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Why aren't you remote by now?

almost 5 years ago from , Product Designer @ Dribbble / Maker

With plenty of technology in place I often wonder why more companies aren't remotely based already.

I understand not every job role can be remotely base but think about it, in the creative/development industry most of the time you spend "in the office" will be during independent hours probably with your earphones in and some sort of media playing while you work. Here and there you'll have a meeting or two but those are usually counter productive. Couldn't this time be better spent on your own sans commute?

I fully support the remote based workforce. I think we shouldn't need to commute everyday. Some people drive an hour or more to and from work. Over the course of a few years at a job they can waste up 10 hours a week in a car or other form of transport. (thats roughly 20 days a year in your car, assuming you take 2 weeks of PTO or sick days)

So I ask to the community...

Why aren't you remote?

Does your company require your presence for a specific reason?

What benefit is there to being in office each and every day aside from speaking face-to-face, which by the way, you can do from anywhere now-a-days (Google Hangouts, Skype, Hipchat, Facetime, etc...)?

Would you rather work remotely if you had the choice?

54 comments

  • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, almost 5 years ago

    I live in a rural part of the UK. So a bunch of my work is remote. That said I also spent a lot of time on trains and planes to work with people on-site.

    Because, despite all the technology, working with a group of people in the same room can be a lot more productive than working with a group of people in different locations.

    There's a lot of research that backs that up.

    I am not saying:

    • That working alone in an office is bad / will cause projects to fail

    • Telecommuting is bad (I do it - I like it)

    • Telecommuting projects will fail (D'oh - of course not)

    • You shouldn't telecommute (of course you should if you want to - but bear in mind that the business may have good reasons to disagree with that decision)

    • That telecommuting makes you individually less productive (I'm personally unsure about this. I feel more productive when working by myself, but I know that personal perceptions of productivity can be false. Measuring personal vs team/company productivity becomes hard in anything less than the short term)

    • That co-location is always the best solution (it isn't - other factors like team location and skills come into play)

    • etc.

    What I am saying is that there is a lot of research showing that co-located teams in team-room like settings are much more productive. This runs counter to many designer and manager preferences (mine too ;-) so it tends to get ignored.

    So much more productive that solutions like 'Let's fly everybody to the same place and pay their room and board for a month' can be cost effective.

    Here are some references to the research (If anybody has any research that contradicts this I'd love to hear about it. Especially if it talks about actual measured metrics of productivity - rather that self-reported 'I felt just as productive at home' ones.)

    "It doesn't take much distance before a team feels the negative effects of distribution - the effectiveness of collaboration degrades rapidly with physical distance. People located closer in a building are more likely to collaborate (Kraut, Egido & Galegher 1990). Even at short distances, 3 feet vs. 20 feet, there is an effect (Sensenig & Reed 1972). A distance of 100 feet may be no better than several miles (Allen 1977). A field study of radically collocated software development teams,[...], showed significantly higher productivity and satisfaction than industry benchmarks and past projects within the firm (Teasley et al., 2002). Another field study compared interruptions in paired, radically-collocated and traditional, cube-dwelling software development teams, and found that in the former interruptions were greater in number but shorter in duration and more on-task (Chong and Siino 2006). Close proximity improves productivity in all cases." -- http://conway.isri.cmu.edu/~jdh/VRC-2008

    "Based on the empirical evidence, we have constructed a model of how remote communication and knowledge management, cultural diversity and time differences negatively impact requirements gathering, negotiations and specifications. Findings reveal that aspects such as a lack of a common understanding of requirements, together with a reduced awareness of a working local context, a trust level and an ability to share work artefacts significantly challenge the effective collaboration of remote stakeholders in negotiating a set of requirements that satisfies geographically distributed customers" -- http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00766-003-0173-1

    "Our results show that, compared to same-site work, cross-site work takes much longer and requires more people for work of equal size and complexity. We also report a strong relationship between delay in cross-site work and the degree to which remote colleagues are perceived to help out when workloads are heavy" -- http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?reload=true&tp=&arnumber=919083&isnumber=19875

