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Pros & Cons of Remote Work?

vinayhegde1990 profile image Vinay Hegde Updated on ・2 min read

Image credits - https://www.ringover.com/img/blog/big/13-remote-working-2.png

With internet coverage practically available everywhere in the world, every one of us is aware of what Coronavirus a.k.a COVID-19 is and the ripple effects it's having across the IT Industry. In most countries, the intensity of the situation demanded a mandatory need to stay home, practice social distancing along with an enforced lockdown to flatten the curve. However as SaaS has to have a Business Continuity Plan irrespective of circumstances, the whole eco-system transitioned into remote working or rather, work from home.

Now, this led to very interesting insights into the whole work-from-home paradigm, some of which are already documented on Dev.to

However, my post isn't an addition to best practices towards WFH (have included one at the bottom, though 😌) but a little corollary based on my experience. With people gradually coming to terms with remote work being the new normal, this is also an attempt to engage with fellow developers here (i.e: you) to understand the mindset, rationale, and viewpoints behind it.

Let me start off by listing some advantages/disadvantages of remote work.

Pros

  1. It helps save a lot of time traveling to and fro from office. For e.g: The average time spent on commuting in Mumbai is ~2.5-3 hours.
  2. You can focus your energies on your spouse/kids, parents/elderly family members which is one way to achieve a personal work-life balance.
  3. There's always an extra hand to help out in household chores.
  4. Organizations save on operational expenditure by not having to operate/maintain a dedicated workspace, relocate employee talent across geographies.
  5. You're in charge of your own schedule and productivity.

Cons

  1. If a strict schedule/discipline isn't adhered to, office hours will most likely overlap into personal time thus disrupting the work-life balance outlined above.
  2. Remote work requires people to communicate frequently which can be very tedious if there's a lack of high-speed internet connectivity, power outages, and software/hardware failure (VPN issues anyone? 😰)
  3. Too many meetings/calls since little things that can be explained by walking over to a co-worker's desk will now need to be done virtually.
  4. A possible feeling of isolation since there will be little personal interaction which doesn't occur as much when working in a dedicated office.
  5. Family members, kids and/or pets can be a distraction sometimes.

PS: As promised, here is article1 and article2 for getting the best out of yourselves while doing work from home 😀


What are some of the pros & cons you've experienced in remote work?

Discussion

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gualtierofr profile image
Gualtiero Frigerio

So far I'd say it is more pros than cons to me.
Anyway, I have to say I'm lucky. I have a room dedicated as my own office at home, and my wife is taking care of the baby. So I don't have distractions, I have a proper working environment with a really good chair and my laptop connected to an external display, so great ergonomics.
I don't miss my daily commute at all (about 50 minutes) and the open space. We keep in contact on Slack and have some calls on hangouts and that's great so I can see my coworkers even if I'm not at office.

Only downside? I can't have my lunch break walk, I usually walk for 4-5Km and we're in lockdown so I'm not allowed to stroll around. That's not a problem with remote work and it will eventually be possible to have my walk even working from home.
I do miss pair programming sometimes, I'm in contact with the team so we can work together if there's something really hard that is blocking another team member, but at office those interactions are more frequent.

Hopefully remote work will be an option even in the future, I'd like to be able to WFH at least 1-2 days per week. This way I'll still be able to work with the team, but have more time for personal stuff like going to the gym and run some errands at the end of my work day.

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vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde Author

With all those amenities, you're very fortunate indeed. It also seems that you've taken to WFH like fish to water & I'm guessing it has helped you increase your productivity as well.

Post the lockdown, would you prefer remote working entirely if it's provided as an option by the company you work with?

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gualtierofr profile image
Gualtiero Frigerio

Yes, absolutely. But I don't think full remote will be an option.
I think some sort of remote will be allowed, maybe 1-2 days per week and that would be great as we had 0 remote work before the pandemic.

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vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde Author

That makes sense! As long as it's fairly utilized, 1-2 days/week of WFH should be available across companies.

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erikpischel profile image
Erik Pischel

I'm almost exclusively working from home these days.

Sometimes I miss my commute as a mental transition between work life and private life.

I miss the office equipment: 2 large monitors, ergonomic keyboard, a proper office chair and a desk I can lower / raise so I can work while standing, too. The last few days I literally worked in our bedroom at an improvised desk and a uncomfortable chair, typing on a laptop keyboard, staring at a laptop screen

I've got a lot of telephone conferences. The pro here is that I can do more than in person meetings, like walk around, putting the dishes away or playing the guitar.

So I think ideally I would like to 50% work from home and 50% in the office.

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vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde Author

I definitely agree offices tend to have better working conditions compared to most people's homes. Personally, I find being in an office space better because it emphasizes that there's work to be finished, puts one in a routine (thus one appreciates weekends even more 😌 ) & helps one learn more from actual human interaction than virtual

When all of this normalizes, would you approach your commute (assuming it's public transport) the same way as before?

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frankfont profile image
Frank Font

Vinay, your observations resonate with me. There are not just pros and not just cons. It is different.

I shared my minority opinion a few months before lockdown (I'm not a fan of remote work). “The Perfect Work Commute” by Frank Font link.medium.com/vEd9TDPHO5

Yet, I'm lucky I can work remote and am lucky to have a good set of contacts that I can collaborate with.

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vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde Author

Glad to know you related to them, Frank! I believe something like this can be treated as an absolute binary (i.e: 0 or 1, on or off, pros or cons) than ambiguity since people will either find favor with remote working or not.

On that note, could you share some excerpts from your article for those of us who don't have a paid subscription om Medium?

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frankfont profile image
Frank Font

Hi Vinay,

I'm not so sure it is binary for everyone. Some folks like working from home "sometimes" and in "some ways". Everyone has their reasons. :)

Here is a friend link to the mentioned posting: medium.com/@frankfont123/the-perfe...

It gets around the paywall.

Regards,
Frank

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vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde Author

Thanks for sharing the post, Frank! Reading it made understanding your previous point of why people will like office/WFH based on their needs & circumstances much easier.

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bwalowitz profile image
bwalowitz

I mean, what are the cons when your remote works? It's all pros. It works! you change channels from the couch!

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vinayhegde1990 profile image
Vinay Hegde Author

+1 if that was sarcasm but I believe married men here will disagree with you on being able to change channels 😝