What do you not like about remote work?

Question: What do you not like about remote work? Read answers from remote workers to learn.

Interview with Gregory, a Senior Software Developer

If the company really values remote work, there isn't a ton I don't like.

It makes communication harder. This is something that every remote worker I know needs to continuously put in effort for.

The biggest thing missing is the ability to "overhear" things. If you are in an office with others, you might overhear that Bob is having trouble with that same component that you had trouble with last week, you might be able to offer him some pointers, or that Sarah is brainstorming a bit with Michael on ways to design this element, and you would like to be a part of that conversation so you can go over and ask. But when working remotely, you don't get that.

Conversations naturally tend to happen only with the people that they were meant to: Bob asked his boss about that issue, Sara and Michael had a call to discuss the design, and you never heard anything about any of it.

A policy of having conversations in a "public" space (like a Slack channel, GitHub issues, or some other kind of company "forum") can go a very long way toward solving a lot of this trouble, in my opinion.

Companies that don't understand the amount of work, and how much they need to really try to create a good remote work environment, are a really big downside. I don't really believe that it can work well unless a significant portion of the company works remote, or unless there are some very core very early employees that work remote.

Also, getting the job in the first place can be very difficult. You aren't competing against those in your area, you aren't even competing against those who are willing to relocate to that area, you are competing against the entire country, and in some cases the whole world.

Getting a job is a lot harder when statistically there is probably someone else out there looking for a job that will do it for less than you, and might even do a better job than you.

Add to that the fact that remote-work is still uncommon, and you now have a much larger pool of talented developers competing for a much smaller group of potential companies.

I don't really have any advice here, but it is a problem that I have encountered in the past, and it is a big downside to trying to work remotely.

Gregory is a senior software developer working from home - learn how he finds the balance between lack of focus and hyperfocus.

Read full interview from Interview with Gregory, a Senior Software Developer.


Interview with Nelvina, a fashion designer who designs bags and clothing

Sometimes, it can be difficult to communicate with clients. Given the fact that we do not meet in person, it is sometimes difficult to really understand the customer’s point of view. Nevertheless, we still have Skype and can have video calls to talk about projects.

It is also difficult to get quick responses from clients if I need to check something with them for a design element. Some clients have other jobs and are only able to talk at night and because of the time difference, we struggle to find a time frame for us to talk.

Many people do not even know Mauritius exists and they are sometimes afraid that I might not have the required qualifications and knowledge to design a nice product. Some businesses or individuals only hire designers from their country (e.g. America or Europe).

Nelvina is a freelance fashion and graphic designer that works remotely while working with clients all around the world

Read full interview from Interview with Nelvina, a fashion designer who designs bags and clothing.


Interview with Kevin, a developer and remote consultant

This is a hard question to answer.

I think if my goals were different - if I wanted to be more part of a team, if I wanted to move into management - I think working remotely would work against those goals.

But I am very happy doing what I do and my goal right now is to ensure I'm able to work this way for as long as I can.

I think that it can be helpful to work face to face for certain tasks. For instance, when doing deep design work, standing at a whiteboard together (or even at the same table) can be much faster than doing things in sync online. I think this can be solved with an occasional in-person meeting, though.

This may just be my computer, but video conferencing software often leaves me wanting. I look forward to better software in the future.

Kevin is a developer and consultant working on many different projects - learn which tools he uses to optimize his time management.

Read full interview from Interview with Kevin, a developer and remote consultant.


Interview with Igor Kulman, a software engineer building iOS apps remotely

Working remotely can sometimes get lonely. You can feel isolated, missing human contact. Communication can be also a bit tricky sometimes. It helps to work for a company that is remote, meaning most of the people are working remotely so the tools and workflows reflect that.

Igor converted a part-time contract into a full-time remote software engineering job—learn how he did it and his tips for working remotely.

Read full interview from Interview with Igor Kulman, a software engineer building iOS apps remotely.


Interview with John, a web developer who works from home

I love pretty much everything about working remotely, but there definitely are a few challenges.

When you work with a team 8 hours a day for months or even years, they become your friends as well as co-workers. Not having the option to end the day with an impromptu group going out for a meal is a bummer. For me, having a meal with my team would require a lot of planning and travel.

When I was running a business, I was really terrible at setting boundaries. It became very easy to be at my desk every waking moment. This lead to some terrible burnout.

I'm much better about it now, but I have to stay on top of it so that I don't fall back into old habits.

John is a web developer running a mini-agency inside a larger WordPress agency - learn how calendar management and establishing boundaries have helped him boost his productivity.

Read full interview from Interview with John, a web developer who works from home.


Interview with Meryl, a digital marketer and master of home office organization

Nothing. Love it. The challenge is to maintain enough business to pay the bills and keep going strong.

Meryl K. Evans is skilled at creating a home office that leads to remote work flexibility. See her advice for creating a successful workspace, and hear about her journey into freelancing.

Read full interview from Interview with Meryl, a digital marketer and master of home office organization.


Interview with Betsy, a head of content and remote work routine expert

As a huge introvert, I was surprised by how lonely I felt when I first started working remotely. It definitely took time to build both online and offline friends as well as making the additional time to prioritize that.

It also takes a lot of discipline to work remotely and I think that can be a big adjustment for many people, especially if you're used to a typical 9-5 work environment. This concept is a big reason why I started writing about remote work on my blog. It was to help others who found themselves struggling with the transition to remote work.

Betsy Ramser is a content manager, blogger, and teacher who helps other remote workers thrive while creating a daily routine that works.

Read full interview from Interview with Betsy, a head of content and remote work routine expert.


Interview with Jenna, a freelance writer who works remotely to help manage her health

I guess it can be a bit lonely at times, since interacting with coworkers face-to-face is no longer a huge part of my day.

I lean towards that being more of a good thing than a bad thing, though, because I’m so introverted, and I can always see friends when I need to.

Also, working remotely forces me to be self-motivating and hold myself accountable, and that can be a challenge at times, especially when dealing with depression.

As a freelancer in particular, I have to get used to putting myself out there, and dealing with a lot of rejection, which can be really emotionally difficult.

I knew that going in though, so I prepared myself, but there are certain days where it still gets me down.

Jenna started working remotely after realizing her office job was causing health problems—now she works as a freelance writer and writes about self-improvement

Read full interview from Interview with Jenna, a freelance writer who works remotely to help manage her health.


Interview with Harry, an IT Architect who works from home

It's difficult when your home is also your office, so I've always struggled with drawing the line between work time and home time.

I feel as though I've improved over the years, although the challenge increases if I'm approaching a deadline on a project.

Harry has worked remotely for almost 10 years as a senior mobile, web and desktop developer—learn how he balances work with family.

Read full interview from Interview with Harry, an IT Architect who works from home.


Interview with Laurel about helping companies transition to remote work

That so many workers are using location flexibility as an excuse to avoid work.

I have reviewed thousands of job applications in which the candidate says they want a virtual role just because they crave the freedom to travel, want the flexibility of working less hours, or feel the entitlement of not having to report to a boss. It is these attitudes that create the perception that remote workers are lazy and untrustworthy - because the perks of the job are being valued more than the job itself.

Too many people fail to remember that remote work is still work.

No one can build a business or a career without grit.

The remote workers that prove the stigma wrong are those that capitalize on location independence to fuel productivity, spark creativity, and maintain better work-life balance (which, in turn, enhances their job performance).

Flexibility and independence aren't the substitute for hard work, they are the reward for it.

Laurel is an advocate for remote work and helps companies learn how to work remotely through her consulting and writing.

Read full interview from Interview with Laurel about helping companies transition to remote work.

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