I asked one my workmates’ viewpoint about a voluntary remote work. Whether he likes it, or not and why. Guess what he said 🙂
1, Why do you personally prefer the homework, instead of working in an office?
Working from home has many positive aspects, which would not normally be available to an employee working in an office.
One can choose his or her own schedule, choose exactly when to work – or when not to work. If there is an important task that needs to be done in the middle of the work day, it can be easily done: just do it – and work another time. It’s the ultimate flexible time.
One can also choose a work location. Whether it’s from the comfort of a home, or from a balcony or a backyard – there are plenty of opportunities to make the work environment as enjoyable and efficient as possible. It doesn’t have to be limited to a home either – I have worked from a train, from an airplane, from a friend’s house, from a food court in a mall, and from a small tourist hotel in the mountains.
Another advantage is that some people spend a long time traveling to/from work. These two of three travel hours can be better spend for other things.
Working from home does require a certain level of personal discipline. One needs to be productive and efficient on your own, since there is no one watching over the shoulder to directly make sure the work gets done. One also cannot just “go home and leave work” – in other words, leave all thoughts of work at the office.
Working from home is therefore most suitable for people who are independent and professional.
2, Could it be a better solution for a client to have the work to be done with someone who works remotely, than working with a traditional (office type) supplier?
Working from home obviously only fits certain fields or jobs. A store clerk cannot escape from facing his customers. A company receptionist cannot welcome the visitors from her living room.
But an IT professional or software development is in a much different position. Of course, this type of work requires a fair amount of people contact – to determine what needs to be done, to co-ordinate work, to report on progress, and to stay in contact with a client or a supervisor, as needed.
But anyone developing software is essentially working mostly with their computer. The concepts and ideas in the real world need to be converted into a program, which is basically a series of instructions to tell a computer (or a web site, or a mobile phone), to do something. The developer’s job is to convert these real world concepts and processes into software.
This is best done in private, alone with the computer, and perhaps with a piece of paper and/or a planning tool. It’s ideal for working from home.
3, How do you see the future of IT or software development?
We are living in a world where more and more tasks are being automated.
Some people may dislike the idea. A 95-year old man complained to me once that electricity was a bad invention, because it took away jobs of people who previously had to carry bricks on their backs. From that limited viewpoint, he was right – but he wasn’t seeing the tremendous advantages that came with it.
Software and computers, if used correctly, can dramatically simplify and speed up many actions. A modern computer is a distant descendant of the abacus, but today, not many people would use an abacus – or carry a load of bricks on their backs.
Software will continue to improve and get better at doing what it’s intended for: to improve and make more efficient the lives of people and businesses. There is a large world-wide community of software developers, who have as their goal making things work, and making things work better. Many an idea that was created 10 years ago has been – by today – analyzed and optimized, to work in the best way it can. A mobile phone from 10 years ago cannot compare well to one from today. Some software programming methods from 10 years ago are out-of-date today, they have been replaced by something newer, better, faster, more secure – and faster to develop.
As programmers continue to improve their skills, to find better solutions to common (or uncommon) problems, they will find it easier to develop software that fits exactly the real-world ideas or processes that people and companies are facing. Better, faster, more user-friendly and more intuitive software continues – and will continue – to be created. I expect this trend to continue for many, many years.