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Lauren Schaefer - Does remote work really work?

Lauren Schaefer - Does remote work really work?

Spoiler alert: yes, remote work really does work!

With nearly nine years of experience as a remote employee across three different companies, Lauren knows the ups and downs of remote work. In this session, Lauren will dive into what the research says about remote work and share her personal stories of failures and successes.

You'll walk away from this session knowing why remote work is awesome, empowered to convince your boss to let you work remotely, and armed with the tools you need to be a happy, successful remote employee.

If you've been thinking about making the transition to working remotely, you're a manager of people who are or could work remotely, or you've made the leap to remote work and are struggling to make it work, this is the session for you!



PyCon 2019

May 04, 2019

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  1. Does remote work really work? @Lauren_Schaefer

  2. Think about a time you were fabulously productive.

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  6. Open offices spaces can be THE WORST.

  7. Cubeland can be THE WORST.

  8. Working remotely can be THE WORST.

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  10. Does remote work really work? @Lauren_Schaefer

  11. My Story

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  16. Will you let me work from home? Check yes or

    no. Yes No ✓
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  18. Cubeland can be THE WORST.

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  20. Working remotely can be THE WORST.

  21. Working remotely can be THE BEST.

  22. Why do you want to work remotely?

  23. Why work remotely? • Unable to relocate due to spouse’s

    job or kids’ school • Lengthy commutes • Availability for children or aging parents • Distracting office environments • Travel the world
  24. Why do employers offer remote work options?

  25. Why offer remote work options? • Attract and retain top

    talent--no matter where they live • Increase employee morale • Save money! ◦ Smaller/no office space ◦ No relocation costs for new employees • Increase employee productivity ◦ Fewer sick days ◦ Shorter breaks ◦ Fewer distractions
  26. What does the research say?

  27. Where do developers want to work?1

  28. How often do developers work remotely?1

  29. Greatest challenge to productivity1

  30. 2014 scientific study2

  31. 13% performance increase in work from home employees2

  32. work satisfaction in work from home employees2

  33. 50% reduction in attrition rate in work from home employees2

  34. 50% reduction in promotion rate conditional on performance for work

    from home employees2
  35. 22% performance increase after allowing employees to choose where to

  36. 2009 Cisco Teleworker Survey3 Black this time, a nice change

    by Gary Denham, Creative Commons
  37. productivity, work-life flexibility, and job satisfaction3

  38. $277 million savings in productivity from teleworking3

  39. 47,320 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions not released in

    1 year due to teleworking3
  40. Summary of 46 studies spanning 20 years4 “Telecommuting has a

    clear upside: small but favorable effects on perceived autonomy, work– family conflict, job satisfaction, performance, turnover intent, and stress. Contrary to expectations in both academic and practitioner literatures, telecommuting also has no straightforward, damaging effects on the quality of workplace relationships or perceived career prospects.“
  41. Downsides to working remotely • “Professional isolation negatively impacts job

    performance”5 • Having a remote manager may negatively impact you7 • Remote employees fear stalling careers, isolation, distractions, and blurred lines between work and home life6 • Remote work encourages employees to “overwork and to allow their work to infringe on their family role”8
  42. Does remote work really work?

  43. Does remote work really work? YES!

  44. Remote work works for… The employee. The company. The environment.

  45. How to convince your boss to let you work remotely

  46. Propose an experiment9 IMG_9425-001 by Oleg., Creative Commons

  47. But what about collaboration and water-cooler conversations? The Lunchroom by

    Sonny Abesamis, Creative Commons
  48. When all else fails, talk about the bottom line. Money

    by Keith Cooper, Creative Commons
  49. How to succeed at working remotely

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  52. 5. Join the right team World Map by shaireproductions.com, Creative

  53. 4. Be productive

  54. 3. Communicate with your team all eyes on the docent

    by michael davis-burchat, Creative Commons
  55. 2. Travel Airplane by Sean MacEntee, Creative Commons

  56. 1. Actively prevent burnout 40+234 Work! by bark, Creative Commons

  57. Top 5 tips for making remote work really work 5.

    Select the right team 4. Be productive 3. Communicate with your team 2. Travel 1. Actively prevent burnout
  58. Does remote work really work?

  59. Working remotely can be THE WORST.

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  61. Working remotely can be THE BEST.

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  63. Does remote work really work? YES!

  64. Remote work works for… The employee. The company. The environment.

  65. Telle Whitney Former CEO and President The Anita Borg Institute

    for Women and Technology "If I could change anything, it would be that each and every one of you would ask for what she wants."
  66. Remote work really works! Advocate for yourself and advocate for

  67. Remote work really works! Get the slides on my Twitter

    page: @Lauren_Schaefer Find me at the MongoDB booth after this talk! Advocate for yourself and advocate for others.
  68. Appendix

  69. References 1. 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2. Does working

    from home work? Evidence from a Chinese experiment 3. Cisco Study Finds Telecommuting Significantly Increases Employee Productivity, Work-Life Flexibility and Job Satisfaction 4. The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown About Telecommuting: Meta-Analysis of Psychological Mediators and Individual Consequences 5. The impact of professional isolation on teleworker job performance and turnover intentions: does time spent teleworking, interacting face-to-face, or having access to communication-enhancing technology matter?
  70. References 6. The Evolving Nature of Working at Home 7.

    Does it matter where your manager works? Comparing managerial work mode (traditional, telework, virtual) across subordinate work experiences and outcomes 8. Toward Understanding Remote Workers’ Management of Work–Family Boundaries: The Complexity of Workplace Embeddedness 9. REMOTE: Office Not Required
  71. Other studies & articles • Assessing the growth of remote

    working and its consequences for effort, well‐being and work‐life balance • Contagious Offsite Work and the Lonely Office: The Unintended Consequences of Distributed Work • Team dynamics in virtual, partially distributed teams: Optimal role fulfillment • Comparing telework locations and traditional work arrangements. Differences in work-life balance support, job satisfaction, and inclusion • How To Succeed At Working From Home • Implementing & Managing a Telework Program. A Complete Guide to Properly Managing Telework Employees • Putting the work-life interface into a temporal context: an empirical study of work-life balance by life stage and the consequences of homeworking
  72. Other videos • Nora Denzel Keynote Speech - Grace Hopper

    Celebration 2012