Do you guys like working in an office?
I've been offered a contract at a new job where I'll be either working from home or working in a dude's basement.
It's for more money (about 33% more) with a tremendous potential for growth. Plus, I'd be working with cutting edge stuff.
It's just that I think I work better in an office. I guess I'm a social person even if I never say anything. I LIKE having people buzz around me.
...not sure what I should do...
March 9th, 2007 8:39am
Some buzz is OK. But if people are constantly bouncing off the walls, then it's hard to get stuff done (Look up "Thrash" in an operating systems book)
March 9th, 2007 8:41am
I hate office work
what are you reading for?
March 9th, 2007 8:43am
Look at it this way:
1) There are objective benefits to working from home (easy commute, you can code in your underwear, etc.)
2) You never know, you might enjoy it.
3) You shouldn't depend on your work environment for socialization anyway.
4) It's more money.
--on working in some guy's basement though.
It's a matter of fit. If you're a type of person who gets ideas by interacting with people constantly, working at home is going to feel very, very empty. Even with IM and forums and shit. (Personal experience.)
If you already have projects you work on at home, and have no trouble getting things done (not just starting them) on your own, then you'll find a home environment absolutely fabulous. You'll not only like the fact no one ever distracts you, you'll like the fact there are so few meetings (or at least that you can still do work/cook dinner/do laundry while on a conference call). Once you've gotten to know your own schedule strengths and weaknesses you can really maximize your time - take a nap/walk the dog during a slow afternoon hour, really pour in the effort first thing in the morning or at the cafe down the street, etc, etc. (Personal experience again.)
This isn't to disparage those who aren't as self-motivated as others. That's ok. Some people really thrive in packs, while others thrive being lone wolves.
Having said that many programmers are more of the later type (lone wolves) than of the former. Plus technology has made it so that you don't have to be too alone either. I'm always available on IM/phone to my boss (2000 miles away) during our working overlap period, even though it can be a distraction as well.
That's the even money comparison. If one is 33% more it's hard not to go with the at-home solution (in the US you'll also be able to deduct working environment expenses - say 1/3 of your office space in rent - on your taxes).
But don't work in some other freak's basement unless it's an occasional brainstorming/whiteboarding session. Variety is a good way to enhance creativity/productivity too.
March 9th, 2007 9:06am
that's an awesome reply strawberry, thanks!
i think i'm more of a "pack" programmer despite the fact that i've been working as a lone wolf for the past year.
i do need someone to keep tabs on me or i get very lazy.
March 9th, 2007 9:12am
Yeah, an addendum to what Flasher T said ... most people aren't as lone wolf as they may think. I've definitely met telecommuters whose number 1 complaint is that their social life feels empty. It's not the big circle of friends, or going out to dinner/movies, it's just the little ritualized watercooler chitchat that makes one feel plugged into a social setting (sharing rolled eyeballs at the antics of Britney Spears or the office goofball).
That's one thing to take seriously ... find a replacement for low-relationship people (not ones you nec invite to a wedding) you can chew the fat with once a week (book clubs, billiard leagues, etc all fit the bill).
March 9th, 2007 9:14am
I'd take the opportunity to travel. Work from airports, coffee shops, beaches, etc. all over the USA/Europe. Fly back when you need to.
March 9th, 2007 9:25am
> i do need someone to keep tabs on me or i get very lazy.
It depends if you want to change that. Who knows, this could be an opportunity not only to work on technology X,Y,Z or to make more money but to get yourself to be self-motivated as well. Your resume will thank you.
If you like the interaction atmosphere, consider also replacing fellow programmers with users ... it's actually better to listen to them for business ideas anyway. For technology brainstorming, cultivate relations with other tech people in your area (it can really be as simple as forming a Java bowling team in your local league or whatever). Or online.
Yeah, what Colm said as well .. for some people variety of work places drives creativity. So sitting at home all the time can actually be as counterproductive as an office. Get out. Visit friends in far off lands, use their Wifi network while they go to *their* office jobs.
The worse thing you can do is fail .. in which case you have a perfect answer to the 'what is your weakness' question on your next at-the-office job interview .... "I need to work in an office." :)
March 9th, 2007 10:04am
"Cutting edge stuff" and "in a dude's basement" don't compute for me. If he can afford "cutting edge stuff", then he can afford at LEAST a small office.
I mean, Woz and co. could build a single board computer in their garage, but that was then and this is now. Couldn't the guy afford to convert a spare bedroom into an office? "the basement" just sounds so -- I don't know -- horror movie or something.
Unless the "cutting edge stuff" really IS for 'cutting', if you know what I mean.
March 9th, 2007 10:13am
Didn't the reddit guys work in a some guy's apartment?
Why are the barriers to entry higher today than 30 years ago? Or maybe the question is wrong ... if you *aren't* working in someone's basement/house perhaps you're relying on high barriers to entry to keep the competition out (like needing a billion dollar fab to compete with Intel/AMD, or needing $2 million Super Bowl commercials to compete with Apple).
(I hear I could get a DNA-slicing lab operatable for $50K. Biohacking is the next big thing, folks.)
March 9th, 2007 10:25am
>Didn't the reddit guys work in a some guy's apartment?
IIRC, it was the other way around - their office was their apartment.
Anyway, this is the perfect opportunity to travel. Come travel the world and sleep on CoTter's couches and use their wifi.
March 9th, 2007 10:29am
<<but to get yourself to be self-motivated as well>>
yes, i agree. the self-growth potential is there.
March 9th, 2007 10:35am
it all depends on the office and the people in it. init.
March 9th, 2007 10:49am
I thought I'd mind being in a smaller group. It's really not so bad. Of course, the building actually has numbers I'm more used to and I see people when I smoke or get coffee.
March 9th, 2007 11:12am
I'm about 10 times more productive away from home.
I'm about 10 times more productive if I'm not forced to sit around doing nothing when the work has been completed.
So I'm about 100 times more productive if I get to dictate my own work environment.
March 9th, 2007 2:22pm