The "remote work" term wasn't quite a thing, or at least it wasn't globally popular before 2019's pandemic. From my perspective, it has brought flexibility to jobs and has detached the old job culture, which was a disaster.
It was a bit late for the remote job popularity era when I received an offer for an iOS engineering remote position from the company I'm currently working for in late 2021.
This experience, however, has been undoubtedly and quite marvellous, I must mention. In this article, I will point out the positive and negative sides of my experience after nearly a year and a half of working from home as an iOS software engineer.
Flexible working hours
My company is hopefully offering flexibility for everyone in every possible way. Working hours flexibility is one of them. I can work anytime I want or feel like doing. All I have to do is join meetings, which isn't always mandatory. If I can't work during the daytime, I can get my job done during nighttime.
Constant stay-at-home will probably bother you, and it has a very negative impact on mental health. Whenever I feel bored at home, I move my laptop to another room or carry my backpack with my laptop and necessary equipment on to head to my favourite coffeehouse to get my job done. There were even times when I had breakfast or lunch outside besides coding or having a meeting to attend.
Fewer distractions, more productivity
I consider myself an introvert. Thus, having so many unneeded conversations isn't something I like or want, especially during work. Remote work gives you just that opportunity. Yes, obviously, we have meetings. But they can be short enough and can be made for critical topics or issues.
It's not only satisfying but also handy for boosting productivity. I visited our main office in the other city (Erbil/200+ KMs away from my hometown) for some time. I had a very terrible work productivity experience there. Working from home is just incomparable for me.
Unexpected visitors; an absolute nightmare
I'm always annoyed rather than distracted if I receive an unexpected or unannounced visitor at home during work. I can't react negatively to them, so closing my laptop and postponing what I work on will be the only option here.
Unstable internet connectivity
Please don't be surprised and try not to laugh at that as much as you can, because I live in Iraq. It's not correct if I say the internet connectivity is terrible here. But most of the time, some ISPs are not offering stable connections. It drives me crazy besides vexing me, especially when I have a meeting.
Personal/non-personal urgent cases
Having a personal or non-personal urgent case can be annoying, at least for me. But sometimes there are events that obligate us to attend, and we may not have control over them all the time. It enforces postponing the work. Thanks for the flexible working hours, It can't be a major issue.
As the eldest child in the house, It's quite embracing for me when I'm asked by my parents for shopping during work some days. 🥲
As much as I love my job and what I do, I love my working environment there. Despite all of the uncontrolled negative sides that I have mentioned earlier.
Lastly, I want to give a shout-out to my company, Gateway, and to all my colleagues there. They were one of the first, if not the first, to bring that amazing and different hybrid work culture to Iraq. Hopefully, others have lately followed that pathway.