Three Things I Learned While Working Remotely For A Week

I've been working remotely for the past week, and it's been wonderful. Due to people's vacation schedules I'm actually the only engineer working as well - which has been a nice change of pace from pairing all the time. I've been able to get in some good work, learn a few new things about programming, and have also discovered a few things about remote working that I didn't previously think about.

1. I Am Less Distracted

Don't get me wrong, I love collaboration and think it is incredibly beneficial to product driven companies like the one I work for. However, when I am are programming, the constant distraction of other people's conversations can actually be quite interrupting to my thought process. I can definitely get in the zone both coding on my own and pairing, but I get broken out of this zone each time I get interrupted in a typical office setting, and it takes me a while to get back to the task at hand. Working remotely though, I just stay in my room and haven't been bothered once! It's amazing how much more focused I am in a quieter environment.

2. I Work Different Hours

While I still go to the daily morning stand ups (on google hangout), I've actually noticed that I work slightly different hours. One day I actually started work an hour before normal (this shocked me, since I’m not a morning person), and then took an hour off during the afternoon. Another day I did the reverse and spent a few extra hours working late at night because I visited with some family during the daytime. Either way I got the same amount of work done in about the same amount of time, but I just had slightly different hours. Granted, it actually didn't matter this week since I'm working alone, but it's pretty liberating to have this kind of flexibility.

3. I Am More Comfortable

At work I have a standing desk for when I code alone, and then sit down at a normal desk when I pair. However, at home I have the ability to work in all sorts of places. I've watched a few tutorials about refactoring code while making lunch. I've been able to program while I lounge on the couch or on my bed - which has actually been a great position to think through really complex problems. I also wear really comfortable workout-like clothes, which is great. I can't really do these things at the office, but I can when I'm remote, and I really like it.