Though not epidemiologists, we’ve had plenty of experience with remote development and outsourcing software development. Most of those who have experienced telecommuting actually love it. They’re more productive, more likely to keep their job long, love the extra time, and other benefits. Telecommuting saves them, and their employer, money.
There actually are quite a few advantages to working remotely:
- An hour a day less commuting to and from work.
- Less vehicle wear and tear, lower gas costs, less risk to vehicular accidents.
- Eating from home is less expensive and can be a lot healthier than fast food.
- More time with your family, save on daycare expenses.
- Your very own coffee maker, bathroom, and no one to steal your lunches.
- You can work in your pajamas, underwear or even let it all hang loose…
So, it’s not all bad – except that last one might be a little more than anyone needs to know. Some of our telecommute friends love remote development so much they refuse regular office jobs. The transition does take some acclimatizing and can be harder for people who really like the social element at the office. However, there are a lot of options to help with that.
There are clear advantages for businesses, too:
- Smaller office space requirements – in San Francisco, figure ~$80 per square foot and an average of 150 square feet per employee.
- Reduced office size reduces utility bills, property insurance, need for parking space.
- Increased productivity, higher morale, better retention.
- Access to a wider pool of talent.
With many more people being exposed to telecommuting, many of them will like a lot. When the crisis is over, it may be difficult for them to adjust or want to adjust to the way things used to be. Whether we like it or not, we all have some time to think about it. There may be some bumps along the way – and probably enough time to iron out small adjustments to our work processes.