My Life as a Remote Developer at OOZOU

Here at OOZOU, employees are allowed to work fully remote. Everyone can work from home without taking a single step into the office.

With the COVID-19 situation that we are all in, remote work has become more popular than ever. Here at OOZOU, employees are allowed to work fully remotely. Everyone can work from home without taking a single step into the office. I could even take the monitor, keyboard, the mobile test devices, and any other items that are needed for my work along with me. 

Working from home is not a completely new thing at OOZOU. I have always been able to request to work remotely, but normally I would work from home not more than several days per week. The pandemic situation shifted the way we used to work to fully remote. In fact, the way I work doesn't change much whether working from home or at the office, thanks to the tools and process which create a seamless remote work experience.

Tools and Processes 

Slack is the main communication channel in OOZOU. At 10 AM on every working day, there is a Slack bot asking me to check-in and briefly explain what I have done yesterday and what I will be doing today. It's just like having a stand-up meeting to make you and your colleagues stay on the same page. Jira and Harvest help me to manage tasks and log the time. My works will be associated with Jira tickets and I can log the time I spend against each ticket. When the time I log reaches seven hours, my workday is complete.

By now I have been working from home for several months and interestingly I found out that there are a lot of good things. Here are some advantages of working from your home.

Who needs a rubber duck while you have pets?
You might have heard about rubber duck debugging or might have experienced it with yourself. It is the circumstance when you are stuck with a coding problem and you explain the code line-by-line to your colleagues, suddenly the solution pops into your head without them saying a word. I have no colleagues here at my home nor a rubber duck but I have two guinea pigs with me!



Whenever I got stuck with a serious problem, I would explain it to them. Sometimes they show the light on the other side of the tunnel. I wouldn't be able to talk to my guinea pigs at the office.

a guinea pig in a tunnel.

Joking aside.

I have more time!

It used to take me around one and a half hours of commute time to the office and back. Working from home gives that time back to me. Nowadays, I can spend time before work doing my hobbies, learning new things, or even washing dishes. Some might say it is hard to separate your personal life and work when the home is where you are working. Fortunately, in OOZOU we work seven hours per day. My working hours are around 10 AM to 6 PM. I almost have never have to work late or get contacted outside of the operating hours. Moreover, I can cook for myself during the lunch break.

I feel more productive.

As a developer, most of the time that I work on a feature or fixing some issues, I prefer fewer interruptions. At the office, sometimes I even communicate with colleagues sitting next to me via Slack instead of talking to them face to face to keep my focus on coding. For me working from home create an interruption-free working environment where I spend my focus on getting tasks done. Moreover, people will have different times of the day that they feel most productive. For me, it's around early morning or late afternoon. I can get to work at my own rhythm at my home. 


Enjoyable and Effective Meetings

You rarely find anyone who enjoys meetings. Plus as a software agency developer, I often need to commute to the clients' workspace. Some days, I need to go to the office to work in the morning and then grab a quick lunch before joining the client meeting in the afternoon. But now, I can sit and have my meal calmly because I'm just a few clicks away from the online meeting. And you can quickly share files or to add important comments without interrupting anyone. Interestingly, I found meetings online often shorter and I have more time to get work done.

Conclusion 

In my opinion, to do remote work efficiently, you need to have self-discipline and time management but most importantly, the company needs to have a good working process. Things in the company can change but the process will stay. OOZOU's process allows me to work productively no matter what circumstances we are all in.

Although I really enjoy my life working remotely, I can not deny that I miss the office environment sometimes. Pre-pandemic, there used to be free daily lunch where everyone can eat together to talk about their work or life. Plus I could have unlimited free snacks. Now I'm having my lunch break alone while watching Netflix or Youtube. 
I would favor working remotely and go to the office sometime.


 It feels like home when working at the office.
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Ben
Mobile Developer at OOZOU in Bangkok, Thailand
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