Remote vs. Local: What it is like to work at Amazee Labs
Up until a few months ago, I was always working from an office alongside the Amazee Labs Zurich team. Working amidst Amazee Labs comes with benefits beyond the financial sphere, including professional development, travel, and a fantastic work culture.
Recently my wife and I decided to return to our home county, Romania, and I have been able to continue my work remotely. This flexibility is another advantage of being part of the Amazee family. Nevertheless, it was not an easy decision to make. I’ve never worked remotely for more than one or two weeks. While I always enjoyed it, I wasn't sure how it would be like full time.I knew there would be challenges, and did my best to prepare for them. I’d like to share some of my findings with you.
Isolation from the team
After working in close proximity to my team, I was worried that being remote would feel isolating. That my primary interaction with co-workers would be only getting work and then handing it back.
I’m happy to report that hasn’t been the case at all. I have face-to-face discussions and meetings with the team members multiple times a day. Amazee does a great job of using technology to truly expand the work culture I enjoyed so much in person to a global team. Surprisingly, I feel like I am in the real office. Part of this is that we have standup meetings every morning, which gives us all a chance to connect “in person”. Moreover, my team members, who are super responsive, have the ability and turn to chat and call almost immediately whenever the need arises. Every three months I travel back to Zurich to work and spend some time together with the team for a week, this keeps our relationships strong and ensures that no matter where I live, I am always part of the team.
I also worried that it would be hard to focus when working outside the office, but that hasn't been the case. My previous experience with working remotely for a week or two usually revolved around trips to visit relatives. Because there was no dedicated place for me to work I was easily distracted both by people and the logistics of moving between rooms to find a good spot to be productive.
I decided to work from home for now, and having a dedicated office in my house has solved many of the problems I was concerned about. I would recommend not only having a dedicated room for work and only work but asking the family to try not to interrupt unless absolutely necessary. I try to not leave my workstation except for breaks. This helps create the office atmosphere and allows me to dial into work more efficiently. Having a commute that involves only walking into another room and closing the door can be really wonderful too.
As great as a home office can be, it can still lead to a lot of isolation. I find that if I make time for social activities with friends and people in my field I feel much better about my home office life. Depending on how much social interaction you prefer you might find it challenging to work from home. You might find it helpful to join a co-working space where you can share an office with other professionals from all walks of life. Because I prefer a quiet working environment, I feel that working from home and making sure to get out of the house in my off hours is ideal. In the end, everyone has to find their own balance.
Overall, I’m happy with my choice and grateful to my company and my team for the support and encouragement I’ve enjoyed when performing this transition. I’ve been able to move home and be close to my family, while still feeling like an important part of my work family.