Employers that offer remote work options understand the benefits of looking beyond their cities for the right developers. Not only does it allow recruiters to reach talent they otherwise would not have found, but it also enables them to keep their best developers when life events force them to move to another location. The common perks of remote work is well-documented, but we were curious to find out about those that recruiters don't discuss quite as frequently. To get to the bottom of why remote work options are so important to developers, we asked a few programmers who work remotely full time for their thoughts.
While that’s not necessarily a common trait, developers who are adept at working through interruptions at home actually consider this a perk. Drew Thomas, a consultant with extensive experience managing developers remotely, tells us that remote software development jobs give programmers more control over their working environment. “On the days when I’m at an office, I literally can’t believe I used to get anything done in that setting,” he says. At my home office, I still get bombarded with questions, but it's through Slack or HipChat, so I can answer at a convenient time for me.”
You can probably think of a time you had to bother one of your engineers for a quick fix, only to be told that he or she didn’t have the time. Dave Curlewis, a developer at Timely, says that working remotely not only allows him sufficient time to get his main projects done, but that it also allows him to be a bit more reactionary to ad-hoc requests. He adds, “If you are self-motivated then the lack of structure can allow for more fluidity in what you focus on work-wise, which can be a plus in itself, especially in more operational and dev-ops roles.”
Finding ways to communicate effectively is often one of the biggest challenges any remote software development team will face, especially in the early going. It requires a commitment from everyone at the company, and many executives assume that distributed teams just are not able to get things done quickly. However, the exact opposite is often the case for companies that offer remote software development jobs.
Jeremy Polley, a QA Engineer at Wildbit, tells us that the engineering team’s commitment to transforming the way they communicate has actually enabled them to make better decisions as a group. “If you work in such a way that you always feel behind or if you need to move faster to survive, then the decisions that come out of that environment value speed over quality,” he says. “Slowing down just a tad leads to more thoughtful conversation and a better outcome.”