An interview with Richard, Senior Requirements Engineer at QualityMinds
Working model: 100% remote work for 3 years as an IT security manager in project work
What do you like about remote work?
Richard: Remote work offers me many benefits compared to a regular desk job. The freedom to change my workplace on a whim allows me to travel and change my environment. Escaping the routine gives me new ideas and allows me to see other perspectives. The opportunity to work in places where others spend their holidays, such as the scenic landscape around the North Sea, adds another amazing dimension to my work. Even in large company meetings, where I only listen, I like to take the chance to go on a short walk to get some fresh air and then focus on my work again.
Other advantages of working from home for me are that I can work in a more focused and productive way. In the office environment, it is often quite noisy to be able to work undisturbed and you are often interrupted in your actual tasks.
Remote work means rethinking communication
Richard: I had to rethink my way of communicating, as online meetings place different demands on communication than meetings in real life. Especially in online conversations, it’s important to describe things clearly, as it is more difficult to understand the non-verbal cues of others online.
At first, it was unusual to work exclusively remotely, as I no longer interacted with my coworkers in the office or be present in person. However, I don’t have to do without social contacts in home office either, because I am updated in the daily team meeting and can always exchange ideas with my colleagues via online call. Online meetings now feel like face-to-face meetings for me, at least when the camera is switched on, because I can see the gestures, facial expressions and reactions of the people I’m talking to. However, communication is more challenging when the camera is switched off. You also come across differently in online calls, which is something I’ve learnt a lot about in the last few years of working remotely.
Also, remote work needs a framework that makes it possible. My family enables me to work remotely, as my children are already grown up and my partner also likes to change her place of work.
The technical set-up of my work place at home was no big deal and the necessary equipment was installed quickly. I think it’s interesting that many things in working life that you wouldn’t have thought possible before, have now been feasible for a few years – for example, having the great opportunity to work remotely.