Remote work is not “freelance”

    Today, the old question “ Why does the employer prefer to hire a web developer in the office?Came across my eyes : . The question was asked back in 2012, but, in my opinion, the situation has not changed much since then.

    Colleagues, there is a serious misunderstanding, which it is high time to resolve.

    Many, it seems to me, imagine a freelancer like this:
    • Comes to some separate small task, performs it and leaves.
    • Works on several small projects at the same time. Or he has a permanent job, and a freelancer simply moonlights in the remaining time.
    • He is not worried about the project as a whole. Just what he is responsible for.
    • It encloses itself with technical tasks. And because of each new bun, a conflict may arise.
    • It works when it wants. It’s hard to contact him.

    In fact, I do not want to say that this is a myth. Not at all, such people are full. And they in a certain situation, when you urgently need to finish something in the current project, can be very helpful. But a full-fledged project from some of these freelancers, as I described above, is not concocted.

    However, there is another category of remoters. These are people focused on full time, as in normal work “in the office,” not just in the office, but from home. How do they differ from those that are usually considered “freelancers”:
    • They work at full time (40 hours a week).
    • They get a fixed salary, or hourly, but still work 160 hours a month.
    • They are not engaged in one single task, but occupy a fixed position. Work six months, a year, two. As much as the project requires.
    • Always present during business hours. Actively interact with the manager, and with the whole team.
    • And it’s not uncommon that these same watches are also agreed upon in advance. That a person works from so many to so many. Well, or at least appears at scheduled meetings.

    In general, such an ordinary employee. For the worker himself, the plus is that you do not need to go somewhere to the office every day, you can live somewhere very far away. For example, you can work for some European / American startup, and live in Thailand :)

    For my long-term history of employment, I had to work in completely different places: I had to work in offices, and as a freelancer for one-time small tasks, and as the above-described multtime remoter. Including, I have repeatedly worked on projects fully developed by remote engineers. That is, programmers, managers, designers and the employer have never even seen each other in the eye for months of work. And, nevertheless, we did and supported full-fledged commercial projects that went self-sustaining.

    Personally, for myself, I did not notice a significant organizational difference between remote work and office work. The same jigs , the same scrum boards , the same skype . So it turns out that for an employee this form of work is even more convenient than traveling every day to the office.

    Of course, for people who, like me, cook in all this remote kitchen, my story is not a revelation. But most employers look at us with some distrust, to say the least. Moreover, not even the old big offices, with their corporate principles and other cockroaches, but quite a “hipster” startups.

    You open the next vacancy at Huntim and read: “young, ambitious, with cool modern technology, a flexible schedule and ping pong at work.” Well, just a sight for sore eyes. But with remote control in any. And they are ready to help with the move, and offer a salary “above the market”.

    Guys, why do we need your salary higher than the market, if you rent an apartment in the center of Moscow near your office, anyway, eat at least half? And if you travel across the capital for an hour and a half in one direction - it turns out that I will work not 8 hours a day, but all 11. At the same payment. It’s better if I get a salary twice as low in my Mukhosransk. :)

    Guys, I don’t know what kind of cockroaches you have in mind, but let's discuss those “problems” with remote workers that you most often hear about:

    There is no control over employees. What does he do there?

    First of all, what do task managers and version control systems do for you? They very well reflect the picture of what is happening, who is doing what.

    Secondly, demand a constant presence in the chat during business hours, and arrange rallies. It is not necessary to require detailed reports - it will be counterproductive - but in a nutshell you can periodically find out the situation. After all, the project manager in the office does not hang over his subordinates 24/7, but the work is somehow moving. And in the office, people can chat with each other, and smoke to walk.

    Thirdly, it is possible and a little paranoid. Pay by the hour, and take screenshots every 10 minutes, as oDesk suggests. In my opinion, this is an excess. Because there will be even more control than in the office. But you can start with this form.

    Okay, let's say I can follow his presence. But what if he suddenly disappears? I am not ready to take such risks.

    And who is stopping him from the office the abyss suddenly and meet? Specify all working conditions in advance, and always conclude an employment contract. Then there will be less risks. In practice, there are such people, but still there are not so many of them. In general, risks should be considered in cost.

    Well, here I am safe from the sudden disappearance of the employee. And how do I understand how he is a good specialist, and how does he cope with his duties?

    And do not immediately give a lot of responsibility. Give him a test task (even if it’s paid). And look how he will deal with it.

    Convinced. So I found a responsible and good specialist. But that is not all. There is team communication in the office. Including informal. This is an important part of the job.

    I agree. But communication can be remote. Including informal. A collective can be a collective without being personally acquainted with each other. Do you yourself communicate on the Internet only with those people with whom you personally know?

    Yes, but in the office, for example, I can go up to Semyon and explain on my fingers to poke at the monitor. And with the freelancer you also have to reconcile all sorts of technical requirements.

    So you are not hiring a “freelancer,” but a permanent employee with your duties. None of those. tasks. Everything is like in an ordinary office.

    And you can “poke a finger at the monitor” using TeamViewer or sharing the screen in Skype. In the 21st century, we live, comrades!

    I perfectly explained “on the fingers” with remote managers, and with remote programmers, and with remote designers. Nothing wrong with that.


    Friends, I hope that I managed to shed a little light on the situation with remote work. There are freelancers , but there are remote employees who are almost like ordinary office workers. They do not need to be afraid, it is quite possible to cook good porridge with them.

    Still, in the courtyard of the 21st century. I want the business to keep up to date as much as possible. Old forms of work, of course, will not go anywhere. In the end, some people like to work from the office rather than at home. But there is a good proportion of good workers who prefer to work from home, and an office for them is just an extra burden. And do not immediately close their eyes to them. Give them a chance. Fortunately, the specificity of our industry allows this.

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