In recent years, working remotely has become a more popular office perk not only among startups but enterprise businesses as well. Some companies even ONLY work remotely. In this week’s episode, we’ll discuss our experiences working remotely, the pros and cons from an employer and employee standpoint, and provide some advice on whether or not working remotely is a good fit for you.
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- What does it mean to work remotely? - 1:36
- What is our experience working remotely? - 2:34
- Pros & cons - 7:08
- What makes a successful remote work experience? - 21:05
- Should you work remotely as your first job? - 27:11
- Personality traits for a healthy remote work experience - 31:35
- Tips for working remotely - 33:31
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Kelly [0:00] In recent years working remotely has become a more popular office perk not only on startups but enterprise businesses as well. Some companies even only work remotely. And this week’s episode will discuss our experiences working remotely the pros and cons from an employer and employee standpoint, and provide some advice on whether or not working remotely as a good fit for you. Let’s jump in.
Welcome to the Ladybug podcast. I’m Kelly.
Ali [0:24] I’m Ali.
Emma [0:25] And I’m Emma. And we’re debugging the tech industry.
Kelly [0:28] When’s the last time you work on that side project? You’re always thinking about how much progress could you make if you had three months to work and learn in a roomful of smart, friendly, intellectually curious programmers. If you’re thinking I can make a lot of progress, you should check out the Resource Center. The resource centers like a writer’s retreat. But for programmers, there are no classes or teachers. You direct your own learning and time and it can explore what interests you in a supportive community of 1600 programmers from all over the world. Whether you’ve been programming for six months or 30 years recruit centers for you. Maybe you want to recreate vintage computer art, make history missions to rest, learn computer science best practices or start developing a new programming language. Those are all things people have done at recur center. You can attend a retreat in Brooklyn for one, six or 12 weeks. Ricoh center is free for everyone and offers living expense grants of up to $7,000 to people from underrepresented groups. They have an integrator recruiting agency and offer career support, whether you’re looking for your first programming job, or you want to find a senior role at a great company. Learn more about recruit center and how to apply at www.recurse.com Okay, so let’s go ahead and get started here. So what does it mean to you to work remotely? Let’s start there.
Ali [1:36] So working remotely is working in a distributed manner where instead of everybody working at the office every day, in one central location, people can work from home, whether that’s one day a week or something along those lines or fully remote, fully distributed companies. So the communication is usually coming up is usually happening online and stead of in person at a physical location,
Emma [2:03] I think working remotely as being able to do your coding wearing pajamas with a cat on your computer. I’m kidding. But most likely, like that’s what my working remotely looks like. No, yeah, I think what does it mean to work remotely? I think it’s the ability to work, like Alice said on distributed teams. Perhaps it doesn’t look like the traditional nine to five, especially if you’re working with distributed teams across the world, and not just within a time zone or two. But it’s going to require a lot of changes to your workflow and your productivity. And I’m excited to delve into those with all of you today.
Kelly [2:34] Yeah, I I’ve been working remotely pretty much all of my life, except for a one small stint at the CDC for nine months. The rest of the time. I’ve been working remotely. So I have a I have a lot to share on this topic. So yeah, so let’s go ahead and talk about our experience with working remotely since I’ve already started. So I freelanced full time solo for three years. After after the CDC. So I don’t know how many years it was maybe as Three, two, I don’t know, either way, I only knew what it was like to work remotely work by myself. But I think a big difference there is that when you’re freelancing, it’s not like you’re collaborating on a team or anything. It’s really just a lot of email and phone communication with clients. In my case, I launched the tap room in October 2017. And that’s when I actually had team members that I had to collaborate with. So I had to change my own working style to to work with additional people now. I love it. I think I’m still not very good at working remotely on a team and we’ll dig into that a little bit more from the employee employer standpoint later. But that’s been that’s been my experience is basically the only thing that I know how to do.
