Remote working is picking up gradually and gaining popularity as many notable companies are also endorsing it. Remorse web developers proved to be more productive and showed a greater work-life balance due to which many companies are showing keen interest in bringing this workplace revolution. This is further reinforced by the global pandemic that mandated a wide swathe of working community to work from home. However, the reality is that remote working is a double-edged sword with its own benefits and challenges.
In this post, we enumerate some of the challenges faced by web developers while working remotely and how to cope up with them.
Challenges of remote web developers
As per a survey by Stack Overflow developer survey, more than 15% of the web developers preferred to work as full-time remote workers which are augmented even more currently. Despite all the perks and benefits remote workers enjoy, a number of challenges do arise like unplugging after work, fragmented attention, lack of social interactions, boredom, loss of motivation, and more.
1. Maximizing Productivity
One of the most difficult challenges for web developers to overcome is maximizing productivity. With fragmented attention juggling personal and professional lives, the productivity goes for a toss. The web developer has to solely depend on his own motivation to keep focused and productive through the day.
You can rely on some productivity tools designed for businesses to maximize productivity and keep any distractions at bay. Don’t multi-task as it reduces the productivity by half and no scientific research guaranteed undeterred focus while performing more than one task. Segment your work into shorter bursts as it can increase your motivation levels if you have shorter deadlines.
2. Shattered Attention
Overcoming distractions is one of the biggest challenges remote web developers face which has been making remote working a nightmare by halting the progress of the projects. You need to find a proper workspace that is devoid of distractions or at least minimal that helps you in hitting your daily goals. When we say distractions, it includes digital distractions as well which literally are time-killers. A small notification may take you on a ride and swirl you through unnecessary content and brings your progress to a halt. You can also use some apps that come with the ‘DND’ option, blocks the rogue distraction apps, and keeps the notifications to a minimal level.
3. Finding the right balance
Remote web developers find staying motivated and unplugging after work which is two polar opposites as common challenges. If you are caught up with a recurring bug, you feel difficult to stay motivated and continue working. No supervision may also deter your motivation levels. In that case, you need to talk and communicate this with your team workers who collectively can inject and maximize the motivation for all.
Another aspect is unplugging after the day which latently is a productivity killer. To overcome this, you need to maintain a check-list and get everything off your day’s list. Maintain achievable targets and once you hit those, you should switch off. Unplug your notifications from showing post your working hours so that they do not eat up your personal time.
4. Learnability & Code Fatigue
In an office environment, you can easily bounce ideas off of each other and have some water cooler discussions that often lead to great learning. You can set aside an hour for learning something new or on self-improvement. You can also rely on some online sources to learn and get support. You can get an online coding Bootcamp that is a mentored guiding learning platform that is structured as per your convenience.
As a remote developer, dealing with the overwhelming nature of keeping up with the new updates in the programming languages and technologies is a challenge that can lead to code fatigue. You sit and code all day long and in order to learn new things, you need to code more. There is no other way to break this cycle. Break up the work into smaller chunks and make real progress working.
5. Remote Collaboration
If your team is spread out across the world, how do you collaborate with your team members without any limitations especially when interacting with the same documents. You can rely on good project management software as there are countless collaboration tools designed for kinds of team interactions and break down the remote working barriers.
You need an effective communication channel and email is a good place to start with. Slack is another go-to communication platform with an easy interface for messaging, sharing files for all the remote developers. For document collaboration, Google Drive is the best place, for design teams, InVision makes a great collaborative prototype. Pick the right collaborative tools and overcome the challenges easily.
6. Difficult to get Feedback
It is vital to receive quality feedback and in a remote working setup. But you can foster a proper environment to get your work reviewed by following a few techniques. You commit to regular one-on-one conversations to ensure proper channels of communication that facilitates feedback. Show some diligence to ensure that you achieve your goals, get proper feedback, and review accordingly. You can also have video calls to take face-to-face feedback.
You can ensure proper engagement with the team, take the support of the members to face challenges, have stand-up calls, and track the goals, performance, etc.
7. Building Trust
If you are a remote web developer, you would have mutual trust issues with your organization. These are obvious since you cannot physically see your team and vice-versa. Without face-to-face meetings, trust issues are bound to arise. With project management tools your managers can track your progress. Effective communication is one way to resolve the trust issues between distributed teams.
Try to get to know each other by organizing team meetups, be responsive during the meetings, and reliable in delivering the work on time. You can also promote transparency at every level and help your team to avoid micromanagement. Create shared goals and work collaboratively to achieve your goals. It does take a leap of faith to trust and to be trusted in a remote working model.
Remote work can be tricky that brings a lot of benefits to the table and also challenges that might not always be conducive for optimal productivity. But with careful planning and discipline, you can thrive as a remote developer enjoying a greater work-life balance. When done right, remote working benefits outweigh the cons. Understanding the challenges above and having cope up mechanisms in place is the first step to success. Ultimately, web developers who are working remotely have to be committed and diligent to work and achieve the goals provided in the sprints.
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