A lot of people have asked me in the last few months what has changed since I started working from home “ during these times „. To be honest, almost nothing has changed for me. Most of it has even improved.
Software development is remote work
Because my coding and application building activities have always been done remotely. You rarely have a server right next to you, or even in the same house. I have had teams in the US, UK, India, and Bulgaria for the past 20 years. Suddenly I can no longer travel to these places. Somehow offices are no longer interesting as most employees now work from home. A big change for me as someone who has always traveled at least 2-3 days a week.
My family, my wife, and my daughter finally have me available for 5 days in the afternoon and evening during the week and at the weekend. This sometimes leads to discussions like “ When are you going to travel again? “ – not really because you want to see me travel, the question is more:
“ Does your job really work almost 100% from home? „
To be honest, I was a bit critical at first, but now I fully support this statement. There is practically no difference. Sometimes the sarcastic smile or nod that one does not see on the phone or in the videoconference is missing, but this can be overcome with the help of chat or other techniques.
What has changed?
Before Covid, I mostly spent two to three hours a day with video conferences and tools. Today I spend up to 8 hours a day doing it. This leads to situations where you really miss personal connections – at work, discussions have already begun about how we can adapt and overcome this. The typical elevator speech information is missing.
Seeing a team member reacting to others, talking, or arguing can often shorten the discussion. You know that others think the same way. Online meetings tend to “ beat the dead horse ”, as everyone often wants to be heard. There is no personal interaction.
Lower environmental impact
The biggest change for sure is that I am not traveling and polluting the planet. Before that, I sat on trains 30 to 40,000 km a year. I traveled around the world by air, to India, the USA, or Eastern Europe. This is completely broken away. And I don’t miss any of these hours at the gate, runway, or train station. Sure, I’ve found great places for food or other things all over the world. Cafes or places to buy things. Now I tend to get more local. I hope I can secure that for the future. A big start was that I’ve become a vegetarian since December 2019 and I’m finally trying to break away from other animal products.
There will definitely be times when I have to travel to customers again. I miss the contact with my friends around the world and all over Europe. But this also gave me time to rethink whether everything has to be on site. The time that used to be in trains, taxis, and planes is now used much more productively. Programming, documenting things, and discussing architectures can easily be done in tools like collaboration teams. You only need functioning teams, and I have them.
I’m not sad about how it is right now.