    "Our findings reveal that: software developers have different types of coordination needs; coordination across sites is more challenging than within a site; team knowledge helps members coordinate, but more so when they are separated by geographic distance; and the effect of different types of team knowledge on coordination effectiveness differs between co-located and geographically dispersed collaborators." -- http://kraut.hciresearch.org/sites/kraut.hciresearch.org/files/articles/Espinosa07-CoordinationInGlobalSWDevelopment.pdf

    "One key finding is that distributed work items appear to take about two and one-half times as long to complete as similar items where all the work is colocated" -- http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi?doc=doi/10.1109/TSE.2003.1205177

    "Our study of six teams that experienced radical collocation showed that in this setting they produced remarkable productivity improvements. Although the teammates were not looking forward to working in close quarters, over time they realized the benefits of having people at hand, both for coordination, problem solving and learning.Teams in these warrooms showed a doubling of productivity" -- http://possibility.com/Misc/p339-teasley.pdf

    "Despite the positive impact of emerging communication technologies on scientific research, our results provide striking evidence for the role of physical proximity as a predictor of the impact of collaborations." -- http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0014279

    "Groups with high common ground and loosely coupled work, with readiness both for collaboration and collaboration technology, have a chance at succeeding with remote work. Deviations from each of these create strain on the relationships among teammates and require changes in the work or processes of collaboration to succeed. Often they do not succeed because distance still matters" -- http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1463019

    48 points
    • Malte NuhnMalte Nuhn, almost 5 years ago

      Really good points; I'd never seen such a collection of research papers on the topic to back up hunches etc!

      2 points
    • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, almost 5 years ago

      Thanks for the data points. They reinforce some ideas I've been mulling.

      Nothing like confirmation bias to bring a smile to the face on a Monday morning. _~

      2 points
    • Andy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago

      Adrian, wow what a response! thanks so much for the information and insight. I know there are benefits to being on-site but I suppose as time progresses more and more companies might offer remote capabilities despite past statistics. New tools offer such features and could really transform how we evolve in the years to come.

      1 point
      • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

        We keep getting the promise and expectation that new tools will overcome the obstacles to remote work, but you know, it hasn't panned out that way.

        People are embodied, and it would take a lot of tech to replace all of what we are when we work together. It's hard to buy that it's somehow inevitable, but for sure there will continue to be advancements and changes, all of which will have their own tradeoffs, too. Remote work really does click with some situations, and some personalities, but to expect that technology will somehow make it only beneficial and that nothing important will be lost? Well, it would sure be a different world.

        2 points
    • Thomas PritchardThomas Pritchard, almost 5 years ago

      This is one of the best comments I've ever seen on DN. Bravo.

      2 points
    • pjotr .pjotr ., almost 5 years ago

      Excellent post. I feel that the points you brought up are extremely valid.

      My one nit-pick is that most of the research cited is dated by at least 15 years. The remote working landscape and the way people communicate has changed drastically in the last 15 years.

      I feel like that change isn't even a direct effect of the tools we use, rather the way that millennials prefer to communicate. Most people would rather send text than be on a call, video chat has advanced to a stage where location specific meetings are a thing of the past, social media and apps like github give people the ability to work together no matter their location. All of these tools didn't exist when these studies were conducted.

      I'd really like to read something that's up to date.

      3 points
      • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, almost 5 years ago

        The research listed covers 1977-2010 all saying the same kind of thing. Technology changed quite a lot over those years, so the lack of improvement says something significant I think.

        The lack of more recent research showing improvement says something too I think…

        Not that I wouldn't love to see more research done!

        I've personally seen a couple of teams see drops in productivity over recent years when they moved to a more distributed structure. Sometimes the advantages that remote working were enough for them to keep going, other times not.

        1 point
        • pjotr .pjotr ., almost 5 years ago

          Fair enough.

          I'm not disagreeing with you. I've seen the good and bad sides of remote working.

          As a Product Designer working with only one other dedicated Designer and two Engineers, remote just works for us...but on other teams I've seen massive amounts of miscommunication and confusion simply because we weren't all in the same room so to speak.

