Test: is udalenka suitable for you (not freelance!)?

    This article is for those who think about whether to try remote work and weigh the risks: the lifestyle will change significantly, you never know what goes wrong, and returning will not be easy. I will not present udalenka as a heavenly pleasure on the beach under my palm. Such articles have already been written enough, and they do not help to decide. I will try to help with the answer to exactly one question: “How can I find out if the udalenka is right for you?”

    This wording already contains half the answer. There is only one way to find out if something is right for you personally - an experiment. I managed to experiment under controlled conditions - without changing my job. As a result, I liked working from home, and I don’t want to go to the office. But my friend doesn’t work from home at all - everything is individual here. But this does not change the approach to experimentation.

    So, the joys and nastiness of udalenka and the transition period. A retrospective of personal experience, and in the end - a small test, it’s also an experimental plan.


    (careful, many pictures)

    Another look at udalenka in our blog:

    - How did I move ... home, or my answer to the author of the article about “merciless flour” - as one of our employees, after working in St. Petersburg, returned to his native Krasnoyarsk;
    - People and processes: why is not udalenka suitable for every company? - Against the background of enthusiasm from the udalenka, news regularly appears that another major company has curtailed this experiment. We understand why;
    - I’m looking for a senior without an office and cookies: how we have organized a search for employees who are 100% remote - an interview with the CEO about how the hiring of remote employees in Maxilect is built;
    - How do we control remote employees- why Maxilect does not use presence monitoring tools and automatic time tracking systems;
    - Transition from the office to a remote location: sharing experience and life hacks - a collective look at the transition process through the eyes of the team.

    First of all, we will agree on the terms. As part of my story: udalenka - work exclusively in the specialty for exactly one employer .


    Freelance (as far as I can see from the sofa) is a completely different level of heroism, requiring a combination of heaps of roles: look for clients, make up TK, solve user problems, keep accounts, etc.

    Many of my observations are true for freelance, but it is better to read about this in the original source .

    Demo version of udalenka

    Is it possible to try a remote or something close to it so that you can quickly return everything back if you do not like it? A reliable recipe suitable for everyone does not exist. But here are some approaches you can try.

    Home next to work


    The paradoxical move is not to drag work closer to home, but the house closer to work. You can rent an apartment next to work - in a neighboring house. The option is good in that you do not need to coordinate anything with the authorities. Personally, it turned out to me sideways, regularly ran home: either the washing machine broke, then my wife missed me.

    Just ask


    You can simply tell your bosses at your current job that you want to try the remote. It happens, it works. You can try to negotiate informally, only with your immediate superior.

    Even if it did not work out, you received important information. Perhaps the reason for the refusal is a lack of trust in the team or personally in you, and it will be useful to know about it.
    My “just asking” didn't work. In general, an adequate boss could not explain why you can’t work from home. Yes, and senior management insisted on being in the office.


    They are not allowed to work permanently - you can agree to work from home sometimes. This may not be allowed, because the business processes in the company are not adapted - a banal VPN is not provided, or you need to be physically present at general meetings.

    Caring for a relative as an occasion

    For two months, purposefully, under cover of darkness, I brought my wife to a diagnosis.

    Z34.0 according to ICD-10

    Since his wife needed supervision, he asked the management for a month of work from home. No one bothered to remember the end date, so in fact it worked like this for two months. Then he verbally agreed with his immediate superiors that I would continue to work. By then, I already had an argument: the performance remained the same. Later I got a job in a company where the remote mode of operation is the main one.

    Seize the moment


    Sometimes fate itself adds up the circumstances for you. It remains only to figure out how to use them. For example, that year in my hometown one of the shopping centers was closed for two weeks as a fire hazard, so local office workers were forced to test-drive the remote. By the way, not everyone liked it.

    Or you can get into a team where the presence in the office or work from home does not require coordination. Also a good chance to test your capabilities.

    What awaits you on the remote?

    We turn to spoilers - what to prepare for. It may seem to someone that the text below is written in close collaboration with Captain Evidence. Indeed, I will not say anything supernatural. There was no task to “surprise”, there was a task of “describing the prose of life as it is.”

    Treat the following as a checklist, subjective and incomplete: mark what causes you questions, enthusiasm, or inner protest. This will help you decide.


