Working from home – my experience

Jang Belche, business analyst with our Supergen team, describes his experiences of working from home for the first time. While he concedes a few negatives, Jang gives his home-office working patterns a big thumbs up.

Wake up, get ready and prepare breakfast, start work, put on some nice music and enjoy your bowl of cereal.

Daily morning routine by Jang
Jang in his home office environment

This position was my first remote working position. At first I was a bit sceptical about the idea of working from home, but after the first week of work I got used to it very fast and reminded myself that this really is not any different than working on any other project from your laptop.

Wake up at 7:30 am, get ready and prepare breakfast, start work at 8 am. Catch up from what your teammates have been working on while you were offline. Put on some nice music and enjoy your bowl of cereal. That has been my morning routine for the past 2 months. No commute, no traffic jam and no rain to hustle through. You get up and you start work with a fresh mind. I was usually the first one online, due to my +1h time difference, soon after me, my team would switch online as we get ready for our “stand-up” meeting of the day.

At 10am each day, we would have an online call and give us updates on our progress and discuss other actions. There is no need to move offices or break your workflow, I simply plug in my earphones and I am ready to have a productive meeting. Soon after, it’s lunch time. As a team we agreed to have an hour lunch break, so I tried to make the most of that hour that I could. Since the kitchen is so close, I often spend time cooking and enjoying a fresh meal. On sunny days, I spend most of my break in the garden, enjoying the sun and reading. At no other job have I enjoyed my lunch breaks as much as this one. It was a perfect opportunity to turn off from work and return with a fresh mind afterwards.

The rest of the day would go by very fast; we would have meetings with our client to discuss project decisions and to get their feedback. Soon enough, it was 4pm already. I pushed my current process and closed my laptop. Work was done for the day, and I had half of the day left to do whatever I like.

I end up working from my couch, listening to my favourite music on 100% volume and petting my dog, while still being productive.

Can work get any more enjoyable than that?

I have really enjoyed my experience working from home, you open your laptop you are at work. You close it, you are away, it is as easy as that. Whenever I was having a hard time solving a specific issue, I would take a 20 minutes break, get some fresh air or have an ice cream. This allowed me to find my focus again and recharge. These are incredible benefits from working remotely, you are always at home and you can make your work place as comfortable as you like.

However, working remotely is not perfect and it has some flaws to it. I am a very social person and I value interactions with my peers. It has been difficult to interact with the team over chat alone. Especially at the start of the project I was very unsure how to talk to the team and how to present something to them. This got better after time of course, but I would have preferred meeting them in person and working alongside them. We had 3 different communication channels (Slack, Discord, Trello), and a lot of work has gone into organizing them effectively. This was necessary to keep structure and organization within the team. However even with these tools, we sometimes spoke against each other and had small issues working on the same things.

I have also missed the non-work-related interactions and communications. When we meet as a team, we almost exclusively spoke about the work. There was no common lunch break or joint walk to return home from the office. It took a very long time familiarising ourselves with each other and only towards the end did we have extended meetings to talk about something else than work. This is a big downside of working remotely, and it is one of those things you only miss and start noticing once you don’t have it.

Overall, this has been a very rewarding experience, I recommend to everyone to try at least once working remotely. I sometimes ended up working from my couch, listening to my favourite music on 100% volume and petting my dog, while still being productive. You can customize your workplace as you wish and there is no one around that will be affected by that. I also ended up having much more time of my days, yes you work for 7 hours (plus lunch), but you are home and can enjoy any aspect of it as you wish. I often went on a walk in the forest straight after work to catch the latest sun rays, or I went reading on the balcony. You have a great amount of freedom in your life and sometimes you even forget you are working full time.

Every person is different, and some people might prefer working in an office. I do believe that working in an office environment has its perks. But if you ask me whether it is worth working from home, I say yes, go for it!