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March 8, 2024 - 5 minutes

The Rise of Remote Work in Tech: Pros, Cons, and Strategies for Success

Here’s what you need to know about working remotely in the tech sector. 

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It seems that more and more tech job offers are boasting the possibility of working remotely, hoping to attract talent from across the world and give their clients the best possible products. And while this opens up your job options and may expose you to completely new opportunities, remote work is a very specific style of working that isn’t for everyone. 

Sure, the idea of rolling out of bed one minute before work starts and shutting your laptop right at 5pm sounds appealing, not to mention the idea of hitting the gym during lunch or cooking your own meals at home, but remote work requires a certain level of independence and focus that may be hard for some to achieve. 

We know that on paper, remote roles are in high demand, but we want to cover the entirety of remote jobs, what they really entail, and what you expect from a fully remote role, as well as hybrid ones, so that you’re best suited to decide if the remote worker life is for you. 

Remote vs. Hybrid Roles 

Before we get right into the pros and cons of remote and hybrid roles, we should take a second to highlight the differences between remote and hybrid roles; to put it simply, jobs advertised as remote will usually have no in-person requirements and instead may only require you to be in a certain country or city with the option of going into the office as you see fit, if the company has one. 

Hybrid roles are typically a mix of in-person and remote set-ups; you might find that the company requires specific days or a number of days in the office a week or that you’re free to choose where to work most of the time. While this mix of remote and in-person is perfect for some, make sure you understand exactly what the company’s rules are and how much freedom you’ll have to decide when to work in-person or if it’s all decided for you. 

Depending on your preferences and goals, both remote and hybrid are flexible set-ups that allow you to personalize your work experience a bit more. 

The Pros of Remote Work

As we mentioned above, there are quite a few benefits that come with remote work and if you’ve been commuting to a 9-5 previously, the idea of staying home all day may seem too good to be true. But remote work is an increasingly common option that tech companies are offering, realizing that employee satisfaction is of the utmost importance. 

It’s inarguable that remote work is beneficial and here are some of the biggest pros of remote work that you can expect in the tech world: 

An improved work/life balance

No matter how short or easy your commute is, working from home is incredibly convenient and saves you time, in addition to giving you more freedom during the day, allowing you to take your dog for a walk, cook lunch, work from the comfort of your couch or home office, and much more. In addition, you may be able to find childcare solutions that better work for you and take care of at-home tasks during the day (as long as it doesn’t get in the way of your work, of course!).

Increased freedom 

Here, it’s important to remember that your exact rules of working remotely will depend on your specific company and role, but some employees are lucky enough to have complete freedom when it comes to their location; from traveling the world to hopping from cafe to cafe, many remote workers take advantage of this flexibility to get a change of scenery and work on the go. 

Not all remote roles will boast this benefit, however, and before you sign the dotted line on your remote job offer, remember to review the terms to make sure your company doesn’t require you to be located in your home or within a certain radius of the office. 

The chance to save money 

Those morning coffee runs on the way to the office or public transportation costs seem little, but they can seriously add up over time and if you’re working remotely, you’ll be able to save on coffee, lunch, gas, and public transportation. If you’re looking to work from coffee shops or co-working spaces, however, make sure you calculate how much that will cost you to ensure you’re still benefiting from remote working. 

More independence 

As a professional in the tech world, you know you’re good at what you do and the last thing you want is your boss breathing down your back or the feeling that you’re constantly being monitored to evaluate your productivity and for many who work full-time in the office, this is an unfortunate reality. When you work remotely, however, you’ll find that your newfound independence allows you to work in the way that best suits you–after hours, first thing in the morning, or with small breaks throughout the day. 

The Cons of Remote Work

We’d be remiss to pretend that remote work is all rainbows and butterflies; for many, the idea of remote work is quite appealing, but unexpected challenges emerge once they get started. Make sure you’re familiar with these before you move forward with your remote career: 

Increased distractions 

At the office, it’s easy to stay focused when you’re surrounded by other people working and it’s definitely a possibility that transitioning to remote work will mean you’re around those who aren’t working, children, pets, or other household distractions that can cause your productivity to drop. Setting strict boundaries will be a key part of becoming an expert at working remotely. 

Blurry lines between your work and personal lives 

If your laptop is always just a few steps away, it’s easy to overwork and get used to answering emails constantly, even when you’re supposed to be off the clock. And on the same note, it can be hard to ignore household chores like laundry or dishes when you’re supposed to be working, leading to blurred lines between when it’s time to work and when you’re off. 

Challenges with teamwork 

Video chats and instant messaging means you can definitely keep in touch with your team, but there are some projects or conversations that are simply better worked on in person, meaning you’ll have to find the solution that best works for you and your team, continuously workshopping and trying new tools until you can maximize productivity. 

Strategies for Successfully Working Remotely 

Now that you know the pros and cons of remote work, let’s set you up for success with some of our favorite tips and tricks for mastering the art of at-home work: 

  • Be realistic with yourself: are you someone who needs strict limits and guidelines to get their work done? That’s totally fine–just make sure you set boundaries between when it’s time to work and when you can complete other tasks to make sure you get your work done on time. 

  • Communicate boundaries with others: your roommate or partner may think you’re home and ready to hang out, but you need to make it clear that you’re on the clock, setting clear boundaries about how much you can interact with others when you’re working.

  • Create a separate working space: it can be hard to know when it’s time to work and when it’s okay to put your computer away if you’re practically always near your computer; try to designate a specific area of your house as your workspace and make sure you avoid doing work outside of your normal hours.

The increase in remote tech roles is an incredible advancement for the industry and one that showcases the sector’s commitment to flexibility; if you’re ready to take advantage of all that tech has to offer, check out Ironhack’s bootcamps today and make sure you’re prepared to enter the world of remote tech. 

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