How to live on the remote


It would seem that on Habré the issue of remote work was already repeatedly discussed, and even a lot of information about this experience can be found on the web. However, once again answering a friend’s question: “What is it like, working from home?”, I realized that I wanted to share my experience. I hope it will be useful to those who still doubt whether it is worth it.

So, my name is Arthur, and I ... a remote developer. Recently, the topic of remote work has become increasingly “HYIP”, but its history has been dragging on for 40 years , and NASA continues to encourage remote work.

You can work without being tied to an office as a remote employee, freelancer or founder of a business. All these areas are a little different in the list of occupations that lean on you “in the load” to your specialization: sales, marketing, work with clients. What unites them is a set of stereotypes that have developed in many heads. And that is what I want to discuss in this article.


Work by the sea

“How beautiful it is to work while sitting in a lounge chair by the sea!” ... only a person who has never tried it can think.

The first question to ask is how to choose a good place? It is clear that if you are easily distracted, you will not fit an ordinary beach, where everyone is resting. People running around, sand, taking off from under someone's feet, will surely spoil your working mood, and if you’re not lucky at all, then a laptop.

The solution would seem obvious - we are looking for a quieter place. Sometimes you can find a good uncrowded beach near the hotel or restaurant, but you need to be prepared for the fact that you have to pay extra for comfort. If you wish, you can find a completely deserted place, but usually you will have to get to it all the same time that you would spend on a trip to work in Moscow. Electrical outlets do not grow out of the sand, and coconut palms do not want to distribute WiFi. Yes, and on the loungers in such places usually do not have to count, and it is worth bearing in mind when loading yourself with a laptop on the moped on which you want to get there.

Well, you still got to your cherished place. Sun, sea - beauty! Sit back (taking into account the points described above), and open the laptop. Sunny bunnies or raindrops from suddenly flown clouds will soon give you their “phi”. In case you stock up on an umbrella, the next problem comes first.

How do you imagine the sea? Usually, a beach is drawn in the head in warm Thailand, or on that “fabulous Bali”. Birds are singing, bananas are growing on trees, the temperature is 30 degrees around your laptop ... and under 80 inside. What does it mean? The roar of fans, throttling (decrease in the frequency of the processor due to overheating). Coconuts grow on palm trees, and there are usually no rosettes. My MacBook has enough hours for 2 development instead of 5, a friend from Avito suggests that his laptop is enough for 5 cold builds of the project. In addition, the battery wears out faster, the Dell XPS degraded in 3 months from 5 hours to 1.5. And on the knees in the heat to feel the hot piece of metal - certainly not what you would like to strive for.

Accommodation anywhere in the world

It seems that if you are not tied to one place, then you can work literally from everywhere. But not everything is so simple. First, you need stable internet access. Now it is getting better and better with him, but this should be clarified before renting a house. We recently wanted to fly to Cuba for a month or two - cheap tickets, an interesting story. Opened the nomad list and saw that the declared speed of the Internet is 1 Mbit / s. We checked the information and found out that “Expensive and slow - this is how the Internet works in Cuba” . Okay ...

Secondly, you will probably have to look for a separate accommodation, especially if you plan to call the team at night. I know people who like to stay in the house where the owner himself lives, even if this option is more expensive than a separate apartment. Why? Because dinner with a local guy (or girl) who rents out is worth a thousand excursions. Who else will show you a beautiful street udonnaya in a narrow alley, in which you yourself would not risk dropping in during the day? Who will talk about the local “first-hand” culture?

Well, do not forget about the price tags - for odnushku in Reykjavik (Iceland) will have to pay 2-3 thousand dollars per month, which can be quite uncomfortable amount.

Endless journey

After watching several interviews with travelers who have traveled around the world, I noticed one thing. In each interview there is a question about how much money they traveled (spoiler - from 100 rubles to millions), and often how they saved this money. But I have never heard the answer to the question of how they got all these visas! And on the Russian passport, unfortunately, not all countries are allowed in (although the Chinese are even more difficult).

One more thing that everyone doesn’t think about is how much free time you actually have every month. Why month? Asia is one of the most popular destinations for “remote”. And for the citizens of Russia, whom I am, in most countries there is a visa-free regime for 1 month. Want to stay longer? Make a visa (usually only in the capital of the country), confirm round-trip tickets ... Not everything is so simple, in one word. You can fly to South America, but there is less safe and quite expensive flights. In short, as in programming, there is no silver bullet.

So, travel takes time - get to the point of interest to you, explore all the interesting things, come back. On weekdays, there is little time, the “round-trip” radius is quite short, so the main attacks take place on weekends. In the month we have 4 days off. The first of them go on the road. Day for the flight, the second - to get acquainted with the surroundings and find the nearest necessities - a grocery store and an inexpensive cafe, a mobile phone shop (for a backup internet source), an exchanger.

Total, usually there are 3 pairs of days off in which it is possible to go somewhere far away. Often this is enough, but if you suddenly spent a month near the “Chocolate Hills” in the Philippines, but you never reached them before, it becomes a little sad.

Work from home is like an office. Table, chair, laptop, internet.

Yes, you can work from your home, get a good chair, a table, and all that you need for happiness. But it's not just about the workplace.

