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Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

What's the culture like on your team regarding remote? Are you the only remote or are there a bunch of people doing the same thing?

Did you transition to remote while remaining on the same team?




Background: I had a personal issue that required me to sell my house in silicon valley and move closer to my parents on the east coast. Rather than let me go, the company offered to pay for my relocation and let me work from home (I work at a pretty traditional company, not a tech giant so I was surprised). About six months after, I moved teams within the company, so my new team was okay with me coming on board while remote. Since then, I've moved teams (and physical locations) again, and the new team was also fine. Most folks are either at customer sites or in the various corporate offices, but there are plenty of folks who seem to do what I do and just work remote. It's a bit more common than I would have thought honestly for a "corporate culture".

I've not been asked to relocate, I've not taken any salary reductions, or had any "negative" behavior as a result. It's the main reason I've rewarded their loyalty to me with my loyalty to them. If someone needs me, they either call me or email me. Pretty simple. If I need to get on a plane (a few times) for a meeting, I just do it. But between conference calls, screen sharing via webex, etc it's pretty manageable.

Part of the reason I believe it works is because I don't let being remote be an issue. I pick up my phone when it rings, I check email constantly, I'm available via multiple chat systems, and I get things done. It absolutely helps that at some point, when crossing time zones and countries, everyone is somewhat remote. You can't have a 90K person company in the same place.

I do not do all of the "recommended things" that they say when working remote. I don't get dressed and "go to work". I get up, grab a protein shake, sit in front of my computer in my sleepwear like I would if it was a weekend. I don't have a dedicated work room, I work in the same place I play video games and work on personal projects. What it comes down to is that while others are commuting, I'm answering email. While other people are going out to lunch, I'm working on architectures with a bowl of beef and veggies. While they're taking snow days, I'm working uninterrupted. I'm not sure if I'm more productive (though I suppose we could all find ways to be more productive), but I'm certainly as productive.

Some random thoughts:

I shop for seven days worth of food because I cook all my meals every day. I eat much better. My ISP (Charter) is rock solid and high speed. In a pinch my mobile would be my email backup. I do not ask for any reimbursement for costs and I don't write anything off tax wise. Jobs will come and go, but for the first few years of my sons life I was here every single day watching him grow up. I'll never be able to get that back if I missed it. Wherever possible, I shift the burden of being remote to me. I never say "well, I'm remote and don't own a fax machine". I just make it happen. I often start controversial conversations with "well, do you need me to fly in?"

As a final thought, I get a lot of recruiters (don't we all though) contacting me. Strangely enough, it's usually the startups that seem to have a problem working remote. The first thing I tell people is that I'm while I have no problems flying in for meetings (either my cost or theirs), I'm content staying as a remote employee for now. In the future, we can discuss relocation. 95 times out of 100, regardless of the fit or role, it's a deal breaker in the first five minutes. Just find that interesting and it's a great way to pre-screen potential employers.


"I'm not sure if I'm more productive (though I suppose we could all find ways to be more productive), but I'm certainly as productive."

This is one of the reasons I am desperate to get a remote job. The chance to work on code uninterrupted. I enjoy coding, but the longer I stay in my current job, the less of it I seem to do.




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