It's been 7 months since I made the leap to remote work. It's something I wanted to do for a while and has been good for my family.
Little did I know that the entire software engineering community (and pretty much every other office based job) would soon be forced into a WFH scenario.
A few things I've learned:
- I hate my chair
I bought a relatively inexpensive chair from Wayfair, but didn't realize how spoiled I was with my nice chair in the office.
I can't imagine I'll ever spend the money for a Herman Miller Aeron, but will probably upgrade at some point.
There's plenty of highly rated options in the $200-$300 range.
- No one cares about looking professional nearly as much as I do
I worried a lot about making sure my camera was setup to minimize background distraction, that lighting was good, and that I was presentable and dressed well.
No one really cares, just be reasonable. A t-shirt is fine, if that's what you'd wear to the office. Just make sure your camera is still, your face is in it, and lighting is reasonable, and it'll be fine. At some point, a baby will wonder through the room, a three-nager will have a screaming fit, or the neighbor will crank up his lawnmower. Don't worry about it.
- Staring at a screen 1000 hours a day sucks
When I worked in an office, I was often interrupted by coworkers, meetings, fire drills (literal and figurative). This meant a lot of time away from my desk or looking away from my screen. Now that I'm a remote employee, all my meetings are hour-long screen staring events. I haven't figured out a good solution to this yet, but have been considering a pair of Gunnar glasses. Also, in large all-hands type meetings, I don't always turn my camera on, so I don't feel the need to look at the screen the whole time.
I'm hoping that the silver lining of this sudden shift to WFH will be a much higher rate of companies being willing to hire remote employees. We'll see.