Emma [3:45] Awesome. I have interesting experiences with working remotely for a few reasons. So I am a third generation IBM or so like I grew up having parents who worked at IBM and IBM was notorious for lying. It’s an employees to work remotely. And that was like one of the biggest perks that they offered. And so, you know, a few years ago, my mom, you know, moved down to Florida and they built this wonderful home and she was going to work remotely. And then the IBM as a company came back and basically was like, Okay, if you’re working remotely, we’re just continuing that park and you have to come back to one of the sites or basically lose your job, which is ethically like, I don’t agree with that decision. It really forced a lot of people to uproot their family and move them back. But this was an interesting idea, because as a company that was so adamant about this perk of working remotely, and under the benefits of it. Now, they were just completely switching their story, which was very interesting, and they were talking about co what’s the word? Not cohabitation, co located colocation and colocation that one. So I’ve kind of been through a lot like in my personal life when it comes to working remotely because my mom would like pick up her life and neither box New York and it was like kind of traumatic, but in terms of my own personal experience working remotely. I work at LogMeIn, which we have tools for remote collaboration, like I worked on goto meeting. And so because I work on these remote tools, and I work on distributed teams, of course, I have the ability to work from anywhere, which is really, really cool. Also poses some some negatives that we’ll get into as well. So it’s something that I definitely take advantage of. But for me, personally doesn’t necessarily fit my lifestyle.
Ali [5:29] Yeah, so I have been working remote for almost a year now, before that I hadn’t even done a work from home day, other than like snow days at work. So this was a totally new experience this year. I was totally terrified going into it. And I upfront told the company that I was working at at the time that I don’t think that it was going to work for me. And turns out it has not worked very well for me. So we can talk about that more when we get to the pros and cons but I started the year in an engineering position that does working remote. They’re completely distributed. So I was in DC, and they were all in New York. And then right now I actually teach remote. So I work for General Assembly who I used to work for, which is a coding boot camp. And I lead a coding boot camp that is taught completely over zoom online. Part of me really, really loves it in a lot of ways because it allows people from all over the country to learn and you don’t have to move to a city to learn how to code, which I think is absolutely incredible. That being said, For me personally, it’s still really, really hard to not be working in person with people and not bounce energies as much off of other people as well. So we can definitely get back to that whole conversation, but that is my experience working remotely.
Kelly [6:51] It depends.
Emma [6:52] It depends. I totally because I feel like it’s great in terms of work life balance, flexibility, but it can also lead to some negatives, and I think that Let’s just jump right into that Kelly from like a, an employer perspective, what are some of the pros and cons of allowing your employees to work remotely?
Kelly [7:08] So I’ll start with the cons, the biggest struggle that I’ve had in growing my business is being able to form cohesion for a team, like having the team feel that they’re actually a part of the team. And I have a smaller team it is, you know, we’re currently nine people total, that’s two full time employees and seven contractors, which also adds to the complications of things of being able to have everybody feel like they’re a part of this one team when they’re probably working on other other projects for other people as well. And I think the the other big struggle is, you know, not always sure if team members are actually working effectively and in I’ve unfortunately experienced this from my own team members and you know, if you have deadlines that you will probably try to hit but when you start asking questions as to why things aren’t, you know why they’re not hitting deadlines, and it comes out that they haven’t really been working effectively at all for for a lot of time. You know if that’s that becomes a hard thing to balance and it’s a it’s a trust thing as well it makes me question you know, should I even be hiring remotely. But hiring remotely allows me to expand my applicant pool, which means I can bring on talents from outside of Atlanta and I can have some really, really, really great team members who, you know, they don’t live anywhere near here, but I know they’re going to do a great job and they’re going to be a really important part of our team. And also just a great group for hiring. Unlike the two of you who don’t like working remotely, except Emma’s is part time liking remote work. A lot of people do do want that, you know, they want to maybe maybe both the husband and wife are sorry, that’s whatever your your living situation is. You want to be able to stay at home and work with the people who you’re currently with. Or maybe you have kids at home, you want to spend more time with them. It opens up a lot of these opportunities to be able to to work from wherever maybe you want to Be a digital nomad like like alley. And that also opens up these doors too. So yeah, I mean, it’s a it’s a really great hiring Park as well. So that’s my my little pros and cons list from an employer standpoint. And I could probably spend an entire episode talking about those, but I’m just going to stick with that.
