Life is about experiencing thoughts, emotions but it’s also about achieving things. As a software developer, theoretically, you are blessed with the ability to work remote.
Why only in theory? It’s because programming is not only about writing code or “persuading” the computer to do what you want it to do. As I found during my 2017 revelations, when I had 3 months of no labor, programming is about telling the computer/system to do what the business requires. Ultimately, it’s a business that pays your competitive salary, provides you with cutting edge technology and absolutely no one would pay you without caring how you do the job. After all, that’s why they invented methodologies & practices that increase project visibility and status.
On the other hand, not even the greatest rock stars achieve things only by themselves. They all have people behind the scene that sustain them. Imagine your favourite rock band or singer. They all have people behind that compose music, prepare the makeup, deal with legal stuff, producers, stake holders etc. The same goes for programming. Things are achieved in teams. The sales and marketing team within a company is similar to the stage members of a rock band. We need to remember that in life, everything is more complicated than it seems. It’s nevertheless quite hard to do that because as human beings we tend to take everything for granted. Like searching on Google. Does anyone think about the algorithms and the people who worked so that the search engine reached such a performance? It’s ok, don’t worry we are humans. Just imagine how easy is nowadays to search for the error message and you’ll find a solution in a matter of seconds.
Humans need balance in their life
Humans I said? Yes, that’s the word which leads me to thing about socializing and communication. Humans are sociable beings, they need to be engaged in activities with other people, to be around them. Hence, they transmit good vibes and positive attitude. If you work remote, it’ll never be the same as on site. Many may argue that we have tons of video communication tools, but in reality they can be frustrating when network connectivity issues arise, the microphone is not set up correctly, background noise is getting in the way or the person’s voice is feeble. Therefore, the video communication may widen the gap between team members. The thing is that even if these tools work correctly, you’ll still feel the need of being around people. From my experience, even when you are at the office with 40 people in there, there are many days when the atmosphere is so dull and boring that you’d rather be somewhere else but there. Still it’s quite easy to break the ice and engage into a conversation with someone.
So I’d say that the key thing there is to have balance and stability in your life. You can obtain it by going to the office half-day, 2-3 days a week remote the rest at home. Of course there is a but here; in reality it’s not that easy to find this kind of workspace. In the quest of answering why is that, I guess it has something to do with trust.
Trust, one of the pillars needed in every collaboration, is something hard to build. From the first handshake to the sweat caused by working long hours under pressure, trust is being built everyday by showing a positive can do attitude, solidarity, willingness to help, desire to serve the others and good communication. The latter is very important because without it, the others just fade away. How can you show a positive attitude if you don’t convey it? Additionally, miscommunication can happen during written messages like the ladder of inference.
Well in conclusion, I guess that trust is the one that keeps the remote work from being popular within many companies. I know people who had bad experiences with freelancers even with outsourcing companies. In my case, I never had a bad experience with a freelancer, but I had some unpleasant surprises as a freelancer myself. That’s why trust is very hard to build and has to be maintained regularly by working hard and delivering value to your clients!
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