As time passes, we see many and more trends in the world of technology. The move from enterprise to open source languages, the wavering popularity of various languages…heck, the move away from Windows Machines to Macs and Linux equipment. This list could go on forever.
That said, there is one recent trend seeing a continued surge: working remote.
Once upon a time, it was important to have developers, designers, and database administrators all in one place. The internet and web development was in its infancy, so telecommuting was rare at best, saved for salespeople or executives. The worker bees needed to be in their offices or cubicles in order to collaborate and get things done.
Flash forward to the burgeoning world of Silicon Valley startups just a few years ago. We ditched the cubicles for open floor plans - desks with no walls, ping pong tables and kegerators. The camaraderie increased - there was a feeling of TEAM! Teams were building and shipping code under one roof with no restrictions. This was a great idea…except you needed headphones to get anything done and the number of distractions (yoga, froyo, dogs in the office) skyrocketed.
But there’s a way to improve on this and people have been seizing the solution in larger and larger numbers - working remote!
Let’s look at some things people think about working remote, dispel some myths, and give a few tips and tricks to folks looking into working remote for the first time.
The Image of Working Remote
Many folks believe working remote is setting up on an isolated island, a place where your team members can never get a hold of you, meetings get dropped, and no one can rely on you. The truth couldn’t be more different!
When a team truly puts the effort into having members who are remote, the level of communication is raised, not lowered. Remote team members have Slack, IRC, video software for meetings, texts, FaceTime, and plenty of ways to stay in touch with everyone else. In this way, working remote becomes similar to working in an office with fewer distractions.
Remote Workers Work at Their Most Effective Pace
Folks who work from may home follow a schedule other than the traditional 9 to 5. This schedule flexibility leads to more productivity than if they were working an office, and the remote worker is also benefited by having a higher comfort level and dependable work environment.
When you work from home, set aside a place specifically for work - an office if you have the space, or at the very least a desk dedicated to working. This makes it easier to walk away from work and have a healthy work/life balance.
Myth: Remote Workers Means Less Secure Workstations
Let’s cut through this myth like a hot knife through butter. Just like in application development, your work environment (whether remote or in an office) is as secure as you make it. If you want a secure application, it’s the first thought with every feature.
The same is true of remote workers. Using secure VPNs, encrypting all work equipment, ensuring logins require Multi-Factor Authentication- these are simple steps to ensure a safe environment. That said, there is no way to be secure from all vulnerabilities. This is true regardless of your work environment set up.
Bad actors looking to exploit your business are always trying to get through your defenses, remote or on-site. We must all do our best to be vigilant and work securely.
Myth: Remote Workers Cost the Company More
This is one of the most interesting myths about remote workers. Sure, there is a slight cost for bringing the person or team in from time to time, but other than that - there’s nearly no additional overhead. No desks, no power, no need for space - how can you NOT save money?
With remote workers, the costs are minimal and the savings are abundant. But the main benefit is the ability to bring the right people in for your team, regardless of their location. This, above all else, is what leads large companies like Microsoft and Cisco to adopt remote worker programs. In the startup world, the benefit is even bigger as no physical office space makes it easier to focus on building the ideal team to carry the vision forward.
More and more companies continue to adopt Work From Home and Remote Worker programs. A few dinosaurs are unable to see the benefits, but as time pushes forward, the remote revolution will continue to grow.
And we say VIVA LA REMOTE REVOLUCION!!
PJ Hagerty is a developer, writer, speaker, musician, and Community Advocate. PJ is the founder of DevRelate.io. He is known to travel the world speaking about programming and the way people think and interact. He has been working remote for the last 8 years.