeBuhlig) #11

I love working remotely. But I have to confess that outside of my own business (~40 hours/wk) I also maintain a part-time (~20 hours/wk) IT position that IS in an office. I took that position exactly for this reason:

There’s a fair amount of creativity that comes from bouncing ideas with people and that’s really hard to get when you’re in your own home working day-in and day-out.

(Alessio Fattorini) #12

Do you work 60 hours per week? How? :wink:

(Sarah Hawk) #13

I have found a work-around. I go to my boyfriend’s work on Friday’s and join their pub lunch!

(Piper_Wilson) #14

I absolutely LOVE working from home. I think that @courtney_howell and brings up a valid point. I had a hard time shutting off, too. I even worked 16 plus hour days, not because I needed to but because I could.

For me, the social aspect could be good, but I have a hard time focusing when there are people around. Noise cancelling music and headphones only go so far.

(Sarah Hawk) #15

Me too. Unfortunately working alone for so long means that I have a hard time concentrating with ANY noise now (depending on what I’m doing).

(JoeBuhlig) #16

Don’t we all?! :astonished: I thought that was normal.

To be honest, it’s likely more around the 70 range. I get up at 5am and put in a few hours before my family gets up for the day.

(Jessica Malnik) #17

I don’t have even a fraction of as much experience as @HAWK has. I work remotely and have been doing it for over a year.

I shared a few tips about what I’ve learned so far in this post. (Mods- hope it is okay that I share a link in here)

(Bas van Leeuwen) #18

This is most likely a USA vs. Europe thing :slight_smile:

Even more pronounced in the Netherlands (where I hail from), read this testimony of a completely stunned Canadian expat into my home city :smiley:

(JoeBuhlig) #19

Makes a lot of sense. I used to work in a corporate office but most of my coworkers were international. It forced me to learn how to work across cultural lines. It didn’t take long to realize that I work a lot more than most and that average Americans are workaholics in comparison to pretty much any other culture.

(Kristen Gastaldo) #20

I’ve been remote for a little over 2 years now. It currently really works for me, as most of my team is remote (most of the time). I don’t feel so left out or feel like I’m at a disadvantage by being the only one not in the office. We use Skype, a bit of Slack, and Zoom for meetings.

That being said, I do think being remote lengthens the learning curve. I was learning a new company and a new audience and even after a year of working here, I still feel like I have A LOT to learn. I’m not sure if that would be the case, if I were in an office with the larger company/teams.

I have found that I need daily goals to feel like I’m getting things done in remote life. It’s easy to go through the check list of stuff to do every day - check your email, delete spammy accounts, retitle posts, move topics to the right location, add tags - general moderation type stuff. But then not feel like you’re getting the big picture stuff done, because you’re just maintaining. Maybe that’s not remote life, but community management in general! In any case, I like to set time in my calendar aside, to make sure I’m working on specific tasks/goals.

It is best to have a separate place to work and try to clock out when it’s time to clock out. I have a 2 year old, so he makes sure I don’t work when I’m off (IE when our nanny leaves)! On a personal note, I’m not sure how people with kids who go into an office make it work. Remote life takes away a good bit of stress from the “getting everyone out of the door by 7” and “what can we do for dinner it’s 6 pm” scenarios.