In a globalized world, remote working is becoming more common every year.
Subjects like local infrastructure, collecting payments, meetings, language barriers and any work related aspect can be covered here showing how developers are working right now from all around the globe in different companies located in different timezone while maintaining a good work-life balance.
I work in an "officeless" distributed company (16 people to date) and even if we still don't have timezone issues (we go from UTC-0 to UTC+1) I'm really interested and engaged in this topic, so I upvoted.
Miguel, this is something I deal with every day. I am preparing a future talk on this but I am not sure what sort of conference it is good for? It doesn't seem like Magento Imagine or Live would be interested so perhaps a conference with only Developers.
We have approx 50 developers in 6 locations in 6 languages. It makes for an interesting day.
After being a remote developer at varying stages throughout my developer career path. It is definitely something more should consider to obtain talent they normally wouldn't be able to find as easily locally. As you mentioned there are lots of barriers to get through in order for it to be successful, like time zone differences, language, communication, etc.
I think the key takeaway for anyone considering using or becoming a Remote working developer to remember the golden rule for any industry, communication is key! It is even more important being remote and not being within the same office to easily collaborate or talk with fellow team mates on a project. But with good Managers and Developers that understand this will usually be able to hit milestones in projects more often than not, which ultimately means stakeholders are happy!
With Slack, Skype, Email, Phone call, etc. it also cuts down on a developers time to be able to stay focused on their tasks at hand and not have to re-enter the "zone" per sei. Once you have something you’re working on loaded up inside your head, a colleague may come to your desk about a problem they have, just to BS or ask you to lunch, etc. The best way I’ve heard it described is having a glass house up in the air as you're working on it and soon as you get disturbed it comes crashing down and takes you an hour to pick up all the pieces and continue. ( Why programmers code at night: https://swizec.com/blog/why-programmers-work-at-night/swizec/3198 ) It is one of the main reasons I prefer remote working, as I tend to suffer a bit from ADD and Dyslexia.
There are some disadvantages however being a remote employee, you can very easily get cabin fever, burnt out, etc. as your office becomes your home so you never really have a clear separation of work life and personal time. It can be very challenging for people who are extroverts, but let’s be honest most developers are pretty introverted. However, we all need human interaction to stay sane, not just your kids or wives/husbands, etc. but others with common ground. So its important to get out of at least once a week or such to keep your sanity. Some others I know who do the same will go to a coffee shop one day of the week and work there just to have some new human interactions.
The advantages tend to lean more towards the developer than the employer which may be why some companies are still apprehensive in regards to it. But their overhead operating costs will be MUCH less with a 100% remote workers, even so with mixed as there is less transportation occurring (more time spent coding than sitting in traffic), environmental impact of less cars on the road at rush time. Smaller office spaces and even the flexibility that allows their employees a happy work-life balance as they can now easily take kids to school, dr appointments, tend to household chores and make up their work time later in the day.
A really good list from one of the Founders of Stackoverflow in regards to their policies on Remote Working:
Anyhow, long comment I know but originally back when I worked with X-Cart back around 2000 I was working remote and really had to come to realize these important factors. I have worked in offices, and now remote again at agencies since 2014.
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