How do developers prefer to work

How do developers prefer to work

The last few years have seen a host of changes to our daily lives and, in particular, the way we work has evolved. Whereas many employees were keen to try more flexible, remote working practices even before the arrival of the Covid pandemic, the need to adapt to the challenges of living with the virus meant that organisations from many different industries and sectors suddenly had to accommodate this way of working. Now, as we navigate our way back to a more familiar way of living, many employees are keen to continue with remote or hybrid working, and plenty of employers have recognised the benefits, too. Whilst it's not practicable for all workers in every industry, you may be wondering: how do developers prefer to work?

A practical solution

It's thought that a staggering 80% of IT companies around the world have made the change to remote work since the arrival of the Covid pandemic [1], and this is perhaps not surprising when you consider the nature of the work itself .

A great deal of software development work, in particular, is carried out autonomously by individuals. Even before the virus took hold, only 41% of developers worked at the office on either a full-time or a part-time basis [1]. Cloud-based management software has made it easier than ever before for supervisors to check in on the progress of their teams who can effectively carry out any collaborative work or meetings online.

Furthermore, the pressure of delivering a product by a set deadline can mean that overtime is a routine fact of life of many developers. Since lockdown measures were first introduced, 45% of programmers have reported that they are clocking up more hours on the job than before. There is a somewhat cliched image of programmers working with plenty of snacks around them. However, it is true that putting in the long hours that are often required is certainly more bearable when you have access to a few home comforts!

The ability to work from home means that developers don't have to break off from their task at inconvenient moments and save valuable time spent on a commute. It would seem that remote or hybrid working is a smarter choice, but how do developers themselves prefer to work?

How do developers prefer to work?

Whilst there are certainly plenty of benefits to working from home, and, in fact, this mode of working was already the norm for many developers, there are downsides too. Developers

who made the switch to full-time remote work found that there were a number of challenges to overcome, such as a disruption to their usual schedules [3]. In a survey by Influx Data, almost 40% said that they had to work longer into the evening during this period and a third reported that they were working more hours in total.

Of course, it's important to note that these figures may not be solely attributable to the switch to remote work. The Covid pandemic brought in accompanying challenges to the normal work-life balance, such as the need to deliver home schooling and other child care duties.

As the world moves forward, ultimately the preference will come down to the individual personality of the developer. Whilst some reported feelings of loneliness or isolation whilst working away from the office, others relished the flexibility that this kind of work can provide.

Making remote work successful

The direction of travel appears to be clear, at least for the IT industry. Remote and hybrid working practices are becoming the new normal. The onus on managers is to ensure that all of those affected can work in a way that supports their well-being and optimises productivity. The developers who responded to the survey by Influx Data had some excellent advice for those looking at a future spent working remotely.

Tips included keeping to a healthy routine, planning in breaks away from the screen (if only for 5-10 minutes), getting properly dressed, as well as being careful not to work too late into the night. Others advised turning on their camera for work calls and meetings, as a way to stay connected with colleagues and make the interactions more natural. They recommended a lock on the door to keep family members from intruding on work time.

[1] https://www.future-processing.com/blog/how-many-developers-are-there-in-the-world-in-2019/ [2] https://www.zdnet.com/article/remote-work-developers-arent-planning-to-go-back-to-the-office/ [3] https://www.influxdata.com/blog/so-how-are-developers-feeling-during-the-covid-health-crisis/