The Nitty Gritty of Remote Work

Some thoughts on remote work and its positives and negatives as a Software Engineer

Remote work has become more popular with the growth of the internet and the globalisation of the economy but it become almost a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though after pandemic subsided and return to normal office work was possible, many companies were put at a crossroads. Should they return to the office or should they continue with remote work?

Some companies love it, some hate it. Why is that? What are the benefits of remote work and what are the downsides? Let’s explore.

Remote work has many benefits for both the employer and the employee.


  • Access to a global talent pool
  • Lower costs (no office space, no office equipment, no office supplies, no office perks)
  • Lower employee salaries (no need to pay for the location)


  • No commute
  • Flexible working hours
  • No need to relocate
  • No need to pay for the location (living in the city is more expensive than living in the countryside)
  • More time for family and friends
  • More time for hobbies, exercise, etc.

Now for the downsides.


  • Harder to build a team and company culture
  • Harder to manage employees (no face-to-face communication)
  • Harder to keep employees motivated and engaged
  • Harder to keep employees


  • Harder to collaborate with colleagues
  • No face-to-face communication
  • Lack of social interaction
  • Work-life balance is harder to maintain (meetings scheduled throughout the day, even in the evening)
  • Harder to get promoted


The nitty gritty truth is that while in general benefits outweigh the downsides, especially if companies and employeers adjust their organizational habits to suit the remote work, there are still some things that apply. Especially for younger workers who are just starting their careers their learning on the job is heavily affected as they don’t have the same quick access to their more experienced colleagues and also no work habits set in as to when to work alone and when to ask for help. The social aspect is also heavy on the younger workers as they usually don’t have the same social network as their older colleagues which is important longterm for their career. For the senior workers the lack of social interaction is also a downside as they have less opportunities to mentor and share their knowledge with the younger workers as well as build trust with the management and gain promotion inside the company.

For the companies remote work has a different impact and it depends on its type and size. Is it product based or service based? Is it a startup or a large entreprise? For smaller product based startups where decision making should be fast and the product should be developed quickly, remote work can be a downside as the communication is slower and the team building is harder. For service based organizations on the other hand the lower cost and access to the talent based in different countries and timezones can be a huge benefit in case support is needed 24/7. The other questions that arise for remote-first companies are how are you building your company culture? How are you building trust between your employees and management? How are you onboarding your emplyees? How do you keep employees loyal?

Perhaps we still need some time to pass to completely figure out for which companies and for which employees remote work is suitable and for which it is not. The hybrid model is also an option where employees can work from home for a few days a week and come to the office for the rest of the week. This way the benefits of remote work can be enjoyed while the downsides can be mitigated.

So where do you stand? Where does your company stand? The world is changing and everyone needs to adapt. We will need to continously adapt throughout our careers and our lives. We will probably work in all three different settings during our careers and that is good, just make sure that the current work setting works for your current situation in life and you enjoy what you do.

#remotework #workfromhome #work #company #employee #employer #benefits #downsides #nittygritty

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