    In the office, the workplace is the responsibility of the employer. You come to a ready-made computer / table / chair. If the wheel breaks or hard crashes, the employer is engaged in the replacement while you are legally chasing teas in the kitchen. On a remote site, only you are responsible for your tools.
    I collected my working corner from scratch, and it cost me about 120k (pop-up drivers, multiply by at least 2), of which the current employer, “Maxilekt,” compensated for about 60k (without details, so that they would not be considered advertising; if you are interested, ask comments).


    Not everyone will have such capital costs. Many already have a powerful gaming computer and a good monitor - this is the most expensive part, the rest costs much less.

    The main plus is that the choice is only yours. Everything can be perfectly matched to your needs: a standing table, a knee-chair, any exotic.


    Up to the most fierce game.


    I remember someone (on Habré?) Described how he worked at a computer, lying in a bathtub with water.
    The table can always be set as psychologically comfortable: closer to the window, farther from the window, to the wall backwards, to the forest in front.


    In general, a workplace is more than a chair and a table with a working computer. This includes all that is necessary for productive work. Much of this is not noticed at all until you lose it.

    Appliances and furniture

    Table, chair, computer, a pair of monitors, for communication webcam and headset. Even if the employer organizes a thin client farm, some kind of hardware is still required. You can do with a laptop and a stool for a maximum of a day or two.


    If you have to work remotely, it will take longer, I recommend that once in a lifetime you read about the correct fit at the computer. Spoiler: leak under the table - improper landing. You don’t need to save on a chair, then treating your back is more expensive. But the table can be put the simplest, if only the countertop fits in height.



    In the name of fault tolerance, the most important thing is better to have two: backup Internet (at least from a mobile phone), backup power (ideally for a router, and for provider equipment in the stairwell), backups of the working environment - important data, software with settings. Aerobatics - spare working comp. On a remote site, you are your own IT service.

    Light and climate


    Without ventilation, carbon dioxide quickly accumulates in the room, it starts to sleep or headache. Poor lighting - an extra strain on the eyes. In cold and hot weather, work also will not work. Air conditioning and battery dry the air, dry mucous membranes of the mouth and nose - hello, SARS. Dry eyes are also no good, as is humidity. You will have to take care of all these parameters yourself.



    Neither the chatter of the neighbor in the open space nor the screaming baby at home help. Well, if you know how to abstract. He doesn’t leave himself abstracted - isolate yourself: on the balcony, in the office with the latch on the door, in the coworking.



    On a remote site there will be less reason to move. Self-discipline is needed to do fitness. The pool, by the way, helps to fix (and prevent!) Back problems. Take care of your health yourself. Nobody will do this for you, the maximum - fitness will be paid. At least learn the basics, there are enough articles on the Internet.


    An employee and an employer with a remote work format are not required to be in the same city. From this fact we have three main consequences.

    Wider choice

    On the expanses of the globe somewhere yes there is the work of your dreams. This is especially true for small towns, where there is almost nowhere to work. For residents of cities with a million-plus population, there are also goodies. You can find an offer with an income level somewhere in the middle between local and capital salaries. You can enter the foreign market - yes, there are more difficulties there, but incomes are higher.

    Freedom of movement

    You can change the city and even the country without changing the place of work and without bothering with any coordination. In a typical article about udalenka and freelance, the first illustration is a man with a laptop on the shore of the tropical ocean. Purely theoretically, you can really work under the palm trees. You just need to understand which word is the key in the phrase “work under palm trees”. Hint: these are not “palm trees."


    Actually, the key word is “ work .” Imagine: the Cote d'Azur, the gentle breeze, tanned people in swimsuits are in every possible way high, and you sit and stare at the monitor.
    In fairness, it is worth noting that it is quite possible to rent bungalows off the coast somewhere in the tropics, deploy a sane workplace there and, as expected, work 45 minutes, splash 15 minutes in the ocean. Without depressing thoughts that the vacation is ending, the day after tomorrow the plane is back, and the weather has turned bad and is not going to mend itself.
    Speaking of time pressure. Suppose you want to go on a vacation to another city to see. What does it usually look like?


    Two weeks for everything, galloping across Europe, the roof goes from an overdose of impressions and schedule density. And on a remote site, you can take your time to fill your fill.
    For example, my wife and I were on a business trip for three weeks in St. Petersburg. And during these three weeks we only got a taste. If I were a remoter then, I would have rented an apartment for a couple of months and would have been imbued with the city as it should, and not horrible.

