By Raluca Pintilii

The joys (and opportunities) of remote work

I’m writing this article wrapped in a warm blanket on my favourite sofa, with my dog curled up next to me, listening to raindrops hitting the window and sipping a cup of delicious, aromatic black coffee. No, this is not a snippet from my holiday journal: it is a description of my typical working day.

Working remotely means working in an environment where I feel most comfortable. I don’t need to spend hours stuck in traffic to get home; I finish my work for the day and immediately begin spending quality time with my family. I can wear a comfy sweatshirt, jeans, and fluffy socks and enjoy the company of my family – all of which enable me to reach my peak productivity.

Working remotely for reinteractive allows me to be part of an amazing team with incredibly talented people without having to leave my family and move to the other side of the globe. The flexibility of being able to support my family and have them nearby while also being a productive and successful developer is extremely satisfying and fulfilling.

Some might say working remotely comes with a downside of feeling isolated. This couldn’t be more wrong at reinteractive, where we have an extraordinary culture, talk to each other daily, have weekly meetings and pair program with each other to share different coding practices and enhance cohesion. We take pride in our diversity and we like to share aspects about our own culture, our local art, music and folklore, so every day we’re learning something new and exciting about each other.

We have clearly laid-out expectations and that includes daily goals. Because I'm allowed to manage my day, I usually meet or exceed expectations. This makes the remote team management seamless and, at the end of the day, both our staff and our clients are happier. You can read more here about how our CEO, Mikel Lindsaar, manages reinteractive.

Another upside of working remotely for an Australian-based company, is the fact that I get to communicate in English with my fellow colleagues and clients, which I enjoy. English is already a big part of my life, even outside of work, from movies, books and games, so having the opportunity to speak it daily is really awesome. [Aside: I live in sunny Lisbon, Portugal, but I’m originally from Romania so I was already used to speaking a non-native language every day. :-)]

Apart from the general company rules for maximising productivity and developer happiness, I’d like to share with you a few of my personal tips and tricks for working remotely that have helped me:

  • Have a daily routine – for me, this is the most important part of being productive while working from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if I’m working from home or from a foreign country, from a hotel, here’s how I suggest managing your days:

    • Get 8 or 9 hours of sleep every day - this is mandatory
    • Get up early and exercise for a bit to get your body going
    • Plan your working day
    • Avoid working more than four hours in a row
    • Take one or two hours for lunch, enjoy your meal, maybe even take a walk
    • Disconnect – even if I’m working remotely, it doesn’t mean I need to work all the time. It’s important to disconnect from work at the end of the day, just like I would if I was working at an office.
  • Have a dedicated work space – I find having a separate room to work from is really important. Not only does it maximise productivity, it also makes it easier to disconnect at the end of the day.

I’ve been working with reinteractive for the past eight months and - professionally speaking - it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. I am a part of a great global team - and all from the comfort of my own home. This is only made possible by forward-thinking companies like reinteractive that embrace remote work.

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