I've worked remote for 6 years now. During this time, I've interviewed, hired and managed hundreds of people.
This is what I know about remote work:
Pandemic Remote Was Not a Fair Representation of Remote Work
- Constant fear and anxiety for a global health threat
- Unable to go outside or meet friends and family
- Home-schooled kids
It was challenging to work in such conditions. Comparatively, normal remote work is much better.
Communication Is Key
Most people are not English native. There's weird accents, there's microphone issues, internet lag, etc
- Write often and in long format
- Speak slowly
- Listen actively
Inclusiveness starts with creating an environment where everyone can be understood.
Burnout Is Very Real
Meeting overload is a bigger cause of burnout than solitude. Most teams that went remote with the pandemic are in meetings all the time.
They lack async processes, and people get burned out. They need to actively reduce meetings.
Talent Is (Really!) Everywhere
I've hired people in countries I didn't know existed. And others where I didn't fathom to have programmers in them.
I love the diversity, the broader perspectives, and the deeper conversations about weather and local stuff. The world is a village!
Don’t Get Fooled by Pictures of People Working From the Beach
I tried it, and the glare on the screen makes it impossible to get anything done. Plus, where would you charge your laptop?
Instead, find a beachside bar with quiet environment, fast Wi-Fi, and electricity.
It's easy enough to work in very sub-optimal postures while working from home (eg: couch, bed, floor, etc)
Surprisingly, out of all the expensive home-office setup ideas, a mere $30 setup is what worked for me.
When Given the Choice, Most People Prefer Remote, or Hybrid at Least
In fact, I see many employees of large companies quite happy with hybrid arrangements.
Hybrid could actually be a serious option for many companies (despite my personal negative views on that, it's happening).
Quality of Life Became a Key Goal
People used to craft life around work:
- Have friends from work
- Live nearby an office
Now, people are choosing work that fits their life, whenever they can. That's why remote+async is the nirvana, because it can fit anyone's life.
Landing a High Paying Remote Job Is Very Competitive
Digital workers around the world dream of having a remote job, and many work very hard to get it.
Be prepared to put in the work and repetitions until you get your desired high paying remote job. Competition is fierce!
Many Companies Wouldn’t Survive, if It Wasn’t for Remote Work
Early stage startups that have a tight budget would never be able to hire engineers/designers/etc. in NY or SF.
Hiring remote talent and competing on local rates means survival for them, while creating opportunity.
Many People Are Making Life Changing Money
People earning a 6-figure salary while living in a low cost of living country can save much faster than they'd do if forced into an office.
It happened to me 6 years ago, and is happening with many more people!
The transition into remote work has been life-changing for a lot of people around the world. It does come with manageable caveats, but the advantages of working remotely far outweigh its demerits.
For anyone that’s actively working from inside the office, working remote is worth giving a try. Perhaps you can start with a hybrid working solution to see how remote work functions for you, and later decide if it’s your cup of tea.