Emma [9:17] I think there are a couple other things too, though, to unpack here, because I’m not gonna let you just jump right in. In an employee standpoint, we got a lot here because one of the reasons that I think going back to my little IBM anecdote, which I guess made no sense in that context, but I wanted to unpack a little bit further is the fact that working remotely allows employers to kind of reduce overhead costs with providing like it like a huge office building. They don’t have to like lease an entire building for their employees. Now that being said, perhaps you want to give them a stipend to go work in a co working space, which I know you work in a co working space, but in general not having to lease out an entire building or pay for electricity or all of those things that can be a huge benefit. Right. And I think that’s one of the reasons that IBM initially allow their employees to do That. The second thing and I’m not sure you know if this is a this is a benefit on both sides of the employer and employee but for employees with disabilities who are perhaps maybe anxious or embarrassed to, you know, use extra help to get their daily tasks done. We’re doing a lot of accessibility testing at LogMeIn and one of the things that we’ve seen is that often employees are anxious around or shameful around having to ask for additional help or additional software to help them achieve the tasks they need to to achieve. And so perhaps allowing your employees to work remotely makes them feel more comfortable in a space where they they know how to get their tasks done. And they don’t have to worry about how it comes off to their their co workers. And also perhaps you have like a chronic illness, and maybe it’s just not practical for you to commute every day. These are benefits we don’t really talk about but that are huge to certain people.
Kelly [10:54] Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And it also goes beyond people who you know, maybe they they just have no general anxiety around being around like a jump in public and being able to work from home and not have to, you know, communicate with people face to face, it decreases their anxiety level. So that’s definitely another major perk. Okay, so let’s switch from talking about the employer standpoint to the employees standpoint.
Ali [11:20] Totally. So, from a negative perspective, I think one of the hardest parts is the feeling isolated from your team. I know that I am somebody who really works well with other people and like bouncing ideas off of people and like, brainstorming and being really close to my co workers. My last couple jobs, I’ve always had people that I was really, really, really close with as friends at work and they became more than just work friends. And so I think that that is really really something that is difficult with working remote is that those connections are much harder to make and they can formulate, but I don’t think It’s really the same in a lot of ways. And I think just in general, that ability to feel connected and like you’re really part of the team, and that there is really a team instead of just a bunch of individuals who are working on things. I think that that is something that probably could be fostered. But it takes a lot of work to get there. And it’s not something that I have necessarily been able to find yet and a remote team.
Emma [12:26] Yeah, I totally empathize with that. I think I’m a social being. And, you know, because I kind of sold everything and moved to Europe where I didn’t speak the language and I didn’t know anybody having the ability to work remotely internet for some outside my comfort zone to meet people. And I think that that’s where I struggled for a long time as I didn’t really make friends with my co workers. Now I understand being friends with your coworkers is not something everyone’s on board with and that’s okay. But I do think that hindered my ability to forge like, you know, somewhat of a personal bond with people and that can be really hard for me, that’s something that I don’t jive well with. I need that connection to people. I think you You know, in accordance with that finding a mentor, as a result was really hard. I didn’t. You know, when you don’t have personal connections with people you work with, it’s really hard to find a mentor for things you need help with. And then one of the last things I suffered a lot with was this timezone difference. So I work a lot with people in California, which I believe is like a nine hour time difference from Germany. And this is really hard. While we can work remotely What that means is typically I work pretty late into my evening. So it’s not unusual for me to work until seven or eight at night. Not every day, but it does impact my work life balance. And so it’s just it’s a lifestyle adjustment.
