The pandemic has finally served as a valuable lesson, teaching us that certain jobs can be effectively carried out remotely. Our teams have been mastering remote work since 2016, particularly our software engineers who prioritize this as a daily work requirement. However, before passing judgment, let's delve into the topic and provide an in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of remote work.
I'm Aivaras Kazilas, CEO of Onectus technologies and my personal experience with remote work began in 2016. Initially, as a business owner I felt disconnected from the world, longing for in-person interactions with my team. I frequented internet cafes and co-working spaces in Milan, where I lived at the time, to meet other professionals and network effectively if necessary.
However, my perspective completely changed when I built a team of software engineers for our startup.
I realized the distinction between business-related activities, which often benefit from in-person meetings, and the seamless nature of remote software engineering. Persuasion is generally a more effective tool when conducted in person because it relies on emotions and key words that are better perceived during live conversations.
On the contrary, remote software engineering offers a more conducive environment for seamless work compared to being on-site, primarily due to the element of silence. When I returned to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic, I found the constant noise from the coffee machine and other people's conversations to be highly distracting. The loud atmosphere made it challenging for me to concentrate without resorting to headphones, which was not a sustainable solution either, as it often led to headaches and discomfort. This experience helped me empathize with software engineers who often work with intricate specifications. They prefer quiet environments that allow them to focus and concentrate. In fact, I've come across many software companies where strict silence is enforced to ensure optimal productivity.
The first time I truly grasped the significant advantages of remote work for software engineers was back in 2017 when one of my team members approached me with a request. He said, "Hey, I'm not feeling 100%. Can I work from home?" Initially, I responded by suggesting that he take a rest and have a free day. However, he insisted, saying, "No, I'm confident that I can still perform the job, and going outside might actually worsen my health situation." While it's important to prioritize rest in such situations due to the potential impact on productivity and well-being, this conversation provided me with a valuable insight. It made me realize that the office isn't necessarily the sole environment where work can be effectively accomplished. After all, we are in the business of building software, not constructing roads.
There came a point when I realized that remote work could be the key to accelerating development, and that's when I began expanding my team through remote recruitment. Access to a broader pool of talent from different countries can significantly expedite the hiring process. According to various online statistics, the average time organizations spend on hiring a new employee ranges from 1 to 2 months. However, this timeline can increase when there is high demand for talent, and talented engineers already have multiple proposals on the table. Negotiations can further complicate matters. So, how can businesses accurately predict their future needs? The answer lies in remote hiring and explore opportunities in other countries and markets. I always recommend considering nearshore options to mitigate the challenges of managing large time zone differences. Look for candidates with at least a B2 level of English proficiency, and you'll be ready to proceed.
Let's sum up some pros.
Elimination of Geographical Barriers
In the realm of efficiency and productivity, as we discussed before - organizations have come to realize that the physical location from which their software engineers operate is inconsequential. Whether it's the office, their own couch, or a cozy coffee shop, remote work is the key. It grants developers the freedom to work from anywhere, thereby demolishing all geographical barriers. Embracing the digital nomad trend, remote work encourages individuals to apply for companies across the globe without the concerns of leaving their homes, families, and friends behind.
Optimized Time Management
How much time does your team of developers spend commuting to the office? One of the greatest perks of remote work for developers lies in time optimisation. By working from home, they can save valuable minutes, if not hours, of their day. How often have you lamented, "Time flies, and I haven't had a chance to accomplish half of what I wanted"? With a remote work model, the day doesn't magically expand, but you can reclaim precious time by avoiding the lengthy commute.
Reduced Stress Levels
Having additional time for personal activities translates to decreased stress levels. It grants you the opportunity to engage in hobbies such as sports, which actively alleviate stress. Moreover, by choosing their work environment, software engineers can prioritize places that evoke a sense of well-being and productivity—a tranquil room, an outdoor setting with a breathtaking view, or the soothing sounds of nature. Naturally, reducing time spent commuting is undeniably a factor that also alleviates work-related anxiety.
Heightened Productivity and Efficiency
According to an article on work-from-home productivity statistics by Apollo Technical, studies reveal that remote workers exhibit higher levels of productivity. Numerous factors contribute to this phenomenon. For instance, the ability to choose an optimal work location that fosters focus and minimizes distractions undoubtedly improves efficiency. Additionally, job satisfaction and contentment play a significant role in enhancing engagement and productivity.
Enhanced Work-Life Balance
When discussing work flexibility, it is impossible to overlook the concept of work-life balance. This lies at the heart of this not-new way of working and is a result of the combined benefits remote work offers to software engineers. The freedom to work from anywhere aids in achieving a harmonious blend of personal and professional lives, fostering mental well-being and nurturing employee happiness.
Risk of Compromised Work-Life Balance
Although remote work is touted as an enhancer of work-life balance, it can also have the opposite effect. For some employees, going to the office helps maintain a clear demarcation between their personal and professional lives. In a home office setting, the temptation to quickly check work emails even outside of working hours becomes stronger. As the saying goes, "I just want to finish it, and then I can relax." There is a risk that employees may adopt this approach when working from home, and managers need to be mindful of this while transitioning to a remote work model, giving flexibility yes, but HR work is more than important today.
The Need for Effective Communication Strategies
Inadequate communication can swiftly impact both employee performance and business operations. When developers operate from disparate locations, the communication strategy must evolve to address new requirements, such as employing efficient tools. Communication should remain seamless and straightforward, like in the office environment. Otherwise, workers may grow frustrated and anxious, leading to reduced job satisfaction and diminished productivity.
Some of our team members are used to leave audio messages on Slack to enhance technical communication and build more knowledge.
Keep track of Learning and development
The primary reason software engineers leave their companies is the lack of learning and development opportunities, and this is entirely normal. Imagine working for a company for years and constantly being confined to the same tasks.
Based on our case study conducted with 200 candidates, an astonishing 97% of respondents stated that they left their companies due to the dearth of learning and development opportunities. It's crucial for managers to recognize that hiring alone is insufficient; retention is the key. Therefore, it's essential for companies to offer ample resources and new experiences to their teams, ensuring their ongoing growth and professional development.
If your answer to this question is yes, you might be considering partnering with a recruitment agency, which is a reasonable option. However, have you thought about providing fair, official, and socially secured employment to your next employee? Hiring individuals through contracts is also an option, but many people want assurance regarding their social insurance status. You might be contemplating expanding your operations to that particular country, but that can be a significant investment in terms of expenses, risks, and the time required to familiarize yourself with the specific market.
An alternative to avoid the need for such an extensive investment, which entails risks and a learning curve in the target market, is to hire software engineers through an agency specializing in providing officially employed professionals. This is where we can assist you!
With our expertise and talent pools in Poland, Estonia, Ukraine, and Georgia, we can find the right engineer for your specific needs. Simply send us the job description, and we will respond within 24 hours.
By working with us, you can rest assured that we prioritize employee well-being, learning, and development. Thanks to our years of experience, we have already established an efficient workflow. Cutting down the recruitment time from 2 months to 24 hours can truly be a game changer for your business.
Remote work offers tremendous benefits because of your ability to save time and reduce expenses during the search for your next software engineer. Agencies like ours can assist you in achieving your goals by providing guidance and support. It's important to note that remote work does require effective management, as higher results always necessitate increased effort. However, the advantages and potential outcomes make it a worthwhile endeavor for both individuals and organizations.