April 29th, 2020

Is the job remote?

During #COVID-19 (which experts say it will take between 12-18 months for a vaccine, so it will take a while) more software development/services companies that can work remotely started to do so. Some are very true and opened to this and want to learn how to make this work for them. It's not rocket science, but it takes a lot of individual work and a change of mindset which is not always easy but there are plenty of resources online to help you out. There are so many absolutely great examples of remote companies. Companies that have hundreds or more (ehem...Github, Gitlab, Buffer etc.) of employees are fully remote. I trust your Software Development Company can manage this as well.

During my job search, I do see a lot of job ads that use #remotejobs and when you read the description, or in some cases, need to exchange a few emails, you find out it's not an actual #remotejob, it's remote sometimes when the company 'allows you' or when/if they are beginning to trust you. Oh, so many red flags here...

I am only talking about remote jobs in software development land because this is my preference and it's what I am looking for. Hence, I started to have my own filter of #remotejobs, especially in Romania, my own lovely country. A remote job is either "not working in your office" or it's not a remote job, at best is #flexible.

Anual or something similar meet-ups in real life is different and is risky until we have a vaccine for this worldwide pandemic.

Here are my thoughts on remote jobs:

- if I want to work remote, doesn't mean I want you to work remote. Do what suits you best and let me do the same.

- a remote job is independent of your company base town, base office.

- working remotely means your people can work and will work from wherever they want to.

- as long as I have a good internet connection, my location is not important.

- I still work the agreed hours, I am a professional.

- I still care about the quality of my work.

- I still give my 100% on the work I am doing. Again, because I am a professional.

- I still am proactive, and possibly even more because I have fewer distractions around me.

- working remote doesn't mean I am antisocial and don't talk to people. My life continues and is more enriched by better, more meaningful connections because I have more time now to take care of them.

- I don't need (in my software development world) to be 100% connected all the time with meetings. I need time to work, you know, the reason you hired me.

- nobody wants micromanagement.

- if you have issues trusting people to work remotely, you really need to check yourself. Would you try to cheat your way out of working properly? Would you?!

- remote work allows me to live in the countryside if I choose to and do my part to sustain local communities. Please check out Grow Remote Community.

- remote work allows me to not clog the air with car gasses so that I can get to an office. We all love clean air. We really need it to survive, it's not a future generation problem, it's a now problem.

- I can actually concentrate and do my work in the best environment for me and not have to wear headphones because of the very loud noises around me in the office. I am not the type of employee that wants to hear colleagues shouting next to me about yesterday's online purchase while I am thinking and coding (so many stories here).

- I can take care of my #mentalhealth and my family better because I take back my time I was commuting.

- I can trust you, as a company as much as you can trust me as an employee, there is no place for either of us to hide.

- teams are still going to be teams, even when everyone is in different places. A location doesn't give you extra 'powers', it gives you limitations. The way you are willing to communicate will go to the top of the list, as it should.

- I can work on my communications skills if I have something lacking, and this will make me an even more valuable team player.

I have worked in outsourcing land a lot of years. The basic thing about outsourcing is that the company parent outsources other companies/individuals to work from somewhere else. An outsourcing company is already a remote company. My project managers were from different countries. We communicated via the internet, of course, we worked using our widely already used tools in software development. I worked from Romania, for companies from Ireland, Germany and Sweden. Others work from Romania for France and USA and any other country. I was almost remote, now I want 100%remote.

I am very excited to see such a great 'movement' and shift in some cases in mentality. Being supportive of one another, being genuine, having trust between colleagues, will only bring the best results at the end of the day. We want to work the best we can, we want to live the best we can. We are going to improve what we can and recognise it needs improvement.

After we are all vaccinated and people won't die because of this virus, I think that going back to an office is still a nice option to have, only for those that want that (their reasons are valid for them and this matters) and definitely to those that the profession doesn't allow any other way. Some people don't have the option to work from home, because of the professional activity, and I think that giving space for this is tremendously good.

As a software developer, I want to engage with my colleagues, I want to engage with my family and local community and I cannot do it all from a daily commute to the office. Not everyone can have a sense of local community if we are forced by location.

If your profession can be done remotely, you have the chance! of reviving local communities, from where people left in the first place because this option wasn't available then.

Stay safe.