          I don't think remote work is going anywhere though. I actually think it's growing and becoming more widely adopted.

          1 point
  • Aaron MoodyAaron Moody, almost 5 years ago

    I prefer going to an office, chatting with the team in person. I feel this helps junior members grow, where they can quickly bounce off senior members and pick up new tricks.

    I'd never discount working remote but for me I prefer the team atmosphere.

    But I'm lucky, I work at an agency 10 mins from where I live, with an open relaxed atmosphere, unlimited holiday and flexi time :)

    15 points
    • Andy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago

      I think gaining some experience on site is a definite must. This is especially true to a junior level designer/developer etc.. as the people they work with turn into mentors but I too think this can happen without actually being present each and every day.

      Some people will always prefer the team atmosphere and I don't think we should rule it out. I'm just proposing companies attempt to start offering a looser policy on the 9-5 Monday - Friday approach.

      0 points
      • Aaron MoodyAaron Moody, almost 5 years ago

        I agree, this is just my experience I guess, I've never been in a strict work place or suffered the cubicle lifestyle. Maybe i'm just lucky here though

        Like I say, we have unlimited holidays, and flexi time - meaning we can come and go as we please so long as the work gets done the company is happy.

        Fostering junior talent definitely can happen without them being physically present, so long as the team and company as a whole support that and the junior doesn't feel left out in anyway. Regular meet ups, events, conferences would help make the team feel more - teamy.

        Either way so long as your happy with where your at and your growing it's all good.

        0 points
  • Peter MüllerPeter Müller, almost 5 years ago

    I also prefer going to office. For me the routine of leaving-my-home and arriving-at-the-office puts me in a nice productive mood.

    Furthermore I enjoy seeing my co workers in real life. The atmosphere in the office is fun, its a great place to be.

    And as Aaron already mentioned, its super important for beginners to get hands-on experience with senior colleagues.

    5 points
    • Daniel WinterDaniel Winter, almost 5 years ago

      Dito. I can't work at home. I sleep far too long, I get distracted far too easily.

      I. work. when. I'm. in. the. office.

      1 point
      • Andy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago

        Hey Daniel, I thought the same thing when I first started remote based work but if you're determined enough you develop a routine where you have your most productive hours. For me, and probably quite a few other people those aren't always between normal working hours. From there it's up to you to decide when and where you work which to me is the beauty of it all.

        1 point
        • Leslie WilliamsLeslie Williams, almost 5 years ago

          In my case, i work better when the sun goes down, when the quiet begins to filter in and the noise fades away.

          That's when i can listen better with my mind.

          0 points
  • Alexis CreuzotAlexis Creuzot, almost 5 years ago
    • Better networking, learning and prospecting
    • Keeps me on the same timezone as everyone (else I slowly degrade to a 4AM - 11AM sleep cycle)
    • Keeps me mentally sane (social interaction is crucial)
    • Keeps me physically healthy (5k steps a day just commuting)
    3 points
    • Andy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago

      Kudos on the health aspect and I agree a timezone difference is more of an issue with working remotely than in the office. I have worked remotely for over 2 years now and I don't think I'll be able to go back. I have my own schedule which I set myself and have loved every day of it. There's nothing quite like being able to work where you want and when you want. Freedom as it's meant to be.

      1 point
  • Dan HoughDan Hough, almost 5 years ago

    I like a mixture of both, personally. I freelance and sometimes I prefer hanging out at home when I want to concentrate, and others I like to be in the office with my temporary colleagues if they're the sort to be sociable (currently they are!).

    2 points
  • Keaton TaylorKeaton Taylor, almost 5 years ago

    WHY I AM REMOTE AND GOING BACK MIGHT BE TOUGH: After living in the Dallas, Texas area for a year and working on site with both amazing people and people who were total dirtbags, I moved my family back to Southwest Missouri in a town of about 50k people. This speed of life is better for my family and better for me. right before we left I started working remotely with a small terrible internet marketing firm and haven't looked back since. Remote working allows me to do a few things:

    • Live in a place I don't absolutely despise and where my kids can be close to their grandparents.

