These days, it seems like working remotely is the dream for a lot of people. Sometimes you’ll come across blog or vlog of couple who work for US companies, but instead of freezing in winter, they spend their time on tropical islands. Like you, I have always wondered if this was a real possibility, and if it could be me one day. The short answer is yes, as long as you have a certain set of skills.
First is self discipline. Most of us went to colleges and schools long time ago, so we’ve long forgotten where we had to motivate ourselves to do some work. Working remotely as a front-end developer is a very similar experience. Instead, you have to work 8 hours on end. It can be exhausting. A good thing about working from home office is that you can relax for 5 to 10 minutes in comfort of your own bed, regain strength, and get back to work. You don’t have the same luxury at the office.
From my personal experience, I can tell you it’s not easy to stay focused at home. In a way, brain is conditioned to take ‘home’ as a place where you’re free to do what you want. However, wasting time on Netflix and other distractions is not really an option. If your productivity drops, your employer will notice and you might get in trouble.
With that being said, sometimes there are slow days even at the office. If that’s the case, and you really have nothing pressing going on, there’s nothing wrong with kicking back a little bit. Of course, during hours you should still be reachable, but you’re more free to do whatever you want in your ‘free’ time during work hours. Of course, all of this should stay hidden, and you should not abuse this privilege.
Another difficulty of working alone is that you have more freedom to do your job. At office, manager has closer access to you, and usually she is more likely to lay out specific way to do your job. Micro management can be annoying, but it’s also good in a way that you are given clear instructions. Responsibility of deciding what to do first is lifted off your shoulders. When you’re at home, all of this comes down to you.
Things are a little bit easier if your team uses Slack or other communication software. If they don’t, you should probably suggest that they start using it.
Also, simple project management tools like Asana can really help you organize a workflow. Most likely your company will use these to manage remote work, so taking on new tasks shouldn’t be a problem.
Finally, when you’re working remotely, you will have to step up your writing game. A lot of your communication – whether it is leaving comments, code documentation, or exchanging messages – will be done in writing.