It's not quite mainstream...yet. This means that despite many companies being "remote friendly", they aren't very well equipped to support their remote teams.
I was very lucky with Envato in that a couple of the early remoters before me really advocated hard for Envato to be a remote first company, and the engineering staff wanted to drive that support.
In the last 5 years, this space has started to expand. However, many companies still aren't interested in investing in remote work support and would rather invest in getting talent to come to wherever they have a physical office space.
Jacob is a Site Reliability Engineer who believes in asynchronous communication and bullet journaling - learn how he maximizes his daily "deep work" time.
Read full interview from Interview with Jacob, a site reliability engineer.
I have experienced bouts of loneliness where I can't seem to reach the coworker I need via Slack and have no insight into where they are. While not overwhelming, this feeling can sometimes chill the sunny disposition that the remote work life instills.
Furthermore, when you are on a team that is failing to build rapport due to geographic distribution, the distance feels that much more multiplied. Something as simple as whiteboard collaboration becomes a much bigger chore.
Easily, the biggest trap that's easy to fall into is working past traditional hours. You've never left the office, right?
Too often, I've neglected home errands or exercise to squeeze in "just one more hour". Before you know it, one becomes four. Is this behavior exclusive to remote work? No, but remote work definitely enables it.
Mark thinks that avoiding distractions and sticking to regular hours are perhaps the hardest parts of being a freelancer - learn his secrets to achieving a good work flow.
Read full interview from Interview with Mark, a programmer building bespoke business applications.
The only thing I don't like is the volatility, you can have work one day, then no the next.
John works remotely while using the latest web development technologies, learn how he works by reading his interview.
Read full interview from Interview with John, a full-stack web developer who works remotely.
Working remotely can be isolating. I’m an introvert, and even for me the silence can get to be a bit too much. It helps to have someone else in the space with you: a spouse, significant other or another co-worker.
It’s important to make connections, so I make a point to schedule coffee, hikes or other social things with friends.
Just stepping out once for a coffee midday is a really good way to counter some of that feeling of isolation.
Scott is a designer and developer that's been working remotely since 1998, read his interview to learn how he's been successful
Read full interview from Interview with Scott about working remotely for 20 years.
I like working with people and solving problems together. Brainstorming on white boards and generally talking with other people about interesting things.
Remote communication lacks the human element I find.
Nikita is an entrepreneur working on his startup while optimizing his productivity—learn how he organizes his life and work to maximize happiness
Read full interview from Interview with Nikita, an entrepreneur building a website to learn anything.
I find that remote working lacks a support system.
You don’t have someone you can pass off the work to if you aren’t feeling well or you have an emergency.
Emergencies happen. And when you’re working remotely, most clients expect you to be more punctual with your deadlines.
Ayesha is a freelance content writer—learn how she made the leap to remote work while building her blog and raising her family
Read full interview from Interview with Ayesha, a freelance writer that gained early clients through her blog.
There's a lot to like about remote, but it does require certain adjustments to personalities, habits and expectations.
Loneliness and perceived isolation. Humans are social creatures and - speaking as a lifelong introvert - there is just no substitute for face time.
Since seeing people doesn't happen organically in hallways or shared office spaces, we have to cultivate those opportunities remotely, even if it feels artificial at first.
We organize a variety of these events throughout the month - from small team talks, to company-wide lunch-and-learns & new hire meet-and-greets, to individual coworker "coffees".
I also encourage people to join or form non-work-related channels on Slack. They act as informal clubs, social outlets, and can be a great way to get to know colleagues across the organization.
Information overload. We encourage over-communication and use a variety of tools and services - like email / Slack / Basecamp / Google Docs / et cetera - to distribute it. There is a cost or burden on folks to have to find and retrieve it ("pulling"), so I also encourage folks to push that information out as much as possible.
(Example: "the schedule for X can be found [here]" and "fyi I've just updated the draft for X [here]", then looping in any key members involved.)
Timezones and asynchronous communication, in general, are foreign. Adjust your expectations, embrace the ability to "work async" instead of waiting until someone pops online and thinking you need that information right now.
Work/Life balance. It's easy to "do work" when it's no further than your pocket.
Learning to disconnect (and that it's OK to disconnect!) doesn't come naturally.
Eddie is an Engineering Director - learn how he manages to absorb interruptions and manage information overload while staying productive.
Read full interview from Interview with Eddie, an Engineering Director.
Ideally I'd work in a small, quiet office a short walk from my house.
I miss having coworkers to chat to in person whenever I feel like it but between real-life friends, family and web chats there's not really any meaningful isolation.
Mike got started with remote work after getting an offer from his dream organisation. Learn how he works remotely while working on open source projects and publishing books.
Read full interview from Interview with Mike, a software engineer who works remotely at GitHub.
I am extroverted so I definitely find the isolation to be difficult at times.
Luckily, having a dedicated office space in a co-working office helps alleviate that loneliness.
Because I have that flexibility (and membership also includes perks like free coffee), that takes care of any of the downsides I would normally have with remote work. It's actually pretty great!
Learn how Adam started working remotely from a cold-email on Hacker News, to how he's using a local co-working space to grow his business.
Read full interview from Interview with Adam, a UX engineer building his own consulting company.
One of the issues I have with remote work is more so unique to freelance work. As a freelancer, it can be difficult to understand the state and tax laws: paying quarterly, estimated vs. actual earnings, and paying online.
This situation has been a bit of a challenge I have had to get used to and learn a lot about.
The other issue is the isolation. I am an introvert by nature, so working alone is not a problem for me. However, there are times where it would be nice to work with someone who is in a similar situation. I have made a practice of having co-working days with old college friends and attending lunches with professional contacts to combat these feelings.
Chanell is a freelance writer working from Atlanta that writes about business management tips and video game entertainment threads.
Read full interview from Interview with Chanell, a freelance writer and social media manager.
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