It happens that you fight all day on a task, but there are no results. The reasons are different - they updated the minor version of the library in a series of commits, and suddenly everything fell off; Chinese Android behaves unpredictably, the Internet knocked out after a thunderstorm. It happens that just nothing works for a couple of hours until you guess to reload everything that is possible ... I think everyone has come across this.

When this happens in the office - it is unpleasant, but, often, experienced normally. You were in the office with colleagues, everyone was doing something. You can distract, play table tennis, go for coffee. Even if you work for the result, and not for hours, it is still perceived in the style of “well, it happens”, and at the end of your 9 o'clock you go home feeling good.

On the remote is a bit more complicated. Here, in principle, it is more difficult with transparency, a lot of things happen on trust (if you don’t work in Crossover, which takes pictures of your camera and desktop every 15 minutes ...). Colleagues see outstanding tasks, but you do not. As a result, such cases are often accompanied by greater discomfort, anxiety, processing.

Free schedule

Everything is brief here. Often, a free schedule is not so free. In continuation of the same “visibility problem” you want to be in touch all the time. If you work for one company, it's a little easier, but still.

For example, from Thailand we worked from 12 to 9 o'clock. “Nothing special,” you say, “I don’t get to the office in Moscow before 12”. Similarly, I forgot to clarify - from 12 at night until 9 in the morning. From Malaysia - from 4 am to 1 pm Of course, these 9 hours did not always go continuously, sometimes we walked somewhere in the middle of this time and finished work in the evening. But if the whole team has a meeting at 12 o'clock in California - then you need to get up to 4 in Kula Lumpur. And the point.


This is not even a stereotype, but a common question. And communicating with different people, I received different assessments of this quality.

It is no secret that many IT professionals work in open space offices. And many say that they need concentration for productive work. As a result, almost everyone sits in headphones, often - either in large and “closed”, or in “vacuum” ones. What for? To just hammer all the noise that stands around.

Personally, I fundamentally do not like this approach. I love listening to music for fun, not just putting it in the background. In addition, with the improvement of the level of the English language, you begin to unconsciously listen to the music, sing along with it ... And you realize that you are distracted. Of course, you can turn on trance or instrumental, but still this is not the same. I don’t understand people working in a cafe. Leaving a noisy office in a noisy cafe ... Creating a quiet area at home, on the other hand, is noticeably simpler - and productivity increases.

This spring we were looking for a new developer, and I just met an old acquaintance on Mobius. We talked about remote work, and I invited him to join the team. He refused. To my surprise, not because of the project, salary or development. And not even because of the English in which we communicate in a team. The main risk was that he was afraid that he simply would not be able to devote enough time to work, being distracted by various household or entertainment issues. Previously, I did not think about it, but then I remembered a few more people saying similar things.

Personally, in recent years I have developed the ability to concentrate on work, without being distracted by articles, social networks, and other tools of the procrasticator . I think the Innopolis Magistracy played a significant role in this, where in order to succeed in studies, you had to set priorities all the time and concentrate on really important tasks.

If you are not sure how you will succeed, you can take several MOOC courses as an experiment in your free time, for example, on Coursera. I think they will allow you to evaluate your ability to work from home. Like any experiment, it introduces some error in the measurement. Most likely, the work that provides you with bread-and-water-mortgage-Thailand, you will be treated more responsibly. But there is a chance to understand that this will be completely uncomfortable for you.

To be continued

In this article I described the moments of distant work, on which we often focused attention, communicating with friends and colleagues. Separately, you can talk about the pros, some of which are not so obvious. And in fact, for each item from this article I can write something that will smooth its negative, and some problems can be turned into advantages, with the right approach. If interested - write in the comments, discuss.

Also, there is almost no information in the article about exactly how the workflow occurs, what difficulties of team development we face and how we solve them. If you are interested in this moment and the main differences from the processes in the office, I will be happy to tell you about this side of the coin.

If you remembered about other stereotypes - write in the comments, and together we will create an even more accurate picture of the world.


In our life it is difficult to find something pure white or black. It is the same with remote work - it has its pros and cons. I told about the disadvantages that touched me. I will tell you about the non-obvious advantages in the next article, if you are interested.

In general, I am glad that I work remotely and, in my opinion, the advantages of such work outweigh the disadvantages.

If you are just thinking about whether to try remote work - most likely worth it. If you choose the most responsibly, you can create a linear (or even non-linear) function, arrange the coefficients for each plus and minus and calculate the total value. You can follow the path of Ted Mosby and create a table of pros and cons (always on the yellow sheet ). And you can have an interview and immediately get a remote job to feel its taste in practice, and not in theory. Yes, it is a little more risky, but the immersion is much higher, of course. For starters, you can listen to the release of the Submarine about freelancing and remote work

Where to look for remote work

It’s easy to googling, but here’s a short list to get you started:

  • Current employer (suddenly, right?) As an option, you can agree on one day per week, start small.
  • Familiar, working remotely. We, for example, are looking for Senior Backend Dev on Node.js to our team

How does remote work seem to you? Write in the comments, discuss. And so that the article does not look very sad, in this cable canalchik you can see notes about what you can do in your free time.

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