Working remotely isn’t just an advantage for the worker

Creative Commons: http://j.mp/1khEPUj
Creative Commons: http://j.mp/1khEPUj

It’s eight pm, and I got an eureka moment while watching the tv: I had a very annoying bug for an application I’m working on for work, and I thought I found the solution. I decided to work a little on my code, and see if my idea was right. Five hours later, my bug was fixed, I added one feature to my application, and contributed to an Open Source library.

At first sight, it seems that I worked too much, and didn’t manage well my work-life balance, but the day after, I woke up later than usual, and went to the gym before starting my day of work. It was an advantage for me as I was able to get a good night of sleep, and do some exercise during normal working hours (less people at the gym). It was not just a good thing for me as I’m sure if I count the number of hours I worked during that week, I almost certainly worked more than a 37-40 hours workweek. The definition of working is probably more about real work getting done than being at the office (totally different). I said it before, and I’ll say it again: in a creative job, you cannot be productive from eight to five every day (French post). In that situation, I worked when I felt it was worth it!

It happens quite often: I’ll leave my computer to do some personal stuff or go for an appointment during the day. If it’s not working right now, why should my employer pay me to stay in front of my computer because it’s the time when people should work? I prefer to give the company productive hours, sometimes less, sometimes more, than presence hours. Of course, I’m always available by email if there is anything urgent, but I’m not working on a typical schedule.

I recently finished reading Remote Office not required, a book from the people at 37Signals. It wasn’t interesting for me since I’m already a remote worker, but I definitely suggest this book to anyone who wants to learn more about working remotely or any companies that want to embrace this opportunity.

I’ve been working remotely since three years now, and I can say I’ll never want to work every day at an office again (it was one of my criteria when I was looking for a new job). While there are many more advantages for an employer, I can clearly say that just about the productive hours, it is worth it for any companies!

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