    Work-home comfort

    The proximity of work and home can be called bagofich. This is both the biggest advantage of the udalenka and the toughest stop factor.
    Immediately make a reservation that I consider work from home the main option, and work from the office or co-working near the house is a spare. The office has only one advantage over the house, although it is important: it is easier not to be distracted by households and the contents of the refrigerator. The rest is better at home. So I’d only think about renting an office if it’s impossible to work from home.

    Work from home (or from the office near the house) gives a large pile of small amenities. Here is an incomplete list of reasons invented in a minute:

    • take a nap an hour after dinner,
    • take a walk while it's light
    • help my wife with a baby,
    • accept courier delivery,
    • check electrician / plumbing,
    • make noise with a puncher while everyone is at work,
    • get to the clinic or bank when the people are at least
    • it’s safe to stay out of flu
    • listen to your favorite music from a full-fledged audio system.

    But the payment for all these pleasures deserves a separate chapter.

    Household and household

    The traditional office mode provides isolation of life and work “out of the box”: you cannot be both at home and at work (although science and technology work on this). At home you will have to make sure that work and life do not interfere with each other.

    Personal Computer


    The working computer should be yours. You do not wait until he is free. Do not shake that important files will be erased or vir is picked up. When you need to work, the computer must be ready.

    Once upon a time, in the first year of our life together, my wife and I had one laptop for two. The battles for him were serious. Then I decided for myself that there should be no less than computers / laptops than adult family members.



    It is vital that the spouse understands that working requires long intervals without interruption. Sounds easy, huh? It seems that just explaining it once is enough, because adults are reasonable enough.

    What a fallacy! If you are personally lucky and have enough of one explanation, urgently put a monument to your partner. It is possible that you will have to train for many months (no, this is not an exaggeration).

    And there are children who at different ages differently resist everything, which deprives them of your every second attention. In 99.9% of cases, parental hardness works, but not everyone is able to show this hardness.

    This item is the main stop factor when working from home, take it seriously. Either you get home understanding (explanations, persuasion, growl), or lock yourself in a separate room, or you can’t work from home at all.

    fun workRemotely() = try {
    } catch (e: InterruptedException) {

    Personal space and the dose of loneliness

    Everyone sometimes needs loneliness, some more, some less. If both spouses are permanently at home (both remoteworkers or a housewife wife), personal space problems may arise.

    You will probably think: “We are a perfect couple, this is definitely not about us.” May be. And it may also be that after a few months you will begin to look for reasons to leave the house or send a partner for a walk. And the cherry on the cake - to drive, that connected the life of the wrong person, if you want to stay without him.

    So, the need to be alone with yourself is an absolutely normal thing. Regardless of the compatibility of the spouses, they sometimes need to rest from each other. It is enough to go to different rooms, but not enough.

    The working solution is to provide yourself with an activity separate from the partner, at least periodically. A personal hobby or forays with friends without a second half will do.

    The main meanness of this point is gradualism. Lack of privacy accumulates little by little and may not be felt right away. The necessary dose of loneliness will have to figure out for quite some time. It is worth at least roughly estimating it during a test drive udalenki.


    Of course, the office provides more opportunities for communication and socialization. As with the workplace, some of the things that are important for productivity are easy to overlook because “it works itself,” without conscious effort on your part.

    Information transfer

    In the office, you have a channel for free that allows you to transmit both voice, and picture, and facial expressions, and gestures, and even give a kick to a colleague, because of which production fell yesterday. And this channel is broadcast (except for kicks).


    The obvious uses are to discuss with the cooler a work task or draw together at the board. Less obvious examples - just sitting in the office, you can catch with your ear, what your colleagues and company breathe. Even through this channel, the leadership monitors the morale of employees, sometimes noticing professional burnout before the burnout itself.

    On a remote site, you still need to share knowledge, receive news and monitor the vigor of people, including your own. But this magic channel is not there, and it is only partially replaced by technologies. What technology has not mastered, you will have to take it upon yourself, applying conscious organized efforts.

    And the technology has not mastered so much.

    The main channel of communication is still text. It is preserved, and this is its great advantage: the text can be reread, sent unchanged, made into an article in the knowledge base (instead of saying the same thing a hundred times). The text allows a detailed discussion of several people. But it is still not enough.

