As a company based on the idea of remote work, we are experts in it. Thus, we decided to share a bit of our knowledge and experience surrounding remote work. After a company-wide brainstorming session, we have devised a master list of the advantages of remote work - according to our employees around the world.
Working remotely seems like a perfect solution to the inefficiencies of being required on site. That’s why it has become a highly popular and desirable method of work among employees and employers alike, especially in the creative and IT industries. People are now becoming more and more drawn to giving up working in open-spaces with free coffee in glass-and-stone skyscrapers in favour of working where they choose, be it a home or a different cafe every day. But what are the other advantages of remote work?
Advantages of remote work
The key word when it comes to remote work is flexibility. Most remote work arrangements come with flexible working hours, meaning you can adjust working hours to your personal life and habits.
As one of our Ruby on Rails Developers, Przemek, says:
“You can take a longer break during your work day to take care of your personal stuff (either planned or not).”
Whether that’s to do your grocery shopping, attend an appointment, or take care of children, it takes the pressure off trying to fit your life around your work. You are the master of your own time and schedule.
Flexibility in remote work means the ability to work from whatever spot you desire, so long as it has a stable internet connection, and allows you to focus and have calls with your team-mates. It is not only limited to your cozy living room. Cute cafe? Train? Summer cabin? That tropical holiday destination? Your parents’ place? Or even in your parked car? We have all been there.
As Monika, a Business Development Specialist recalls:
“I am known for not limiting myself to working just from home. I have worked in tons of different places. Once, while visiting my parents in my hometown I was supposed to work at my father’s office but it turned out that the office was busy that day. So I decided to work from my car! It was actually a great idea! My car turned out to be a fantastic solution for ad hoc, temporary work as it had a comfortable car seat, natural light - which is a must for me - and nice music.”
As you can see, working remotely can rouse your creativity!
Gaining greater freedom
Here we will focus more on your state of mind. Remote work allows you to just feel free on so many levels. Free to plan your day however you want, free to choose your location - and we don’t just mean an office space, but also the country. You can become a digital nomad - someone who travels around the world, spending time in different countries, while working remotely.
You are free to book time for your hobbies, as says Monika, iRonin’s HR Manager:
“One thing I particularly love is the ability to bike almost every day during the daylight. If I worked an office job, before I got home, it would already be twilight and no fun in biking around the neighbourhood. Remote work allows me to cater for my hobbies!”
Another iRonin team member, Jakub, mentions that:
“It may sound trivial, but remote work means that I can do whatever I want, not what the local job market is offering me at a specific moment.”
Similarly, our Ruby on Rails Developer Mateusz equates remote work and freedom:
“Remote work gives me freedom; freedom to manage my own time and freedom to choose places from which I want to work. It makes it possible for me to avoid getting lost in chasing every-day reality.”
Freedom means you can minimise the havoc of trying to juggle a multitasking job, personal things to do, relationships with family and friends, finding time for hobbies, and rest. Such freedom feels really great.
Improving the work-life balance
It’s the expression that is making waves in the business world - many corporations boast helping their employees to achieve greater work-life balance. But how can you claim that your company is giving its employees great work-life balance, when they are stuck behind their desks from nine to five, 5 days a week, and then commuting up to hours a day?
Remote work eliminates this problem. You can plan breaks during the day to, for instance, get your kid from kindergarten. You can work while being around your family; just feeling their presence strengthen ties. You can schedule for a coffee with your friend while working together in a cafe. Go for a walk with your boyfriend or girlfriend in the middle of the day. You can even have better relations with…your cat.
As one of our Programmers, Artur, points out - completely seriously:
“Working from home lets me spend more time with my cat.”
Everyone has their own “cat” :)
Saving money and time on commuting
Ditching the commute to and from work will save you money spent on petrol, bus tickets etc., and give you additional time to for your hobbies, healthy eating, sleeping, stroking your cat, playing with your kid, reading a book or doing whatever you desire. Some people waste hours every day on commuting due to heavy traffic or living far away. Adding up all that time over the course of a year you will discover that remote work can help you gain back days’ worth of time!
Lukasz, our Lead Developer, says:
“Working remotely allows me to spend more time with my family because I don’t waste time commuting - which can take a lot of time in a big and crowded city.”
