Working remotely is awesome. So good, in fact, we recommend it for everyone – and it’s a benefit that an increasing number of tech pros are seeking from employers. If you’re curious as to why, here are the things nobody tells you about working remotely.
Offices have dress codes, and they’re stupid. Sorry, HR, but forcing me to wear khakis to the office just so I can sit through meetings and “blend in” is a terrible idea.
Working from home, you get to wear what you want. If you feel like wearing slacks (first, who are you?!), go for it. Does it seem like a flip-flops and t-shirt kind of day? You do you, buddy. And hey, nobody said you even have to get out of your pajamas!
While tech jobs typically have a loose policy regarding casual wear, it pales in comparison to your own dress code. So long as you’re getting work done, I doubt your boss will care what you wear. Unless you’re on a video call.
Yeah, leftover fish can be reheated in the microwave. And yeah, it’s gonna stink the place up. It sucks. But when it’s your place, you can do what you want!
An office environment means you have to be considerate, but ‘considerate’ doesn’t get that leftover halibut into your gullet. If you worked from home, you could reheat that fish without thinking twice and dip it in as much sauce as you like.
You can also put dishes in the sink without rinsing them. Or take as many bathroom breaks as you want without worrying what everyone thinks of you. Listen to your music without headphones – or hey, grab that fifth cup of coffee, friend. You deserve it.
Meetings Are Terrible
Dear Sales and Marketing Teams,
It’s with a heavy heart that I write to inform you nobody cares about your thought process for the new initiative launching next Spring. We do not care about your thought process, how you arrived at that cleverly worded pitch, or what impact you think it will have.
Instead of a meeting in Conference Room B, I’d like to teleconference into the next get-together from my home office, where I will be passively listening to your speech as I’m doing my job. While you will see me as ‘attending’ the meeting on Skype, I’ll be on mute, coding on my second monitor. During your hour-long presentation, I’ll have been getting actual work done rather than rushing back to my desk when you’re done.
Nothing you say in these meetings has much impact on my job, but I appreciate your work. If you like, please do email a bullet-pointed recap of the meeting. There’s a 50-50 chance I’ll glance at it.
(your name here)
Every job has office hours. It can’t be avoided. What can be avoided is commuting, which is a shadowy time-waster.
Here’s an example: You work from 9:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. You have to hop on the train by 8:25 A.M., which means you have to be up at around 7:00 A.M. to get ready for your day. After work, you’re back at the train platform by 6:00 P.M. or so, and home at 7:00 P.M.
That’s a 12-hour day.
But if you work from home, that 9:00 A.M. start time could mean rolling out of bed at 8:30 A.M. – or even 8:55 A.M.! Similarly, you could spend your mornings doing healthier things like exercising or eating a balanced meal. Or getting a lot more coffee into your system. Or watching cartoons and eating cereal. You’re an adult, do what you want!
Bottom line is: not commuting saves time, as well as sanity.
Pets & Kids
Some offices will let you bring your very chill dog, and that’s awesome. But maybe that’s just not your dog. Or maybe you have a cat. Or kids!
Working from home is great for those with pets and/or children. You can let the dog out while still working, or take it for a quick walk around the block. In an office, you might have to trek down flights of stairs or endure a long elevator ride before the dog gets to do its “sniff the same tree 55 times then pee somewhere else” thing.
Cats are less fussy, but soothing nonetheless. It might seem like your cat doesn’t care if you’re around, but it does. You have thumbs, and can access the treat bag. Your cat loves you, servant.
There are also those days when your kids just don’t want you to leave. It’s not about paying attention to them all day; they just want to know you’re there. If you worked from home, or had the luxury to do so at your leisure, mornings without crying kids would be much easier on you and them. Don’t overlook what working remote can do for your work-life balance.
The Vagabond Lifestyle
We toss around phrases like “working from home” often, but working remotely really means not sitting in a soulless cubicle. You don’t have to work from home!
Let’s be honest, though – you will spend a lot of time working from home. But in those times you want coffee from your favorite little roaster down the street, you can just tote your computer along for the ride. Order your oatmeal-milk latte and work from your favorite little table. Then, when it’s time for lunch, pack up and move onto a bistro.
You can also choose to work in your yard when it’s nice out. While your Slack channels are opining about how nice it looks out of the office window, you can be working on your tan!
Remote Jobs Are Really Great
Full- or part-time, working from somewhere other than your office is awesome. For all of the reasons above, and many others, we encourage everyone to give remote work a shot.
Many top tech companies make remote working core to their culture, and there are tools like Trello that render managing your workflow really simple. If your current employer doesn’t offer the option to work off-site, we suggest you follow some Twitter bots to find a new gig that embraces remote working.