It’s been 6 months since I joined AOT Technologies as a SE-Data scientist and due to Covid -19 pandemic, on the day of joining itself, our director said this year you won’t probably need to come to the office. I have been a big fan of thing Work from Home for a long time, and during my college days, it was a big dream of mine to work in a remote company. It felt nearly impossible then, but then Covid-19 happened.

I first heard of remote work from Balu chettai whom I met during FOSSMEET 2018, NIT Calicut. Balasankar C has been working in Gitlab as a Distribution Engineer from 2016 onwards. He was working in a 100% remote company from the beginning of his career. It was during MEC.conf after his talk on how it felt working remotely. When he watered the plants at his house, the public perspective of his neighbours was that he was jobless, at the same time he had a great job, while the public perspective was that.

It was possible to work as remote teams even before the pandemic occurred. There were a few companies like Gitlab, Zapier, few teams with Google, Microsoft etc. embracing 100% remote work even before the pandemic began and a lot of companies supported work from the office if employees preferred that.

One of the best things about Covid-19 was it accelerated the whole scenario of work from home by at least 10 years. Now when I say, I work remotely from home, it is not anything ridiculous. A lot of people reply telling that a few of their neighbours who work in TCS, Infosys is also working remotely. Companies like TCS are embracing WFH and are aiming by 2025 to have just 25% of their workforce in office.

I am writing this article to have more clarity for myself to improve my remote work experience and reflect how the past few months to improve my workflow better.

Hits 🎯

Less Travel

Since my job, was in Thiruvananthapuram, it would have meant I should have travelled and stayed in a new city. If that was the case, it would have required me to travel weekly in Vanchinad express, every morning on Monday and return on Friday. I would have stayed with my aunt which takes daily about 1 hour 30 minutes in commute. So with a remote job, now I have more time to work even more productively.

Save Cost One of the best things is less cost of living, I am actually living in my house which incurs to me almost zero costs. Eating healthy food is way better than eating food from the hotel almost every day. This has helped me work on pretty cool things. And as always it is the skills that help us pay the bills even while working from home(Thank you Tinkerhub).

More time for health and side projects

I have always slacked on health, yet remote work has helped me find time to work out and lose some weight. It helps me to find time to walk every day. All this has helped improve my health over the past few months.

Flexibility

Remote offers great flexibility even while working for a fixed period of time. This flexibility is going to be very crucial in the upcoming years as more and more companies are moving to lesser work hours. I am seeing in the coming years we will be having more companies which offer 4 workdays instead of the current five and even 20 hour work weeks or less like how it is in companies like GumRoad.

Misses

Daniel H Pink in his book Drive: The truth behind motivation has a fantastic quote:

Being Professional is doing things you love to do on days you don’t feel like doing

A lot of experienced people who have been working remotely for years have commented that the current remote work is actually not similar to real remote work as that is not how it is actually supposed to be due to pandemic.

Less contact with people

The number of real-world people we met during the pandemic is very few. That was a big missing, even though I prefer remote work even it the future? (I am leaving a question mark because I have never worked in an office ever and the decision may be reversed in near future). I miss the conferences like Pycon India(even though 2021 Pycon will also be held online) which I loved so much to attend or the possibility of meeting colleagues somewhere.

Let’s see how will WFH be in coming few months!

  • Kurian Benoy