The freedom that you enjoy when you work from home is undeniable. Rather than clocking in at a desk from 9-5, software developers who work from home can manage their own hours and deadlines while working from virtually anywhere in the world.
But working from home doesn’t come without its challenges. In this article, we’ll explore some of the biggest problems faced by developers who work from home and shine a light on the remote working tools you need in order to overcome them.
What Are The Biggest Challenges When You Work From Home?
Working from home offers employees a ton of freedom and liberties regarding where, when, and how they work. However, adapting to the work from home dynamic can be challenging, especially for workers who have grown used to the dynamics of an office environment.
What Kind of Work Agreements Do Remote Workers Sign With Their Employees?
Some remote workers choose to work on a per-project basis or as freelancers who take on multiple clients/projects at once. Many individuals who work in this fashion choose not to sign formal agreements with their employers/clients, and instead simply use informal proposals to manage their rates and deliverables.
One of the biggest challenges developers face when they start working from home is time management. Unfortunately, with the freedom that comes with flexible work hours and working from the comfort of home, many new remote workers struggle to organize their time in a way that let’s them stay productive, or avoid procrastinating or getting distracted.
Another major challenge developers face when they start working from home is communication. Getting your point across over Zoom, Email, or IM can be tricky, especially when the subject matter is very technical. Moreover, properly understanding the needs of your coworkers can also prove difficult when communicating via these platforms.
Finally, another big challenge remote developers come across is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Unfortunately, without standard office hours separating their work and personal lives, many remote workers find it difficult to know when to “call it a day.” Over time, this can lead to fatigue and feeling “burned out,” which can drastically affect health and work performance.
What It Takes To Be A Successful Remote Software Engineer
The challenges we mentioned above can make working from home difficult. With the right tools, tricks, and skills, however, you can quickly overcome these challenges and get back to enjoying the countless benefits of remote work.
Below you’ll find 5 things that are indispensable to becoming a successful remote engineer:
1. A Dedicated Workspace
One of the main reasons remote developers who work from home have trouble focusing or staying motivated is because they lack a dedicated workspace. As a remote engineer, it’s vital you set yourself up with a separate space within your home that you dedicate to your work. If possible, try to set yourself up with an office that’s separate from your bedroom or living area; not only will this help you avoid distractions, but it’ll also help you separate your work from your personal life (more on that later).
2. A Solid Routine
The word “routine” has a lot of negative connotations. But, as a remote engineer who works from home, a good routine is your best friend. Pay close attention to the times when you feel most productive and motivated, and do your best to schedule your non-work-related activities around those hours. For example, if you find yourself getting most of your work done in the mornings, dedicate that time to your work. Also, use short scheduled breaks to help stay fresh during long work hours.
3. The Right Apps
Whether it’s to organize your task work, schedule meetings, or collaborate with your team members, there’s an app out there to help. And while it's tempting to try and minimize your overhead costs as a remote worker, investing in the right apps is one of the best ways to stay organized and productive when you work from home.
Some of our favorite apps for remote developers include:
- Trello, for collaborating across projects.
- Todoist, for making quick to-do lists.
- Freedom, for blocking distracting websites during work hours.
For more apps to help you streamline your at-home engineering, check out our hand-picked list of the best apps for developers here.
4. Face-To-Face Meetings
It can be tempting to try and resolve everything over email or IM when working from home. However, it’s very ill-advised. Regardless of how much effort you put into typing that perfect email or chat message, there are some things that are just best said face-to-face. And while it’s a good idea to scratch unnecessary video calls, it's crucial to have semi-regular video calls/meetings to favor the communication and collaboration between you and the rest of your team. Click here for more tips on how to be a better communicator when working from home.
5. A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Last but not least, one of the best ways to stay productive, motivated, and focused when you work from home is by keeping up a healthy work-life balance. Remember to exercise regularly, socialize, and know when to call it a day. If the company you work for has other team members where you live, try to encourage regular dinners, after-office drinks, or other activities to help bring the team closer together.
Working from home doesn’t come without its challenges. However, with a solid work routine, the right work-life balance, and just a bit of help from the right apps and software, working remotely should see you leading a more productive, organized, and balanced work life.
At Nexton, we pride ourselves on connecting talented remote engineers from Latin America with the best US companies. Let us help you find your dream job and remember to bookmark our blog page for more content like this.