    They learned to transmit sound, but they switch to it only when it is necessary to quickly explain something, and to print laziness. The picture is worse - crashes, delays, camera controls are still missing. Absolutely bad with the transmission of kicks and other tactile sensations - all hope for the development of the porn industry .



    The remoter should make conscious efforts to transmit the very non-verbal signals that we use to exchange the mood in a personal conversation, in an explicit form. In particular:

    1. Notice problems in yourself and work processes.
    2. Bring them to the attention of anyone.

    For example, if you feel that the project has bothered you, you should discuss this with your superiors as soon as possible. Seriously, transparency is important even in the office. And even more so on a remote site.


    An office is, among other things, an exit “into the people”, an occasion, at least, to put on your pants and remember how to say “hello”. Accordingly, the remote manager is more or less wild.


    Holders of a meter awl at the fifth point have nothing to worry about: they are not threatened by wildness. Closed individuals also have nothing to worry about: reducing the number of contacts is a joy to them. If you do not belong to any of these extremes, it is worth thinking about two things.
    First, what to do? In addition to meeting friends and some hobbies, there are also virtual talkers, volunteering, open-source.

    Secondly, with whom? On a remote site, the “colleague” and “drinking companion” positions cannot be closed by one person.

    And so that the team does not turn into overgrown savages communicating with each other with SQL queries, daily team video calls are enough.

    Time control

    The employer differently controls working time in the office and on the remote. Theoretically, remote control methods are applicable to office workers. But these methods require more effort from management. So the business processes are significantly different, although there are common features, of course. The office, with its magical non-verbal transmission channel, allows the manager to maximize the use of soft skills. Remote control is more formalized, but more focused on what really needs to be measured.

    Flexible schedule


    On average, you can expect that the work schedule will be very flexible, since the number of working hours does not directly affect your efficiency. The main thing, of course, is not to abuse and keep in touch with colleagues when you need it: on regular phone calls, when distributing tasks, when you need to share knowledge, etc.

    I have worked in a couple of offices where they demanded to come to work by 9 a.m. ( although, in my opinion, for IT this is nonsense). In a remote place, I can hardly imagine such a thing.

    It was possible to install all kinds of instant messengers, VPN client, terminal, postgres client on the smartphone and, sitting somewhere in the bank or in the tax office, look into the task tracker and assembly system, restart the app on the stand and poke around in the database. And sometimes coding until dawn (voluntarily).

    Status rallies


    A simple and effective remedy for procrastination and wildness. If you look at the seals in YouTube, the question will start to scratch in your head: “Well, what will I tell you tomorrow about the status?”.



    A reasonable minimum of bureaucracy, which is necessary not only for the employer, but also for the employee, so as not to slide into workaholism.

    3-6 hours “clean”

    The work should be given exactly as much time as necessary. There may be distortions in both directions - and work from waking up to falling asleep, and the complete inability to concentrate at home.
    Moreover, long-term workaholism beats productivity no worse than procrastination. Even if your colleagues are a family, this is not a reason to systematically recycle. In the end, management does not need your burnout at all. In the office, an adequate boss will drive you home when you earned money. On a remote site, this must be monitored independently.

    Here only self-discipline will save. It should be noted that work in the office itself does not take all 8 hours. In addition to lunch and toilet breaks, for long-term productivity, you also need to switch to seals in YouTube - in moderation, of course. Any somehow adequate leader knows this.

    Do not understand an 8-hour work day too literally. 8 hours of work “clean” is the equivalent of 12-15 hours in the office. I repeat, nobody needs such a workaholism. An intellectual worker can do work for about 20 hours in a week. The working week can be increased, but the amount of work done will not increase from this.

    The ritual of “coming to work”

    If the place of sleep and the place of work are in the same room, then at least put on your pants (it really works; the trick is seen in the training manual published by Forbes with the support of Microsoft). The ideal, of course, is a separate office to change the situation, switching from leisure to work and vice versa.

    No sense of supervision

    The boss does not stand above the soul and does not look at the monitor. However, do not give in to the feeling that no one is measuring your productivity.

    Adequate authorities monitor mainly the amount of work performed. Control freaks force the use of a time tracker. In any case, there may not be a sense of supervision, but there is supervision itself.


