Office work? There is no way
I am a freelancer
Therefore, I do not go for interviews. Interviews run counter to the idea of freelancing. If freelancers were hired through interviews, freelancers would spend most of their time attending interviews.
Therefore, freelancers very rarely go for interviews. For more than 10 years of my professional experience, I have been interviewed 4 (four) times, including yesterday.
Freelancers do not go for interviews. But a friend called me, whom I know exclusively on the positive side, and told me that the company with which he collaborates is looking for people, asked if I could come and talk.
fundamental rules for quiet workand having estimated that the person is good and the company, most likely, is also adequate, I decided to agree.
- Don't be an asshole
- Don't work with assholes
- Don't work with assholes
On the whole, there was a positive impression of communication, and although at the moment I am not looking for a job, the proposals voiced to me were quite interesting.
However, the condition was set - work only in the office. No remote.
As a result, I went out of there with a mandate to think until Monday. There is really nothing to think about. Office work is not an option. Having parked the car near my house, I was thinking about how to formulate a letter of refusal. The comrade with whom I spoke made a good impression on me and did not want to just write "I do not want to work with you" in a reply letter. I decided that I would write down in detail the reasons for my refusal and the importance of remote work for me. In the process, the answer became so widespread that it turned from a letter into this article.
I will try to tell why the remote work is a special status, which is very difficult to refuse.
Of course, there are already a billion articles about what freelance is and how remote workers live, with an analysis of the pros and cons.
However, in my opinion, these articles look at freelance a bit one-sided.
For example, almost the most important plus of freelancing is often declared "the ability to work on the beach / in a hammock."
Well, I have a beach 10 minutes away, and a hammock right outside the door.
Throughout his career he has not worked in a hammock or on the beach for a minute.
99.9% of the working time was spent at one of their desktops.
Another 0.1% is the solution of urgent work issues on someone else's computer or through a smartphone / tablet.
Yes, being able to work from anywhere is a nice feature, but in reality it is very, very rarely needed.
Let's try to formulate the main reasons why I will never agree to work in the office for full time and continue to freelance.
The ability to manage your time
It's not about working when you want. It's about not working when you need it.
Yes, I work in the evenings, weekends, holidays and at three in the morning on the first of January.
But if tomorrow I need to get an appointment with a specialist (who, suddenly, works only on weekdays from 9 to 19), then I will go to 9 and talk to him without waiting in line. But I won’t run away like crazy, at my lunch break or at six in the evening after work, when a crowd of the same office employees rush to him at the reception.
You can visit the gym at a time when visits are cheaper and fewer people. Just think: they usually pay more to work out in less comfort ...
Interest clubs are chosen not by the principle of "I will be in time after work", but by the principle of "I want this."
In most cases, I work like ordinary people - on weekdays from 10 to 18. But, if desired, I can easily transfer part of the work to the weekend or evening and spend time on weekdays for something that I need or is interested in.
However, I do not get tired of work. Let's be honest, as a rule, people get tired not from work, but from related factors: talkative Natasha at the next table, computer noise, inadequate ventilation, trip to / from work. I don’t have all this. Therefore, I often continue to work after 18:00 ... Why not, if it works? If there is no mood to work, I’m going to do something. Anything. While office people are just getting home, so tired that they don’t want anything ...
The need to go to work
This does not apply to everyone. But it concerns the majority. As a rule, the more comfortable you live, the farther you get to work.
And even 40 minutes one way (and this is considered a very good option in most cities) is an hour and a half wasted. And it’s okay to just spend it, but a trip in a minibus, in the heat, in a crowd of the same people (we go at rush hour, along with the same comrades hurrying to work) is terribly exhausting. It is not surprising that most of the people in the evening after work are so exhausted that there is not enough strength for anything except the episode of the beloved series. And if one and a half hours are spent on travel only one way? This is quite real in modern cities ... This is almost 20% of a person’s life, burned aimlessly for travel.
For a long time, companies began to realize that saving on the job is stupid. At my very first workplace (and I had worked in the office for a trial period for three whole months in my life), all employees had chic leather chairs. Now almost all job offers contain a mention that the workplace can be arranged according to the requirements of the employee.