Working in comfortable conditions
There is nothing cozier than home, sweet home. Working in an environment you know very well, on your own terms, can be great: with coffee in your favorite mug, in a comfortable outfit, by your desk or on your cozy couch with everything you need at hand. You can add lovely details that will make this space more personal and warm, like pictures, decorations, candles. You can also improve the ergonomics of your workspace, by having a desk and a comfortable chair tailored exactly to your needs.
As Lukasz points out:
“I’m able to customize my working environment according to my needs - I can work from home at my desk in winter or under an arbor at my parents-in-law’s house during summer.”
Organizing your work in your living room, kitchen, garden or wherever you desire can be fun and rewarding - in familiar, comfy conditions you feel better and thus you work better.
Our Ruby on Rails Developer Paweł confirms the benefits of a comfy environment:
“Working in conditions that are adjusted to me and are the most comfortable for me vastly facilitates the process of solving issues that I encounter every day while creating new IT solutions or improving existing ones.”
Being more healthy, less stressed
Offices, especially in autumn and winter, offer perfect conditions for viruses and bacteria. Staying at home can save you many colds. But it’s not only healthier because you’re less exposed to illness. Think about your diet and eating habits. For many that work in the office, you often neglect healthy eating practices. You grab something quickly on the way to work, then order pizza as you have no time for lunch, come back home late and are too tired to prepare a proper meal. Staying at home means you have more time - and a kitchen close by - to prepare healthy, home-made meals every day.
One of our RoR Developers, Darek, particularly likes this advantages, as he claims that:
“Staying at home allows me to care for my diet and eat healthy.”
Staying at home or working remotely from a chosen location is also less stress-inducing. Many office-bound employees find themselves struggling to stay on track when people are popping into their office or cubicle for a chat all the time. Working remotely, you can work at your own pace, without interruptions.
Having more energy for after-work life
Know the feeling of coming back totally exhausted after work and just dreaming about hiding under a blanket and binge-watching a TV series? You were supposed to hit the gym, but have no energy left for exercising. Friends text you to go out for drinks, but getting ready for a night out and leaving the house seems like embarking on an expedition to Mount Everest.
Staying at home or working remotely in nice conditions, not having to commute, leading a less stressful life - all of this means you have more energy and willingness to leave home in the afternoon or evening. Your after-work life can blossom - if you’ve been home all day you relish the chance to head out and socialize!
As Monika, our HR Manager, puts it:
“I’m less of a couch-potato now - I am more motivated to leave home in my free time.”
Spending less time on unnecessary meetings
We all have been there - sneakily napping in boring corporate meetings, wasting time on catching up on projects instead of working on them, ticking working hours away with yet another 1-to-1… Remote work significantly cuts down time spent on unnecessary meetings. You are calling in with your boss or colleagues, or discussing matters via communication channels such as Slack, Skype, Hangouts etc., and you don’t need to spend hours discussing irrelevant issues. Conversations are direct and to the point, both parties wanting to get on with their work quickly.
Additionally, when your remote work is connected to flexible hours and per-task settlement, you don’t want to waste time and energy on unimportant small talk. You focus on your work and getting it done in the best way possible, in the shortest amount of time.
As Darek notices:
“Working from home makes me more focused: I’m not distracted by co-workers and I don’t waste time on walking around the office, visiting the HR department or a canteen, or attending meetings”.
What about productivity?
So remote work is more comfortable, less stressful, and more flexible than working in the office. What about being productive? Well, research shows that remote work can also mean better productivity. As Forbes claims, it is estimated that employers in the US lose $1.8 trillion a year in productivity. According to the newspaper - and research - distractions common in the office like small talk and gossiping, excessive commuting, and sick leave are some of the reasons behind productivity losses. All of these can be eliminated through remote or from home work.
The employee is happier and more productive while working remotely - which also makes their boss (in case they have one) more satisfied. Well-organized remote work is a win-win solution for everyone. iRonin can be proof of this, as it is composed of a team of remote-working employees.
Our company is successful and the employees are thriving, loving the benefits that remote work brings. Want to hear more about our experience as a company built remotely from the ground up? Contact us with your questions. Perhaps you are a programmer looking for remote work opportunities? Check out our career page or simply send us your CV. You may be the next happy iRonin team member on board!