Ali [13:32] Yeah, definitely. And it’s definitely tough to maybe shut down sometimes to when you’re just at home all the time, kind of can feel like you’re always working. So when I was in DC, I was planning on getting apartment with a dent in it to make it so that I would at least have a separate working space within my home. And I think that that probably would have helped a little bit because I was working out of my business Drew, essentially, because I was living in a tiny apartment that was meant for when I was working in an office and my, my apartment was essentially just a place to sleep. So that is definitely a big adjustment, as well as maybe having some sort of separate space to work so that it feels a little bit less like you’re just working all the time.
Kelly [14:22] I think another thing to touch on this as well is when you’re using these tools to allow teams to collaborate remotely or using things like Slack, which is always on, people can message you at anytime in even though you know, you can turn off notifications or you know, go on Do Not Disturb whatever, you know, I’ll get messages on weekends from people saying like for Monday, blah, blah, blah. I’m like, that’s great. But now I’m thinking about Monday. And now I’m thinking about what you’re asking me about Monday and at this point, I might as well just respond to you. So you have this like constant connectedness, which is funny because you also never really feel connected to the team. But yeah, it adds like another level of struggling to kind of maintain that work life balance is you’re, you’re literally always connected unless you don’t put, you know, slack on your phone, which some people don’t do that.
Ali [15:12] Totally, totally. I think another piece of this too is that I found that there’s less casual discussion and like brainstorming sessions when you’re working remote to in person, these conversations just kind of naturally happen or you just have ideas together and go on tangents and teach each other things and have ideas for what you all could be doing better. And those kind of casual conversations happen a lot less frequently in a remote setting, and less potentially, your and I think that all of these cons definitely are much more applicable in a fully distributed fully remote situation or a situation where you have a couple team members that are fully remote rather than our other situations where you’re mostly in person but have some remote days worked in. I also I heard somebody recently who has half a day work remote and half of the day in the office. And I was like, that’s kind of a dream situation, potentially. Because you could move around. Can you times? Yeah. So I definitely think that there would be some ways that I could work remote. But for me, I think I’m going to do this you’re working remote and then find a place to work as soon as my contract is it or work in person. As soon as my current contract is up, just who has it’s really difficult for me to deal with all these cons and they don’t outweigh the pros. For me.
Emma [16:36] I really think that’s interesting about like shifting your commute time because when I lived in Austin, Texas, I live like really far south and being able to shift my commute time home from like, you know, 5pm to 3pm instead would save a solid hour of my day that I could then just pick up back at home and so like, in terms of my employers return on investment, I would say was a better one because I was happier. I was producing better output. Still in the office for the majority of the day, but I was consciously choosing how to spend my time, which I think is important. So I, I see the benefits and the drawbacks of allowing your employees to work from home, there is definitely some risk there, especially if you know, your employees aren’t necessarily trustworthy to getting their things done. I think that’s a separate issue. But if you do trust your employees, and you want them to be happy, I think that it’s a benefit that it’s, you know, it’s a good thing. And I think on the pros, let’s switch into the pros of as an employee, the work remote, yeah, that goes to travel or to flexibility. Travel locally, to and from your job, but also, like, I’m sure you can also shed some light on this alley. But being able to work remotely has allowed me this year to go to a lot more conferences, speak at conferences, not have to worry about taking vacation for every single trip I take. And that’s been really invaluable.
Ali [17:52] Yeah, for me, I’ve been able to move around and again, do conferences and all of that and right now, unless living out of Airbnb. So that’s definitely not something that I would have done if I was not working remote. And so that’s been really cool. And there’s definitely a huge pro of working remote, especially the whole rise of digital nomad ism. And I’m not a real one because I just am living in the United States because of my dog. But I think that that’s a really interesting future as well. I think it’s difficult because of stability. But at the same point, it is something that is a huge benefit to a lot of people.