But ... a workplace is a little more than a chair, a desk, and a computer on the desk. I believe that all adequate employers allocate a budget and allow an employee to build a table with a computer within the budget.
A workplace is also the temperature in the room, for example. And also, for me personally, a very important condition is sound design. It so happened that I have been living all my life surrounded by music. Surround sound system appeared in the house earlier than the microwave. Every day some kind of ambient, chillout is playing around me ... Can you imagine a company that will allow a programmer to put in an audio system other than headphones? But the audio channel is an important part of perception, strongly influencing mental processes.
Yes, by the way, back to the temperature in the room. Everyone loves air conditioning! Except me. Previously, every trip to the street in the heat became a torment for me. I think everyone knows this feeling when the heat presses, it becomes hard to breathe and move. But not everyone knows (almost no one?) That you can easily get rid of this. You just need to get used to the heat and stop living in the cold. This is a huge buzz - do not die in the heat. Now I can go to +35 packed in a bulletproof vest with a heavy backpack and it won’t kill me. A workplace without air conditioning - many employers are willing to give it to their employee?
We should also talk about air quality. It was a discovery for me that air humidity and the amount of CO2 VERY strongly affect the state of the body.
A series of articles on the habr on this topic:"Forewarned means armed . "
After a thoughtful reading of materials on air humidity and CO2 concentration, I acquired not only humidity and CO2 sensors, but also a humidifier.
It suddenly turned out that you can live without a headache and cracking skin.
I assume that the employer will allow you to put sensors and a humidifier in the office. But in the winter, there is no escape from a war among employees on the topic “it is necessary to aerate” and “it is impossible to aerate - it is cold”. And in the summer too, if there is an air conditioner: “do not open the window! air conditioning! ” Normal ventilation is a rare guest in most offices, which means that all employees live in cold, but saturated CO2 air. After all, they mostly put air conditioners cheaper and do not care that they do not know how to take air from the street ...
It turned out already a huge footcloth about comfort ... But I didn’t describe a percent of everything that creates this very comfort.
You can say - yes it's all the little things. You can work in ascetic conditions.
Sorry, we live at work. We spend there five days out of seven. Everything should be perfect at work, because work is our life. It makes no sense to equip the car in which you drive to the country house - you don’t live in it, it makes no sense to put a mega-comfortable toilet - you don’t live in it. But at work you live. You never spend more time awake than at work. So all the little things are important, because this is your life. NOT a comfortable sofa on which you sit half an hour a day, but an office chair on which you sit out 9 hours out of 16, five days out of seven.
Let's talk a little bit about psychology
This factor is almost not considered in articles on freelance.
I did not immediately realize this advantage of my work. As a rule, it is not even considered an advantage, but on the contrary, it is written in minuses.
The first time I thought about it was when I watched the movie "I would be in heaven." In this picture, a lot of people get fired. And the people who get fired are shown crushed, dismissal is so scary for them that even suicide is the way out. Even before that, I watched in bewilderment at the films that show the tragedy of dismissal. And I never understood what kind of garbage is happening on the screen. And this film caused a slight shock. I have a close relative with whom we communicate closely and who talks about her work. And, adding up my impressions of the films I watched and her stories, I realized what was happening. Identification of oneself and one's work takes place. As I wrote above: work is our life. If you have worked for several years in one place, in one circle, then you begin to identify your life with a specific company and people, with your work, make plans based on your work. This, of course, is wonderful ... if not for the risk of dismissal. And employers see this chip and use it. They press on employees and make them sacrifice just to stay in the “family”.
Freelancer does not care about dismissal. From the word "general".
Freelancer is permanently in the process of dismissal. For “normal” people, dismissal is stress. For a freelancer, firing and changing jobs is a normal workflow. Today all projects will be covered and all my clients will be lost ... Well, ok, for a month or two I will be without money. Then I will find new customers. I’m a good specialist, so even if I can’t immediately get to my current balance, it’s not scary, I’ll definitely earn a living, and then, look, I’ll restore everything.
This does not cause panic, tantrums, or anything else.
A freelancer cannot be blackmailed by dismissal, demotion, salary cuts. Because the freelancer will say “Goodbye” and will work on another project with other people tomorrow.
