3 Negatives of Remote Working as a Developer

  • Ross Edlin
  • 27th Sep 2020

Remote working is all the rage at the moment, everyone wants to work from home.
The idea that you HAVE to go to the office every day is absurd to the new generation.

I can do all my work from home without distractions!

I don't dispute the benefits of remote working, there are many.
But to say it's perfect is not accurate.
As with anything you have some negatives.

As a web developer with nearly 9 years of experience, I've experienced both sides of development, on-site & remote working.

So here are 3 cons to working remotely as a developer.

#1 - Communication

With all the modern ways of communicating, you'd think this wouldn't be an issue but in reality, it is.

How many times have you been in the office working on an issue for a customer, a client or a colleague and you needed to ask a question?

Something you need an answer for immediately.
I bet it's countless, right??

It's great when they're in the same office building as you.
You can walk over and ask them in person and get your answer straight away.

But we all know that if they're in another part of the building and you need to send an email, the likely hood of you getting a response immediately is unlikely.

This delay in response can really hinder your progress.
When you finally get your response, it might not answer your question correctly and you need to clarify what you mean, taking up more and more time.

What about a phone call?

I totally agree, a phone call is much better than an email.
That misunderstanding you had in the email will be resolved quickly on the phone.

But what happens if they don't pickup?

Are they busy?
Are they ignoring you?
Are they even at their desk?

They could be on lunch or in the toilet.
But all you get is a voicemail.

Leaving you in limbo.

So what do you do?

Unfortunately, all you can do is wait for a response which might not come until tomorrow.

#2 - Motivation

Whether or not people are more productive at home is a widely debated issue.
I've asked many of my colleagues about this.

Most claim they are more productive at home.

The reality is, it very much depends on the person, for some yes, they are more productive at home, but not all.
Statistics show that at the time of writing, 59.2% of employees believe they are more productive at home.

The problem is, the only person who is watching you is yourself.
Some people thrive when alone, they are self-motivated, they want to get work done.

Others are not so motivated and need to surround themselves with other hard-working individuals.

So if you're the type of person who gets up and is at their home work station for 9am with no one watching.
Then congratulations, you probably won't suffer from lack of motivation.


If you struggle and wouldn't be on time unless you know you'll get in trouble.
Maybe you need to re-think remote working.

You gotta be self-motivated.

#3 - The lack of bonding with your colleagues

I ask you this.

Who are your closest colleagues??

I bet it's someone in the office who is physically close to you, maybe it's the person next to you.
Or the person across the room.

But I will take a guess and say it’s NOT someone in another building and most certainly not a colleague in a remote team.

Building relationships with our colleagues is fundamental to feeling inspired, safe and fulfilled at work, and that can be difficult, especially if you work with a remote team.

Simon Sinek

It's fairly well known that you work better with colleagues you've bonded with and that can be difficult with remote working.

Not knowing how someone will react to a situation at work because of that missing bond can really hinder your abilities to perform, especially under pressure.

One of the ways Simon Sinek tackles this is by every week, getting everyone on a video call and asking them personal questions (non-work related).
But this can be daunting when you suddenly have 10 people waiting to hear your response.

That passing conversation in the office kitchen when you talk about your dog being sick or your upcoming wedding you're excited about goes a long way.


I'm not against remote working, I recognise all the perks.
But if you want to improve productivity at work with your remote developers.

First, you need to understand.

If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.

Albert Einstein

Once you understand something, only then can you find a real solution to your problem.

What are your thoughts about remote working?
Do you suffer from any of these?

Let me know in the comments!