More and more employers are opening up to the idea of letting their employees work with greater flexibility. It’s a great selling point to a job role and of course, helps to maintain the best work/life balance that everyone strives for! However, one approach might not be the best for every developer. Everyone is different, and depending on your approach, what makes you productive can differ greatly from other developers, so which type of work is best for you? And what is benefits are there to these ways of working?
“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they [are] at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.” – Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of Virgin.
The traditional office style 9 to 5 is becoming less of a common sight these days, but whilst this way of working doesn’t seem to be the market standard anymore it does have its benefits. Working closely in a team allows for the quick progression of tasks and support when coding, and also makes it much easier to manage an Agile workflow. Liaising with other departments becomes much simpler, and it can be much easier to keep certain stakeholders involved in the development lifecycle. This way of working can be at a detriment to a developer though, as it can be hard to walk away from a task when you need a break, or to find a different solution, when you feel accountable for hours worked.
Quickly becoming the new standard and a selling point for job roles, working around core hours is becoming a more prevalent site in our industry. This is one of the best ways to promote work-life balance. Being able to start a little later when needed, or leave a little earlier to catch that appointment, even the ability to make up hours if you need more than an hour or two’s grace, these benefits really allow for a good work/life balance and help developers to focus more on what they need to when working. Keeping the core hours still gives many of the benefits of traditional office work as well, with time set aside for a team to conduct meetings and to support each other. However, developers being able to choose their start and finish times can lead to a mad rush of developers coming in early to leave as soon as possible, rather than the hoped-for staggered approach and may need some managing.
Every developer's dream? To be able to work from home (or wherever else you want), with hours that fit around you and a flexibility to be able to prioritise your needs! It sounds like a dream scenario for employees, however to a lot of businesses it is a daunting prospect as handing off responsibility for workflow just the easiest prospect to get around. Maintaining a good level of communication is key and it can be hard to keep a remote developer in the loop and part of a team. For the developer, however, this level of flexibility can allow them to focus their development when they are at their most productive and can lead to a sense of value for the hours they spend developing. I mean how often do we get the chance to actually code that random fix that came to us in our sleep?
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