Kelly [18:30] It’s something I’ve really enjoyed as well, like my husband’s company only recently started implementing a work from home policy, which is like, think it’s one day a week or one day every other week is still not a lot, but it’s a start. But when you know when he has to go on a business trip, like a lot to go to Chicago for a week or New York per week or wherever it might be. I could just go with him because I can just work from wherever and that’s it. I’m still working. And obviously I’m my own boss. So ignore that part. But like yeah, for other people who have a different person running the company. It’s a major perk to be able to, you know, travel with your loved ones, travel with your family and continue working and not use that vacation time.
Emma [19:09] Well, yeah, especially for me like working abroad. It’s not like I can just fly home for a weekend trip. Like when I fly home, it’s a solid, like nine to 12 hour process to get home. And so, you know, my family is getting older, and it’s not something I can just do on a whim. And the ability to go work from home for a week or two is just invaluable to me. So
Ali [19:29] totally. And then I think the other really big benefit and I kind of hinted at this earlier with my students is that you can have a lot more of a geographic at least diverse team, where people can be coming from anywhere within, I guess, the legal requirements of your company, but instead of everybody having to be in the same city, or a set of cities, if you have multiple offices, they can be anywhere and so you can have people from Iowa, Kansas In these places that aren’t necessarily tech hubs contributing to your team, and that definitely brings a diversity that a lot of city based companies wouldn’t be able to have. So I think that that is a really big pro of allowing distributed teams,
Emma [20:16] I think to like, when we think of, like, if your if your company is based in like Chicago, for example, like, and this is to your point to you, but having the ability to hire people from all over the country, and the world allows you to hire diverse people, not just in terms of geography, but from all backgrounds. And I think, you know, there are so many benefits to hiring a diverse team. But this isn’t something you necessarily you don’t have the most diverse candidate pool when you’re just hiring in your little radius around your your business. And so the ability to broaden that to potentially the entire world will allow you to bring so many new perspectives and new people to your team, which is really invaluable. So, so we talked a lot about the cons What? Given all of this? How do you make remote work successful?
Ali [21:05] Uh, one other one that I wanted to talk about really quickly is for the flexibility of if you have like children or something along those lines, or you have a family being able to go pick up your kids during the day or something like that, I think that that would be really beneficial as well. Just wanted to put that
Emma [21:22] Well, I think and this maybe warrants a little bit larger of a discussion to is like this whole stigma around like, women who are having a family, like we always look at women and think like, oh, if you’re pregnant, like it’s going to hinder your career. And I think to some extent, unfortunately, that has been the case. I think allowing your employees to work remotely opens up new opportunities in this area and can hopefully alleviate some of these negatives, maybe of this. The stigma is like, let’s help break down these stigmas of like, oh, if you’re a woman and you’re pregnant, it’s going to be negative, like your career is going to be over. It’s like well, if you provide remote opportunities as well, and you know, it’s not just women staying home with Children, let’s just be clear about that as well. This provides any parent the opportunity to stay at home with the children or leave early to pick them up. And I think that’s, that is like a huge benefit that we don’t really discuss.
Ali [22:10] Yeah, I mean, this is a much smaller scale, but I had a baby puppy for a large portion of this year. And puppies are a lot of work, much less work than a human child, but I could take her to the dog park during the day, I could take her out a bunch of times, I didn’t have to come home to get her or anything like that. And so I could definitely see a future stage of life, working remote being a much better option for me, especially if I’m living with other people. I think for me, the hardest part was that I live alone. And so it was just very isolating or is very isolating, I guess I still am working about. It’s a little bit different teaching but yeah, I just wanted to put that quick blurb in as well.
Kelly [22:53] Yeah. Okay, so so we I think we’ve exhausted these pros and cons at this point. Let’s go back Talking about what makes all remote working experience successful. And I’ll start things off with what’s been most important for me is having a dedicated workspace. And I’m not okay, so I work out of a co working space. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. That could be the you know, the route you go. But even just having like a specific part of a room in your house, and this is where I do work. And this is the only place where I do work and makes it really helps with the work life balance, because you can physically separate yourself in some sense from your work and be able to disconnect. I found that to be really, really helpful from when I was first starting out, working remotely. And and being able to actually get things done and dedicate time to being like, this is where I’m going to be working. This is where I’m going to be sitting for the next number of hours, and then I’ll move on to something else that’s not work related in a different part of my house.