    • Feeds my need for introversion while working and not worrying about people dropping by my office to chit chat.

    • Allows me to avoid the social burnout that comes with seeing the same people day in and day out and listening to them talk and think and drink.

    • Gives me a more flex schedule so that I can be a more present partner and father.

    WHAT I MISS: I definitely miss working in an office when it was with people who had some of the same basic predispositions as me. Kickoff meetings for big projects were much better and the perks of lunches and general in-office tomfoolery.

    GIVEN THE CHOICE WOULD I WORK REMOTELY? Given absolute freedom I would work a half and half schedule 3 days in 2 days out one week and then 2 days in 3 days out the next week. Ideally it would keep the first half(ish) of the week open for meetings and group productivity for kickoffs client meetings, etc.

    2 points
  • Antonela Debiasi, almost 5 years ago

    I've worked remotely last two years. After working in a couple of teams, different sizes, different projects, different products, there is NO reason to go back to office.

    2 points
  • Brian A.Brian A., almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    There isn't a "correct" option here; there's only the the right option, which is the one that supports you doing your best work. Remote working is right for some people and not for others; I happen to fall into the latter camp.

    For me, it's all about the environment. While I technically don't need to sit next to someone else to do my work, there's immense value for me in being able to grab a fellow designer and do some problem solving on the whiteboard, or even just grabbing a coffee to talk shop. There are tools that let you do this remotely, sure, but there's something about the in-person interaction that can never be quite replicated through a screen.

    I can say that without a doubt, I feel exponentially more creative when I'm in the office. I suppose that I could work remotely and replicate that with a co-working space, but doing it at my company's offices has added benefits and convenience (see above).

    1 point
  • Dwayne CharringtonDwayne Charrington, almost 5 years ago

    I am going to chime in on this one, as I am a remote worker currently based in Australia, but working for a US based video streaming/content distribution startup.

    I sync my hours up so I start at roughly 3am in the morning and finish around 12pm to align with US time. With remote work comes challenges, sometimes Skype/Google Hangouts becomes extremely unreliable, internet dropouts, VPN issues and other problems. But it also has its advantages too.

    Because I get to work from the comfort of my own home, I am less stressed, I save on expensive transport and the long times commuting in traffic. I am way more productive and get more hours packed into a day because I don't need to travel. I also eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at home, so no expensive lunches with colleagues every day and it definitely adds up on savings. When I worked an office job recently, spending $10 on a lunch was easy. Spending $5 on a morning coffee was an easy feat as well. That is $15 in a day.

    Being able to work at home and take breaks which involve spending time with my wife are nice. Also, my wife is currently pregnant and this job means I can help her out at home more and not spend long hours in an office toiling away on a deadline.

    As someone who has worked in both worlds, I definitely see the benefits of remote working. I think companies who are against remote working are because they have had back experiences hiring employees who have not performed that well. It can be easy without being pushed from your peers and being in an actual monitored work environment to slack off, as nobody is going to see you on Facebook or watching Youtube videos.

    Meetings can sometimes be a difficult task as well. Unreliable internet connections can mean sometimes people cannot hear you, syncing up for some (depending where you are) can mean you have to start at odd hours (like me). There are benefits to having people beside you that you can chat with, ask questions and joke around with. For me it is okay, because I have my wife and soon a child, but for others working remotely and alone, I would imagine it can be difficult and depressing at times.

    Is remote working easy? Not always. It can be hard, the challenges you face can sometimes hinder your work. But personally, I like the convenience and I find the lack of office distractions to increase my productivity. I think companies who do not embrace remote workers are scared of losing control, they know if someone is not in the office, they cannot be really monitored, but this is where Agile and KanBan come into play. You can easily see through graphs and metrics who is doing their work and who isn't, just like you would if they were in the office themselves.

    1 point
  • Michael DriscollMichael Driscoll, almost 5 years ago

    Remote is the way to go....unless, you like that human touch.

