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Not so easy

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Subject:Not so easy
Summary:It's not so easy as listed to work remotely
Author:Scott Lyon
Date:2011-11-30 15:49:02
Update:2011-12-01 09:50:09

  1. Not so easy   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Scott Lyon Scott Lyon - 2011-11-30 19:34:03
The article does list some good reasons why working remotely can work, how ever there are a lot of reasons why it would not work:

For example, legal reasons, if you go to hire somebody in another province/state, usually there is more paperwork that needs to be done for the other province/state that are different from your own, some provinces and states even require that you have an office atleast somewhere in that province/state, labour laws and job laws are different everywhere and it can be a nightmare to hire remotely

As well, most of the company's I've worked or that do offer remote working, say that you should be able to drive in to work should your Internet fail or shoul you not be able to work from home, which is another reason company's dont like remote workers

And you can't forget reliability, it doesn't really matter who you work for, they will usually always want to meet you in person for interviews and for the hiring process, that said employers also want to know your reliable, a past company of mine require you to work in office for a minimum of 6 months before they let you work from home, this was to make sure that you are reliable enough to work on your own.

And you can't forget home distractions, you mention the Internet as a distraction, but at home there is so much more, such as the dishes, putting up Christmas lights, cleaning, so muc stuff to do that it can get distracting to be sitting at home working on the computer when all this home maintenance can be done, not to mention stuff like dogs, children, tv, and others.

Children can be an unexpected distraction, even if you have a spouse to take care of them, they can still be loud and distracting from your work, or you can feel the urge to spend family time in the middle of the work day.

TV, Pets, and other small distractions can add up, as well

So in conclusion, remote agents can work in theory, how ever putting it in to practice can be a lot more hassle and work then an employer is willing to do, more so if your only hiring a single remote employee

  2. Re: Not so easy   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Infiyaz Khalid Infiyaz Khalid - 2011-12-01 04:49:27 - In reply to message 1 from Scott Lyon
I fully agree with you!

In fact, I hired two people a few months back. One from India and one from my own neighbourhood. Both were good coders.

One day the Indian got a task and could not complete it on time. Then he started delaying feedback. Then he went off the radar. So with this attitude you cannot rely on such guys.

The other person had problems of manners. He would work late in the night and sleep till late in the morning. This let to disciplinary issues. We could never meet on time for a meeting.

I still believe that you find trustworthy, committed, hard working, punctual and capable guys. But just look at that list again. They're NOT easy to find and that's the truth.

Now I do it the hard way but it works. Full time staff have a fixed time in front of me. They don't have time for their nonsense. For this their price is a decent salary. And they're happy too.

Having said that, I still look forward to the day when I can have my developers working well from home.

  3. Re: Not so easy   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2011-12-01 09:50:09 - In reply to message 1 from Scott Lyon
Well most people that work remotely are in reality contractors, so it may not be such a legal hassle if workers are signed up that way.

As for companies requiring that you go to the office if Internet fails, those are the companies that do not value the importance of keeping the employees happy working from home, and use the Internet failure possibilities just as an excuse to not grant you that privilege.

Anyway, as commented in the podcast, a common alternative when your regular broadband connection fails is to fall back to a 3G access temporarily, so it is unlikely that your Internet will ever fail as long as you have good 3G coverage in your region. ...

I think it is fair that a company requires that you work for a few months in their office if they don't know if they can trust you are capable of working properly from home. But I feel that may be because you do not have good past record to demonstrate upfront you are reliable as you say.

In the podcast CÚsar Rodas gives you good tips on how to prove you are a serious developer not only in the technical sense, but also in the personal sense. One of the things he recommends is that you contribute to Open Source projects. That shows your competence publicly and says more than a long resumes which often are not accurate nor relevant.

As for domestic issues, you have to sort them out anyway soon or later regardless if you work from home or in the company office. Working in the office should not be an excuse for not having to deal with children, dogs, X-mas lights, etc..

Anyway, if you are concerned with being interrupted with domestic issues, you may do as CÚsar. He rented a small office close to his house and he works mostly from there to not be distracted by the domestic issues when you are concentrated on your work.