The Way We Work
November 4, 2013 by Jenna Weiner

Remote work is not one-size-fits-all. For some, working from home means uninterrupted productivity; for others, it means lonely distraction. While it’s certainly different for every person, there is a larger theme—remote work productivity is often linked to type of work.

One perspective, the “maker/manager” theory, argues that “makers”—those who produce work, including designers, developers, writers, analysts, etc.—are more productive working remotely, while “managers” are more productive with the in-person collaboration that an office provides. oDesk CEO Gary Swart recently discussed this theory in an article about why some work is better done remote, and oDesk’s VP of Engineering was quoted as saying:

“There’s an uninterrupted brain state you have to go into when you’re coding, and it requires an uninterrupted train of thought. Interruptions are very disruptive to developers when they’re in that brain state. So one of the major advantages of working remotely is that you’re not being subjected to constant interruptions; any of our developers will tell us that. It’s a clear advantage to not be in the office.”

It can be argued, therefore, that developers working remotely are more productive than those in the office; a claim very elegantly illustrated by Jason Heeris of The Slightly Disgruntled Scientist in the awesome comic below.

developers working remotely

Developers, we want to hear from you! Are you more productive working remotely or in the office?

Jenna Weiner

Content Marketer

Jenna Weiner is the former content marketing manager at oDesk and was the editor-in-chief of the oDesk blog. With a background in business and technology writing, she specializes in content marketing and strategy, public relations, and branding. Before joining oDesk, Jenna was a writer and editor for Monitor Group’s marketing department (now Monitor Deloitte) and was the Business & Technology Section Editor for Brafton Inc.… read more

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  • Adnan Ahmed

    It’s very true analysis. I am also working as remote developer for last 4 years. And i felt i am more productive than previous when i use to go to office. And sometimes whole day spend single line due to continuous interruption from managers etc.

  • Someth Victory

    Yes, that’s true. Once I bring my laptop to an Internet Coffee and start coding there, I found myself working very productive. I felt completely fresh, seeing other people, hearing soft music from the distance. That’s very nice, I don’t even need to put on my headset as I am in the office.

  • daryltagimacruz

    Very true. not only limit to devs. We artists (graphic designers) requires some influence with the environment. If you are stuck in a same place everyday tendency is you are gonna do the same themes over and over again. Unlike when working remotely, you can go places, do things that you cant do in an office. Today I’m in a beach working, who knows where I am to work again tomorrow. Freedom to work remotely rocks!

  • RESS Design

    Very true, but not limited to devs. The designer community struggles with the same exact issue and harms our process just as much. Switching gears, or even stopping and starting over and over again is a disaster, yet very common in the workplace. For some reason though, coders seem to get the respect when needed, while designers are perceived to always be “playing” and it’s easy to “draw and color”. We require uninterrupted, focused time as well.

    • Ashok Vanam

      I do give more productive ideas and analysis at work being remotely than in office. This is because of freedom we have at work being at remotely.
      On Odesk I select the job which i like it than at office. At office work is defined by the manager whereas at odesk Its like working is Hobby than duty…..:)