    Spyware and Paranoia

    Time tracker is a spy software that takes screenshots every 15 minutes, can record video from a webcam, browser history and Cthulhu knows what else.

    Such control is somehow justified on freelance exchanges, where the customer does not trust the contractor, because not familiar with him. In a long relationship, I am sure he harms more, helping only to quench the thirst for control. What prevents an employee from putting next to a second laptop and turning a movie or YouTube with seals on it?

    Control frichestvo is a characteristic, rather, of the company as a whole. For example, she kept offices all her life and is trying to copy the corresponding business process to remote workers. Or copies the approach to freelancers. Or the manager may be too lazy to think what to measure and how to measure, because the old approach somehow worked “on sensations” and did not require conscious efforts. Personal cockroaches and complexes, including top management, are also not excluded.

    In addition, I came across paranoia about root-rights on employee’s devices (working laptop, rooted “Android”). I actually saw how developers were deprived of admin rights and seriously discussed the setting of office Wi-Fi to prohibit the connection of rooted Androids. For my taste, all this is not only unpleasant, but also indicates the immaturity of the company or individual managers. You need to find out at the interview and stay away from such employers.

    Change work to remote

    Toward the close - a few tips in case you decide to change work to remote.
    To choose an adequate employer, it will be useful to understand why companies are looking for remote workers. In addition to control freaks, cutting off at the interview stage is worth those who are trying to squeeze you for the money. For example, on the basis of the principle “Signor in the provinces can be hired for ZP Juna in Moscow”. Or a more sophisticated variation: “okay, we will pay as middle, and we will pile on duties as PMU”. There is still such logic: "we give a bunch of freedoms, and therefore we will pay less money." In all these cases, the company is not aimed at cooperation, but at muzhlezh or squeezing juices. Such a minus can hardly be offset by anything.


    So, what does a remote worker give a normal employer?

    • Шире выбор. У компании появляется доступ к дополнительным человеческим ресурсам по всем уголкам РФ, СНГ, мира.
    • Экономия на аренде помещений. Впрочем, мизерная по сравнению с ФОТ.
    • Идеология. Иногда удаленка – это философия компании, часть ее системы ценностей или, если угодно, прихоть основателей. Честно говоря, я бы и не подумал об этом пункте всерьез, если б не работал в такой компании.
    • Удержание сотрудников. Бывает, что человеку вдруг опостылел офис. Если компания хочет его удержать, она может пойти навстречу и продолжить сотрудничество в удаленном формате. Удаленка активно развивается, и, конкурируя за ценные кадры, работодатели мегаполисов уже вполне используют ее как один из способов повысить свой рейтинг в глазах кандидатов.

    In general, there are no problems with finding remote work. There are enough vacancies, job search sites have corresponding filters. In the end, come to work for us at Maxilekt.

    Promised test

    And now - actually, a test. Briefly go over the most likely stop factors.
    In order to fully answer all the questions, you will need an experiment - I told you how to organize it in the “Demo version” section. In a couple of weeks you can get an idea of ​​how much work is to be done on yourself. If you answered “no” to at least one question, the udalenka will probably bring you only disappointment.

    The questions are below.
    Update: according to the recommendation from the comments, the multi-questions were divided.

    The author of the article: Kirill Gamazkov, team lead “Maxilekt” ( vokzamag )
    The text was prepared based on the presentation by Cyril at Samara Java and Kotlin User Groups Meetup March.

    PS We publish our articles on several sites of the Runet. Subscribe to our pages on VK , FB or Telegram-channel to find out about all our publications and other Maxilect news.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Are you ready to spend money and time on organizing a workplace?

    • 92.1% yes 1122
    • 7.8% no 95

    Do you have enough self-discipline not to laze?

    • 65.9% yes 745
    • 34% no 384

    “Живого” общения и “выходов в свет” будет меньше. Готовы к этому?

    • 80.6%да931
    • 19.3%нет223

    Если работать из дома, готовы муштровать домочадцев, чтобы не отвлекали?

    • 83.5%да668
    • 16.5%нет132

    Если не получится вымуштровать, готовы арендовать офис?

    • 37.4%да298
    • 62.5%нет498

    Текста печатать придется больше. Готовы к этому?

    • 90%да718
    • 9.9%нет79

    Do you have enough self-discipline not to recycle?

    • 58.5% yes 463
    • 41.4% no 328

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