Emma [23:51] Yeah, I think being able to separate your work life spaces is going to help your mind also shut off when it’s no longer work time because that’s one of the The pitfalls of working from home is that if you don’t take proper care to separate the physical spaces that you do work and the physical spaces that you relax, you’re never going to relax like this is the same thing as working from bed, which I’m totally guilty of. But as a result, like I have trouble falling asleep at night, because my brain thinks it’s time to work. So I think that’s one of the biggest, one of the biggest things that are is going to make or break your work from home experience.
Ali [24:29] I think a really, really important thing is to have regular stand ups or team meetings with your team and so that everybody can communicate at those times, I think was formalized ones where everybody’s you’re saying what they’re doing for productivity purposes, and making sure that everybody’s on the same page. You know, you’re collaborating on projects that everybody’s not overlapping or anything like that. But I think another piece of this also that I have found really helpful is having the schedule time for brainstorming sessions to. That’s something that I added in later on my time at Dev was just having like creative brainstorming with another team member. And then we do that to some extent at ga as well. And so I think that that’s really important that you have the time to be creative and thinking about a little bit outside the box and not just have everything be about work every single time that you talk. So maybe you’re getting to know each other as people as well.
Kelly [25:31] Just important. Absolutely. And one of the things that I think it’s pretty cool, it’s a it’s kind of a thing that’s set up here in Atlanta. If you’re working if you work well working around others, but you are on a distributed team, you might be able to find like a group of other local remote workers. There’s one here in Atlanta and they just jump around to the different coffee shops or co working spaces around Atlanta and they just get together you know, twice or three times a week to work. And I think that’s the coolest thing because it gives you that opportunity to connect with others. People who are in a very similar working situation as you who you know, there are things that you experience as a remote worker that people who always work in an office don’t really ever see. So they don’t quote like completely understand what it’s like to work remotely. And these are people who get you. So I think I think that’s a that’s definitely a good idea and if something doesn’t exist in that in that case, you know, you can also look into just participating in local meetups after after work to connect with others as well.
Ali [26:30] Totally. Also, I was at co working days with friends that also worked remote so I when I lived in DC, when I knew people in rural New Hampshire right now where I know nobody, but I would go to like a coffee shop for a full day with friends and we would work from there. And that would be a nice way to have somebody to talk to as well and even more recently, I was with a group of friends and we were all going on like a girls weekend trip and Friday that we were all Going We did a full day of working together in a co working space in the city that we were visiting. And that was really fun. So, yeah, definitely creative ideas here.
Emma [27:11] What about for someone whose first job this is? So working remote sounds great for maybe a seasoned developer who has experienced learning how to learn on their own and making connections? Is this something that we should recommend for first time developer as well?
Ali [27:30] Same, I do tell. Kelly, you want to go first?
Kelly [27:32] We may get into hot take territory here. So I’m going to preface it there or we can disagree. So we’re going to find out. We have not previously talked about this. So this is going to be exciting. So I think if you are a junior developer who is looking for your first job, you should be working at an office. I think there is so much you learn working around other people and being in an environment of people who are also you You’re going to be around maybe other junior developers, you’re going to be around senior developers, you’re going to be around so many other people, and you not only learn a lot from them, they may be near them. But just like you get an inspiration and growth by from seeing their growth as well, I think there’s a lot of benefit to having your first job in an office. And I’m, I’m totally cool with the idea of like, one or two work days a week that are working from home. But I honestly honestly think that if it’s your very first developer job, you should be working in an office.
