Embracing Remote Work
December 18, 2021
I wonder how long it would take for major corporations to learn to cut their losses and give up on the idea of a mass return to the office, especially for software workers who can obviously code from home, as evidenced by *gestures at the past two years*
One thing I hope the pandemic has taught us is to appreciate how utterly wasteful some of the things are that we used to do; how much time we squander each day risking collisions on roads just so that we can do the same thing we would have done at home.
Do I miss meeting coworkers in person? Yes. Do I miss the chance collaboration and tangential conversations we have at lunchtime? Yes. Do I have to be located mere yards away from them for eight hours a day while I wrestle neurons and stare at a computer screen? No.
One thing I cherish during work-from-home is low-overhead flexibility. I can take a 30 minute break and do something fun with my kid. I can walk around my neighborhood or take a short drive for leisure (imagine that). I can (gasp!) take a nap when I’m exhausted.
But most of all, I love the ability to manage interruptions, the number one nemesis of a software engineer. Context switching is incredibly expensive, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the ability to socialize when I want, and shut out the world when I need to.
Certainly, not everything about work from home is good, but not all of it is bad. Throwing it all away in the name of “normalcy” is not wisdom. We grow by learning to take the best parts of our experiences, and synthesizing them to improve our lives.
I sense an inflection point approaching. Major corporations are adopting the flexibility of working remotely as a competitive benefit. There will perhaps be a critical mass where this arrangement is expected by new hires, especially senior engineers.
I look forward to it.