    1 point
  • Courtney LeonardCourtney Leonard, almost 5 years ago

    I work remotely from Austin for an agency in DC. I think I might be the first person to do so long-term with our current team of about 25-30, and I spend about 75-80% of the year out of the home office.

    I'm fortunate to be able to decide whether I want to go to the coworking space downtown, a coffee shop down the street, or stay within 5 feet of my bed. Having a regular change of scenery is nice; the distraction of the adjustment isn't a big deal for me but for others working remotely, just having that option might be bothersome.

    I always plan to work "core" hours, but being able to run an errand here and there leads to more and more 3am sessions. I've become increasingly thankful for early morning calls and meetings, because that's what forces me to keep my sleep/work schedule from going totally bonkers. (I may be in a different time-management boat though, since I'm simultaneously working on a masters degree.)

    Sometimes there's a bit of anxiety about being placed on the "cool" projects. I'm inclined to be more forward than usual with my project managers about what you want to do.

    On a similar note, it makes critiques much more direct and efficient. Even though we're seldom hesitant to give honest feedback on the design team, removing the face-to-face pressure allows people I'm working with to cut to the chase (and vice-versa). When we critique in person, there are a lot of floating parts to a conversation. When you get a computer in between parties, for whatever reason, you're inclined to prioritize feedback to reduce miscommunication. As a result, I feel a greater sense of triage while working remotely.

    There's certainly an advantage for new business. A designer working remotely can go grab coffee with a potential client nearby, and the fact that I'm not in meetings as much as on-site employees helps with travel availability. Being in the CST is pretty convenient.

    There's been a shuffle with the method in which we deliver said feedback, but the platforms others prefer say a lot about how to work more efficiently with each individual coworker in person. I find that when I go back to work on-site in between semesters, I work differently with coworkers that prefer Google Drive than those that prefer Layervault. While it's nice to think a streamlined remote-working structure will settle, it's always going to be a project-to-project system that shifts with the client's communication needs, and that's no different than working on-site.

    The hardest part is not being able to hang out with my coworkers, but that's what Twitter is for, right?

    1 point
  • Thomas RawcliffeThomas Rawcliffe, almost 5 years ago

    Networking.

    I chose to recently start working in a studio of around 3 agencies and now I'm booked through until next year.

    I'm a strong believer in the fact that strong relationships result in a consistent work flow. You can't build a good relationship sat in a cafe with your headphones in.

    1 point
  • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, almost 5 years ago

    In my experience, it's a control issue. Those that write the checks don't trust those that do the work. I could quote stories, but that's not productive.

    The usual retort is "social networking is the only way to advance in the company." I'll agree, but most people doing the bulk of my skillset are contractors anyway, so it doesn't apply to them.

    Security concerns are also cited. Can't trust wi-fi networks or non-company devices so opportunities are limited for network access beyond VPN with your corporate issued Dell. I can understand this perspective, but if some people have expanded access using their personal devices, why not more people?

    If I worked in close proximity with peers, I'd love to go into the office more often. I walk to work so gets me out of the loft, but I work with people on different continents or time zones. Aside from weekly status update meetings, not much reason for me to be physically present.

    I can only conclude the remote policies won't change until the corporate culture changes.

    1 point
    • Andy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      I can only conclude the remote policies won't change until the corporate culture changes.

      That last line is what I was going for with this post. I think the corporate model is outdated. I also think those that prefer working in the office do so because that's just the way it is. There my be some psychological aspect to it that makes most prefer it but I think if given the shot at trying to work remotely, most will see the benefits and learn to appreciate it more. I am one of those who got the shot.

      Thanks for the comment!

      0 points
      • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, almost 5 years ago

        Good luck with the opportunity you have been granted. I would like to see a follow up post to see what did and doesn't work for you in your new environment.

        0 points
        • Andy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago

          Thanks! I'll keep that in mind for a future post. So far I prefer remote much more than the latter but I'm only one voice.

