How to make remote work actually work
My job as an agile software developer is both social and varied. It’s not just about good code, but communications, too. Working together with our clients and within the team is intensive and continuous – even when we are not physically together. Since last summer, every Futuricean has had the opportunity to freely decide where to work, which I am very happy about. Let’s take a look at how remote work at Futurice actually works.
Times change and we’ve all adapted – during the pandemic, even organizations that weren’t used to remote work just had to. But getting used to something doesn’t mean it works. Every new situation takes its time, and the new normal is no exception. At Futurice, our starting point for making the rapid and unexpected shift to remote was about as good as it gets, having used remote meetings, digital communication channels and other related technologies for years. I believe our familiarity with this way of working was important for those of our clients the situation was new for.
My work – my choice
Currently, I choose to work 100%. I am a family man with kids, and remote work makes organizing my life easier. It now seems unbelievable, but I used to drive more than 100 km to work and back every day. Take that away and I have a lot more time and energy for actual work and can better serve our clients. At home, I have no distractions and I can close channels to concentrate on complex tasks when I have to. Remote work is more sustainable, too, so it’s a win-win-win situation.
Remote meetings and digitized communications have become routine for all organizations. People have realized that we can actually work this way and understand its benefits. And organizations want to support it now.
I think I will keep working from home until my kids grow up unless I become interested in a career position that requires a physical presence.
An environment that works
Earlier this year, I returned to Futurice from a position elsewhere. I worked remotely some of the time at my previous employer, too, but immediately remembered how good things are around here. I get to work as a part of an agile and multidisciplinary team, use the best practices and technologies and, on top of that, stay connected to clients and each other on daily basis. We use different channels for weekly meetings, fast chats for quick questions, and systems for project management. We start every day with a morning meeting of the development team, during which we check out the current situation and workloads, and discuss a lot of technical stuff. There is always room for talk on any topic. It’s the details that help remote work flow – not just for us, but for clients, too.
As employees, we’re given a lot of responsibility, and we get to manage our own calendars very freely. It’s great and allows me to be independent and social at the same time. Without Futurice’s culture of trust and openness, none of this would be possible.
The fact that no one here is left alone gives me a warm feeling. We carry a strong sense of belonging and have a close support network – in addition to a secure, regular income, these are the only things that make the difference for me between a position at a company and work as a freelancer. Along this support system comes the chance to ask for professional coaching advice and peer support to adjust your career trajectory. Futurice has a lot of versatile projects and career paths to choose from. For a freelancer, achieving the same would be a lot harder.
The key to remote work success
In my opinion, the key to success in remote work, in addition to a culture that genuinely supports it, is remembering three things:
- Do not isolate completely
- Separate your working hours from the rest of the day
- Know yourself
For example, I dress at home just as I would for the office and try to keep my working hours from 8am to 4pm. I am also a social person, so I visit the office regularly. Face-to-face discussions help keep me up-to-date and suit my need for real human contact.
The possibilities for success are now better than ever. It seems to me you can make an impact using your skills and talent from anywhere. You don’t have to live in a big city anymore to participate in global projects. The world has literally come to your doorstep and Futurice is that door.
Are you looking to work remotely, but stay near the action and work closely together with a team? Join our remote tech team, from wherever you are in Finland.
- Tuomas KorjonenSenior Software Developer