Ali [28:29] I 100%. Agree, I get asked by junior developers all the time, how to find a first job that’s remote. And my advice is always to if at all possible, don’t. I think that similar to what you were saying, having people in person to ask questions to that you have a full on connection with that. You can really get the specifications for projects in person I think is so important. But one exception to this is teams that have been doing remote for a very long time that are very, very good at it. So I think if companies like Trello and Get lab who are just known for having incredible remote cultures. And I think those would be the exception to the rules. But for the most part, if you’re working at like a startup that is just trying out remote for the first time, or you’re like, the remote person on your team that just terrifies me from a junior developer perspective, because there’s so much that you can learn from seeing other people’s code and working with other people in person. So I’m glad that we agree on our hot take there.
Emma [29:25] So I agree, but I also think it’s, oh, gosh, this is hot take territory. I think it’s us being in a place of privilege to say that all like as a junior Dev, or like someone new to the industry, like we recommend it, I think, Okay, let me separate that because I think we can have recommendations. I don’t think this works in all instances, right? Because this is great for people who have the privilege of going into an office or have the ability to find a job where they physically can go in but again, this doesn’t work for everyone, right? Like In the US, this would work for us. This worked for me when I was able to move to Texas and that was great. But there are people who may be due to a disability physically can’t leave their home, or, you know, they’re in part of the world, it’s really really nearly impossible for them to find a place in person for them to go into and, and they don’t really have a choice. So I think I wouldn’t generally agree if you have the ability or the choice to choose like in office or remote, definitely go in office for your first job. But if you don’t have the choice, it’s okay, you’re still going to be successful and you’re still gonna be okay. It’s just you might have to take some more steps to ensure that you can find a mentor get help when you need it.
Kelly [30:37] I think Yeah, that’s a really good point to make and and also kind of sending off what you said earlier alley. in that kind of situation. Finding a company who was really good at managing remote employees and have like a really streamlined kind of process in place for working with remote employees. I think it can really add to the experience of a first hundred developer because they you know, this is just what they do. So this is what they’re what they’re already used to. So again, if that is an option, so if it is an option to if working remotely is the only option, if you can work for a company who has a track record of being really great work environment for people who are working remotely, try to go down that go down that path. So let’s talk about what it takes also to from a plumbing from a personal level, what it takes to have a successful work remote work experience, like are there certain personality traits you think that that lend well to working remotely?
Emma [31:35] I think you’ve got to be really good at being independent. And you know, me personally, I wouldn’t say I would say I’m independent to an extent but I also rely a lot on my co workers to bounce ideas off of and all of that, so maybe I’m not the proper personality type to be fully remote. I know that about myself though. I would say if you just don’t like working with people. This mean we all like if you don’t if you prefer work alone. This also might be a red flag, and maybe you don’t want to work remotely because what that can do is give you the opportunity make it easier for you to kind of silo yourself. This is also not a good situation because it’s going to hinder your collaboration. And as a result, like the end product that you’re building with people, if you work on a team, and you are just kind of more introverted by nature and don’t really like to collaborate, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend working remotely because it’s going to be really easy for you to not try to collaborate.
Kelly [32:30] I think that’s a that’s a really good point. I think also, it helps if you’re the type of person who is good at motivating yourself to hit deadlines, because if you’re not physically around people, having the reminder of things that need to get done, it definitely takes another and some extra work on your own side to keep yourself motivated if there’s nobody else around.
Ali [32:52] Yeah, I think another thing too is somebody that’s going to be really willing to force yourself to go out at night because I think that when you transition to remote, it can be tempting to just stay home all the time. I feel like that that becomes kind of unhealthy and then you’re never around people. And so I think you have to be somebody who will have the, I don’t know, the tenacity to make themselves still go out at night, even if that or even just for a coffee in the morning with somebody or something along those lines, like making sure that you’re still getting a lot of social interaction, even though you’re not with people all day.