          0 points
  • Nick JarvisNick Jarvis, almost 5 years ago

    I would love to be paid California wages and live in Utah! haha

    1 point
  • James Young, almost 5 years ago

    I'm not remote although I could be if I wanted. We're a small team of 6. 5 of us work in the office and one is remote and it works fine although my personal preference is to be in the office with everyone.

    My commute is only 6 miles and for me the commute is useful because I run so it's good to get my training done with a definite goal of getting somewhere each day at roughly the same time. I can extend that run several miles if I like too so the commute aspect for me isn't an issue. We're also not in a big city so none of the team find it particularly taxing.

    Work wise, I like being in the same office. It's just not quite the same when you're not there. Sure we all have days when we work at home and we Skype etc which isn't a problem but for me one of the biggest differences is that when not in the office you miss out on the little things, jokes etc.

    I also simply don't want to sit on my own in the house or commute to a co-working space all the time. Every now and again is fine but for me personally, I work better in an office environment and I find especially for creative work, that I get better results when we're all physically together than when we're all apart.

    1 point
  • Sam HKSam HK, almost 5 years ago

    I work from home. I have done it for 2 years and on the whole not had a problem with it. If we are busy then working from home is great. Everyone is online on Lync IM so available at a touch of a button. If we are collaborating on a project and need to meet up everyone is only an hour away from the office so we can meet once every couple of weeks. Client side meetings also keep the brain ticking over.

    The problem I have with working from home is when our company isn't busy with work. The day just go soo slow! There is also a difficulty in switching off. I work much longer hours than my friends who work 9-5.30 in the City - but then again I think that's just the nature of a designers job.

    1 point
  • Hampus OlssonHampus Olsson, almost 5 years ago

    I Find it hard to work alone, but do it sometimes when I need to refresh my mind. I do however work remote in a sense. I live and work in Goa while working with Swedish clients. But instead of me sitting here alone on the beach, we have an awesome office here and hired co-workers. It's really great!

    1 point
  • Jerome SenaillatJerome Senaillat, almost 5 years ago

    I already work with a distributed team, so we are all over the world, using internet to keep the communication flowing.

    Most of the times there are no issues when working with other designers, but I found that face-to-face meetings are often more efficient when meeting a client, especially when you have to sell your design choices to someone who does not necessarily have a design background (the other way would be to produce super-comprehensive intention notes/design docs, but it could take a lot of time, and not necessarily work either...).

    1 point
  • Malte NuhnMalte Nuhn, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    I think there's a different way to look at this: companies shouldn't own our time and location, but pay us for results. My company works like that.

    That means everyone gets to CHOOSE when and where they work - nobody's forced to show up, and we use various tools to deal with that.

    But per Adrian's post, a lot of results are best achieved when the team IS in the same place - sometimes for a few weeks, sometimes for a few hours. So that's also what tends to happen - except that it's driven by the team who want to get things done.Especially with a small team, the coordination isn't too hard (only a few nodes).

    How it works in practice: - On average, we spend about 3 days / week in the same location - but not all of us. - On occasion one or two people ask everyone to come in (tricky, open-ended problems or 'wanting everyone to get on the same page' tend to cause that). - We've worked with completely remote team members, and with team members who have been completely remote for a month or two. The difference between the two is remarkable: even having the option of meeting in the same place somehow makes a huge difference. I've not yet figured out what drives that. - Sometimes, junior employees don't yet understand when it's actually helpful (for them) to be in the same place. In that case, managers can of course make a recommendation ("I think you'll get this done faster if you hang out with Tom for a few hours and do some pair programming").

    And sometimes people choose to come in because they just want to socialise :)

    1 point
    • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, almost 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your open-ended approach.

      0 points
    • Andy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago

      Great points and I really like your company's approach. Having a looser policy is what I think more companies should definitely consider. Not being in the same place everyday would benefit a lot of people's schedules for sure.

      0 points
    • Albert FreemanAlbert Freeman, almost 5 years ago

      If we support the idea that the company pays us for results, but does not own our time or our location, then it's entirely possible to make time and location a billable add-on.

      Eg., you set your normal hours of availability and any need significantly outside of those hours nets extra funds. Or perhaps you work from home and if you're required to come to the office you get extra compensation for that.