For several years I wondered how lucky I was with customers. They are all extremely adequate and smart people. I thought it was luck. Not so long ago, it dawned on me that this was not luck. This is filtering. Horseradish clients live in my world for no more than a month and disappear. Sometimes with my money. Sometimes silently and without conflict. Cool customers stay long, regularly supply orders and just keep in touch. So in the end it turned out that I was surrounded only by really worthy people.
When working in the office, I can’t filter frames. Well, if the boss copes and selects the right people ... And if not?
When it is removed, it also happens that some inadequacy works on the customer’s side. Of course, to abandon the project only because some program is inadequate, not always justified. There was a situation when a person got along normally with everyone in the office, I got along normally with all the employees and only we couldn’t communicate normally with each other. This was decided very simply - we talked exclusively on business issues and only in general working chat, on Skype. On a remote site, even in such a situation, a person can be filtered. Live, if a person sits at the next table who is impossible to get along with, these are constant conflicts and a bad mood. Why live like this ...
"Teamless" workI want to touch on a little myth that was voiced to me at the interview:
“Teamwork is possible only with a personal presence”
Let's start with the simplest example.
I have a partner (Eugene - an excellent designer, artist and modeler), with whom we slowly, in our free time, we saw games.
Last year we tried to make a finished project and made a simple arcade Space Xonix. Greenlight has passed, Steam release is expected soon.
Since then, we slowly finish the second game project.
We are also sawing SRF Rally and SRF Drift car simulators (I hope we will fully announce them in a few months).
So here. I have never seen Eugene live. Which does not stop us from successfully sawing projects enough and even releasing them on such serious sites as Steam. However, we do not pay each other. What is this if not teamwork?
But here we can say that we have enthusiasm and not work at all.
Okay, an example from a commercial development: I had a
chance to work on the Striker project. This is such a shooting complex:
I led this project from the very first day of development as Senior Developer. By the time I left the project, there were about 6 programmers in it. Plus, an uncountable number of modelers and artists went through the project.
I conducted the entire project remotely. I talked directly with the boss and with one programmer who was involved in the implementation of the project with one of the clients, and I drove up there to look at the complete project (yes, the first time I saw a project that I did, only after 3 years of development, when it was already mounted at one of the clients and fully worked in panoramic mode with seven computers combined in a cluster).
A large-scale project, several years of development by a sufficiently large team, the main architect of the project is remote, and everything is ok.
It’s a rather crude heading, but when you read about this myth, it seems that they describe exactly such relatives.
Often it is suggested that relatives do not understand that working at home requires concentration and you can’t ask a person to help and generally distract.
I lived in my parents' house for about five years, at the same time my sister lived there with her husband and two children: one is two years old, the second is a newborn. Sounds like a madhouse, right? Nevertheless, all this did not stop me from working at all. Separate room and no problem.
Parents were surprised at first that I sit at home and receive money, then they got used to it. They began to take it more seriously. Five years ago he moved to a neighboring house, his parents retired and work in the garden literally every day, so they walk right under the windows all day, but they don’t interfere. My wife is a smart girl, she perfectly understands what I am doing and has adapted to my work style. Slowly, she herself enters freelancing. When there is a child, it will probably be a little more complicated, but I am sure that the situation will not change dramatically. Moreover, I already worked in a house with two small ones and did not experience any special problems.
Working remotely is working only with adequate and honest people.
Work on a remote site is the maximum comfort of life (after all, work is life).
Working remotely is stress resistance and the ability to quickly find work if necessary.
That is why it is very difficult to lure me into the office.
Cons too. But they are so insignificant (for me personally) that I take them outside the main block of the article.
1) Lack of live communication. This does not bother me, because I am, in general, a lonely turquoise. This problem is easily solved by a hobby. For example, I was engaged in airsoft for a long time and talked with great people, fully compensating for the lack of personal communication.
2) Lower wages. I know that when working in the office I can claim a salary of 1.5-2.0 times higher than what I am now getting on a remote location. You have to pay for freedom. On the other hand, there is a feeling that I'm just not arrogant enough to ask 200,000 for the udalenka.
3) You need to be quite disciplined. It seems to me that discipline comes with time. I remember very well that I laid the deadlines in the first year of freelancing. Now there are no problems with discipline. This probably comes with experience.