October 16, 2020
With the current situation regarding COVID-19 and uncertainty in any industry I would like to shine some light on an otherwise grim situation.
As COVID struck around the world seriously in March, the company jumped into action and our office was shut down effective immediately. As a company we had some remote personnel before the outbreak, and it was also a considered option of providing some sort of flexible environment so many of our services and processes were already able to cope with the demand for a remote environment.
There were a few hitches in the early stages getting all the infrastructure and daily activities set to function remotely and effectively but everyone in nerd.vision and integral threw themselves into the fray and it was noticeable.
So I wanted to talk about my experience of the process as a developer and where I am now and what I think. So initially the transition gave a bit of a mixed bag of feelings. On the one hand and I still stand by this, being able to work in a comfortable environment and avoid one hour forty five minutes of travel and expenses per day was a breath of fresh air. Just this small period of time gave me more energy in the evenings, the ability to exercise over my lunch break and also to have motivation to cook better in the evenings. This gave me more happiness during my working hours with the knowledge that I would not be exhausted at the end of a working day.
The mix came from being able to adapt to a remote environment. I think this applies to a lot of people, but being able to avoid distractions and to focus on the task at hand is a skill that needs to be learnt. At first it was difficult, to be able to remain focussed for the entire day and to maintain a similar output of development to when I was in the office. But after some small adjustments to my routine and the improvements to remote social connections like interacting with the team through calls/video calls, it started to improve.
As a company we have been able to transition smoothly, maintain output of development and for the most part, improve happiness in employers. This led the company to make a decision to turn this into reality outside of COVID. It is still undecided on a remote/flexible office, but I think the consensus within the company is that it is a positive push in the right direction. I am personally very happy with the decision. Just that simple process of travel and expenses being negated by a remote environment far outweighs any negatives because I feel happier and more comfortable as a developer.
I think that it requires a team that all wants to push in the same direction though. Working together during a remote situation can be difficult if all the parties are not willing to get stuck in. Just that simple process of jumping in a call together to bounce some ideas off each other, or showing progress to the team in some video meetings, can go a long way to keeping the cycle on track.
I hope this has given you a little bit of insight into the remote world. We as a company want to always improve our team and throughput and I think this is potentially going to become a very natural and normal environment for software developers to work in the future.