      Upside: potentially, more money.

      Downside: probably a bad idea.

      0 points
  • Vinh LeVinh Le, almost 5 years ago

    cuz its boring as shit and i cant work from home

    0 points
  • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    This is a really interesting topic. I do about 50/50 working at home and at an agency about 15 mins away.

    It really comes down to whether you're and introverted or an extroverted personality type.

    I'm an introvert and find it much easier to concentrate in a quiet room on my own, although I do agree that face to face meetings and workshops are invaluable for certain tasks, most of the time I'm much more productive away from any distractions.

    However, other more extraverted types thrive in a busy office atmosphere and the energy fuels them to be more productive.

    I feel very lucky to have this choice as I've worked for many companies that demand you work on site and it has quickly led to burn-out and de-motivataion.

    0 points
    • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, almost 5 years ago

      I think most people in the world of design are more introvert than extrovert. I consider myself that way. I also am highly more productive remotely as opposed to being on site. I think when you're in office there is more you are thinking about like, What you have to do after work or who do I need to talk to next or even attending meetings that don't necessarily concern you but other employees feel the need for you to be present.

      It's all give and take but I think companies are close minded towards the idea of remote as they think the whole idea of it will make the company itself fail.

      0 points
  • Alex Demetriades, almost 5 years ago

    I'm doing a mixture of both, roughly 60% in the office and 20% at home. I think being tied down to one or the other can hinder productive creativity. When I am working from home I am able to get into the office within 30 minutes if something comes up, but usually a HipChat conversation will do.

    0 points
  • Ryan Hicks, almost 5 years ago

    Problem is companies still are not on board with the idea. I wish i was remote. I drive 2 hours a day and traffic is hell.

    0 points
  • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, almost 5 years ago

    We're a studio of 3 core team members and a handful of contractors who come and go on projects. We work almost entirely on-site, starting, leaving, and lunching together on most days.

    The main reason is cohesion. We're all on the same page about the day to day, and it helps us get into that productive space together. When we've had remote team members we can still end up with strong work, but it's more of a struggle to find that flow.

    About half our current clients are remote, half in town. Those that are here have regular face to face meetings with us, and we can get through a lot in those meetings. For the others, we use Skype, email and some of messaging.

    For both remote and in-house teams we use Trello as our primary organization tool.

    Personally I wouldn't go remote unless there were some very compelling reason. I think that, like with most technology, predictions about remote work over-stated benefits and under-estimated what we give up in remote work. I don't buy that Skype, Hangouts, and the like are equivalent to speaking face to face in the same room. When you share the same physical context, a lot more information is in the room to keep you aligned.

    I don't begrudge remote work. I think it requires a lot more direct attention from leadership to understand what's going on with remote team members and to maintain a good flow. But when I can choose, it's in person all the way.

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  • Darth BaneDarth Bane, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    Depends on the day. At home there are many distractions (wife, dogs, PS4) but I tend to work better from home if it's a creative stage of the process.

    I do, however, prefer to head into the office if I need to zone in completely and do coding. Also, the CEO prefers to work with people in person.

    There is something nice about leaving in the morning and go somewhere else for a whole day, and then come back home in the afternoon with happy faces greeting you at the door.

    EDIT: I have to say though that the commuting issue is easily solved by exploiting the time on the tube/bus/train so you're not "losing" it. I tend to read books on code so I actually learn something on the way to and from work.

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  • Braden HammBraden Hamm, almost 5 years ago

    Our work relies heavily on collaboration, so for the designers I work with, we have a "once a week" work from home policy, as a general guideline. I save my "heads down, no interruptions" stuff for that day.

    While I would prefer to work from home more days a week, I do thrive on collaboration and I think this is a good compromise.

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  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, almost 5 years ago

    Couldn't find any interesting UK/US startup that wanted an UX Mobile guy.

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  • Lewis FludeLewis Flude, almost 5 years ago

    I have a recording studio, I don't wanna leave it behind just yet until I find a dedicated space I can put all my gear.

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