Programmer tensions when working remotely

Tram Ho


When operating in the software industry, most people know that this job only needs a computer with a stable network connection is enough to perform its tasks. Therefore, it is not really necessary to require many people to sit in a predefined office. While no one can deny that seeing people every day contributes to a better job, everyone can also improve their communication skills. However, for most tech companies today, remote work is inevitable, like an unwritten law.

Anyone who has experienced long-distance work, whether short or long term, can recognize the advantages and limitations of this method. Working remotely can help reduce the difficulty of hiring an organization’s office with a large number of employees. At the same time, when there are fewer people nearby, it also helps us to focus more due to less affected by the surrounding noise. Some companies have branches in many cities, or even countries, so it’s common for people to help each other work on projects, as long as one piece of software helps communicate via the Internet , such as Hangout Meet , WhereBy , Slack … Or the most common reason is Freelancer – developers who do not or want to be tied to any organization, they take jobs online and do at home. whenever they want.

Despite such benefits, when working from a distance, we have to accept the fact that the work will be difficult to be comfortable, constantly stressed, there are invisible pressures on us that are hard to get. Who can confide in. Through some research and practical experience, I will introduce some of the reasons why distance work becomes stressful for programmers.

Communication problem

As mentioned above, to communicate at work when working remotely, we only need a few software that has the function of messaging (chat), or calling with online images (video call) is enough. To get the job, there are also suitable tools, typically JIRA , Redmine … And besides that, there are still dozens of emails sent daily every hour to report the situation, as well as the summary of events.

These tools ensure the smooth running of the work, improve teamwork as well as maintain progress. However, it also makes us sometimes feel disconnected with the rest of the company. What to do when you wait to receive a reply, or look at the video screen to see disconnection, or send work results via email without confirmation … Worse, except for phone calls online we can only see the other side (in case the other person also turned on WebCam), most of the communication methods are mostly in writing, making it difficult for us to know the other person is impaired. What to think, or what their facial expressions are like. Sometimes we will feel anxious, write that other person does not understand, or think that we are alienated, feel we are being pushed out of the community.

Day by day, for programmers it is normal to just type code, and communication hours are just typing, just text and text, sometimes you will feel like a writing engine. nothing more, nothing less. The worst thing is that when you’re working with a team that is always together, only you are far away, when they have fun breaks, chatting, lifting a cup of coffee together, then you are stubborn. place, facing the screen, and only with the screen.
Believe me, over time you may show signs of depression, or autism if you don’t return to your community.


There are usually two things you need to guarantee when taking a job

  • Guaranteed results: you will give or be advised on a specific time needed to complete a task, and must ensure the work will be completed when the time comes or even when it …… not yet. For a developer, it is usually a combination of features, or bugs that need fixing for a job loop (my job calls it Sprint ).

  • Guaranteed amount of time: you’ll need to commit to spending at least as much time as possible on your work every day, and you need to report on the results of your work over that period.

However, when working from afar, nobody cares much about the time you work, because they don’t actually see you doing anything at home. The only thing they care about is the outcome of your work. Even if you commit to working 8 hours or 10 hours a day, usually no one will control it, but the results of the work you have guaranteed will always appear at the right time. Sometimes at work there will often be meetings, which may be recurring or irregular. If you work in the office, the meeting may take place more quickly due to the convenience of the communication, but if done from a distance, you may take up to several hours due to many factors influencing.

And then, although there is a commitment to work 8 hours (or 10 hours) a day, it usually will not include the meetings in it, and you may have to overtime , overnight often to ensure that Another is the result of the work. And who cares, only you. You are managed to allow you to work the way you want, to be at home instead of going to the office. But in return, you will always be in a situation where you work too much than you do at the office, so whether you still feel comfortable or not, I think not, it’s too much pressure.


When you’re working in the office, there are lots of people around, and sometimes sudden noises, or someone who needs your help, can keep you from focusing on what you’re doing. And suppose if you are introverted, or afraid to communicate, that’s a terrible thing. Now if you get changed, leave the office, work remotely at home, will this improve. The first time, you will feel very comfortable, able to concentrate more, work more efficiently. You can only see your colleagues through the screen, and see your family again early in the morning or late at night. What about the rest of the time, you will feel quite sad, worse, you will gradually appear signs of depression.

You may think of social media, which will help you to be less lonely. But in fact, most people realize that social networking will immerse you in a virtual reality world, you may forget who you are.

Currently, there are some services, called coworking Space or Không gian làm việc chung , you will only need to pay a fee (depending on the provider) to be able to work in a space with many people. However, that also could not solve the problem of loneliness. Everyone has their own job, and when you try to get to know someone, they may think you’re interfering with their work. And when you need to video call a colleague at a remote office, you’ll feel like you’re sitting at home. True to the name Coworking Không gian làm việc chung , everyone is like you, working, and probably discussing, and then your video call will take longer than you think, and you will come back. reality is overworked ? .

Working space

Of course it is still a matter of working remotely, but where it matters. If working at the office, we have only one option, which is the office, with lovely colleagues. But the other side is different, remote workers have a lot of options. To avoid the boredom, usually if you work from a distance you will have a few possible options to work instead of being fixed in one place, because otherwise you have decided to go to the office ^^.

Except at home, but no matter where you work: coffee shop, Coworking , or any other suitable place, you will always encounter a problem. What will you take with you? For a programmer, there is usually a lot more to do than just a laptop. The keyboard, the mouse, the charger, the screen, the card readers …, even a cup, a pot of plants … And if you ever forget something, there’s no other way. is plugging back home.

No matter where you are, you cannot avoid the noise around you at work, especially cafes. And you want a quiet place, just your house (except if you have children at home). And when you’re at home, as mentioned above, you’ll face loneliness again.

Time zone problem

Why is stress related to time zone? That’s when you work as a Freelancer . Maybe you will work with anyone, from anywhere. And suppose you are working with people in New York – USA, while you are Vietnamese, 12 hours apart (New York is -5 and Vietnam is +7 GMT). And that means when you see it gets dark, your remote colleagues are working hard because there’s a few hours until lunch break. Working far away will require regular work updates, and so if you’re the type of person who is responsible for the job, you might return to overnight or overtime ? .

However, though, please inform this difference to the people who work with you, so that both parties can rest in the most reasonable way, both to ensure the job, and to improve health. .

Occupational risks

Now as a last issue, few people will think about it, unless they’ve had a fairly long time working from afar. For example, the company you work for has many incentives, or rewards that require employees to be at the office to receive. Or sometimes it’s piano classes, cooking classes, or gyms, clubs. That way you will probably miss a lot of useful things.
And when you’ve been away from public life for a long time, maybe a few things like hygiene, or social norms, will be forgotten. And without certain social skills, it can be difficult to integrate with the community.


The above is just one of many issues that can be stressful for you as a remote programmer, although to be positive, remote work also has certain advantages, however. nor can we forget its harms. Find ways to balance as much as possible, depending on the situation that you should decide how to work properly for you. Thank you for watching the article ^^.


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Source : Viblo