Emma [33:31] Yeah, to take the initiative, essentially. Yeah, yeah, this can be this can be hard. And I think this almost like leads into potentially some of the tips that we have for working remotely. We already talked about a few of them, like separating your work and personally for your separate office spaces. I think another big one I noticed myself doing when I would work from home I like would just roll out of bed and start working. I’m most productive in the morning. But what that meant was I wouldn’t get ready for the day and if you work remote full time, this can be hard. This can be hard for many reasons. You almost I started forgetting how to be a proper human and like getting dressed for the day and like all of that. So yeah, I would just suggest if you do work remote, full time just like make an effort to get up, you know, go through the same morning routine that you would have if you weren’t working remotely. I think that’s really important. That’s really good. Yeah,
Kelly [34:16] I think also, if you’re somebody who works while around a schedule, set a schedule for yourself, even if you’re working remotely, you can technically work whenever I find that is very helpful for me to work just, for me a standard work day, otherwise, I will work 8am to midnight, and that’s not a good thing to do. I think also, I try to leave my space where I work to actually eat my food, like eat lunches and take in like have snack or whatever. I think if I eat in front of in front of my computer, I eat in my office, I’m always I’m never going to stop working. Because I continue to respond to messages. I see an email come in. I’m going to read it and I’m going to respond to it and just just again It’s that physical separation that really makes a significant impact on the quality of life for for worker.
Emma [35:06] Well, not only that, but that leads to really unhealthy like eating habits in general, like I noticed if I eat in front of my devices, but I don’t take breaks, I tend to overeat and I eat less healthfully. And this has definitely shown reared its ugly head in my in terms of my weight before somebody changes. That’s one thing that’s really, really nice. We need to do an episode all about like the differences working in Europe versus working in the US. But in Europe, you typically take a full hour lunch and you go out with your co workers and you eat and you talk and you do not eat at your desk versus like, Yeah, when I lived in Austin, I would literally sit at my desk and eat for like 10 minutes, just like shove my face, overeat and then like go back to work. And that’s so unhealthy.
Ali [35:46] Yeah, I also think that taking breaks like that was super, super good. So I would take runs in the middle of the day, and I would take my dog to the dog park and just break up the day and that way, it’s Because in person you would have, you know, the ability to go get lunch with coworkers or something like that and that is less true in person and I would also set up reminders to eat in the first place. We’re about fully right now it’s really nice because when I’m teaching I have like lunch breaks built in so it’s a little bit more structured and so that makes it so that I remember to eat but when I was working fully like as an engineer remote, I would not eat because I just forgot to so I think that putting reminders on your phone for all sorts of different things can be really helpful in that case as well.
Kelly [36:40] Awesome. I think I think we covered we covered a lot here. I think a kind of like a closing remark. It’s it’s important to know that as as we’ve discussed here, working remotely is not for everybody, if it’s not you know if not how you prefer to work that’s totally fine. If it is something you want to try. You can see if you’re As a company currently work for will give you an opportunity to work work from home one day a week or you know, once every other week, whatever it might be, just to see if it’s something you like. Or you can, you know, jump in headfirst. There are a lot of companies out there that that work distributed entirely that they do not have an actual physical office anywhere. So you definitely have your options open for you. Whether we’re working remotely is something you want to do or something it’s not. Yeah,
Ali [37:24] I think just even acknowledging that it’s not for everybody is so big, because I feel like I see so many heartaches online. They’re like, everybody should be remote. The future of work is remote. And it’s incredible for everybody. And for me, it wasn’t like my anxiety. It was the worst that’s been in my life because I wasn’t feeling connected. And I felt really isolated. And so knowing that about myself and knowing that I’m not unique in that I think there’s just a huge step and so that’s why I’m excited about this episode going out is hopefully making people feel like no matter what works for them that that’s okay. That working remote can be a really awesome thing in certain points of your life and not others and that’s okay as well. Cool. So transitioning out of this episode. If you liked it, go ahead and tweet about it will select one person each week to win Ladybug stickers. They’re adorable. If you know somebody who should be a guest on our podcast, visit our contact page on our website on Ladybug Dev. And you can submit a recommendation there. And we post new podcasts every Monday so make sure to be subscribed to be notified and leave a review. We love reading them. See you next week.