Here’s how a remote dev job can help you support your family. With a salary, obviously, but also with other important things.
This is part seven in a series about how we work at Bunny Studio. We’re a remote company, so we’re based all over the world. We live different lives and come from different cultures, so our ways of working are unique. This is a place where we talk about the challenges of working remotely, as well as share our experiences.
Want to learn how to work remotely? We don’t have all the answers, but here’s how each of us makes it work for us.
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
How long have you worked remotely?
Mmm… for around four years total, but I’ve been at Bunny Studio. since June 2018.
Is Bunny Studio the first remote company you’ve worked for?
Yes and no. Although I’ve worked remotely in the past, Bunny Studio is the first 100% remote company I’ve worked for, especially in terms of culture. Previously, I worked at ThoughtWorks and, although I was based in an office, I frequently worked with clients overseas. This often involved paired programming so I was, in a way working remotely even though ThoughtWorks isn’t a remote company.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
Well, ha ha, you see, at this time in my life I’m not doing much apart from work and looking after my dog. My wife and I have been moving around a lot recently because of her job, so I haven’t really had the time to settle down, meet people, and do things outside of work. I’m hoping that will change soon, though.
But yes, right now, I’m either working or looking after my dog, Pipa. She was in an accident a few years ago and her back legs are paralyzed. Because of that, she needs looking after and we’re very lucky that I work for a company and have a job that allows me to do that. Pipa wears a diaper, for example, as she is partially paralyzed; they’re normal baby diapers, I just cut a hole out of them so her tail can poke out comfortably. I need to change them every two hours or so, which doesn’t take very long, but knowing that I can take the time out to care for her… that’s very important.
So, I wake up each morning, look after Pipa and do my work. Each day is a bit different, and challenging in a good way, but the components are the same. Working at Bunny Studio has given me a lot of autonomy and freedom, both at work and in my family life. I get to use my dev skills to their fullest, while also being able to care after and support those I love.
What does your workspace look like?
It changes. Like I said, we’ve been moving around a lot. I don’t need much to work, just my laptop, monitor, headset and a good internet connection. Yeah, that’s it. I can set up anywhere. With my wife’s job taking us all over Brazil, that’s really important
I know that I could go to a co-working space and it would be paid for, but who would look after Pipa? Working remotely from home allows me to look after her, change her diapers, make sure she’s happy and comfortable… all that matters so much.
How does working remotely benefit you?
Apart from the things I already mentioned? Because being able to move around easily is a huge benefit. Having a remote dev job at Bunny Studio allows me to work and learn from many different contexts, both in where I live and what I work on. I also wear so many different hats that I’m never bored, which is a huge benefit too, especially as a developer.
What challenges do you face when working remotely?
Written communication is really important when working remotely, but it can be hard. You need to be careful when you communicate that way. It’s easy to come across as aggressive, for example, if you don’t phrase things exactly right, especially since people can’t always read your facial expressions. So yeah, that’s a challenge for all of us, I think. Communicating effectively. I mean, we do our best, and challenges are not a bad thing, but it’s something we all constantly work on.
Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about making the change to remote work?
Yes! Learn another language!
If you don’t speak English well, it can difficult to find a remote dev job. Most remote companies communicate in English so, if you find it challenging, work on improving your language skills now. It’s worth it and will help open so many doors.
Also, don’t try to be a specialist in everything. This is especially true for developers and engineers. It’s important to learn something in depth. Specialize in front or back end engineering, for example. There are tons of full-stack engineers. Make yourself stand out to employers by focusing on one thing and doing it super well.
Did your life change when you started working remotely? If so, how?
Yeah, my life changed a lot. I now have time to deal with life’s challenges and personal things. You know, I look after Pipa, but I also look after my father, too. He needs support at the moment, just like we all do in life sometimes. It’s… challenging. In another situation, or if I was working for another company, I probably would have had to quit my job to look after them both, especially my father. Bunny Studio is very supportive and understanding about these things and I don’t feel like I have to choose between my family and my job. That’s the way it should be, but not all employers are like that. I’m very lucky to work here, we all are.
Thanks so much! Anything else you’d like to add?
Sharing personal stories is important. I think that sometimes, as developers and engineers, we forget that. But there’s a power to talking about things openly, even if we’re on opposite sides of the world.
So, what I’m saying is thank you. Thank you for sharing our stories through this series.
Interview conducted by Emmy Tither.