This is Xudong from development team. It's been a while since my last post. I would like to share my experience of working remotely in Beijing this time.
Due to some private matter, I had to live in Beijing for several weeks to stay with my family. However, during this time, it seems to be unnecessary to take a vacation as I have enough spare time to do the work. Also, we had just welcomed a new developer, Bumi san, into our team. It would be great if I could help him to get accustomed to our development team quickly. So this time, I tried to work remotely. And this has got full support from my team mates and manager of development team, Minoura san. I really appreciated it.
What remote working is like
My remote work started from the last week of April, a week before Golden Week in Japan and it lasted over a month. There is only one hour time difference between Beijing and Tokyo. So I managed to work at almost the same time with my colleagues.
Every day, I went online at my usual time to office in the morning from home and worked until the time I usually leave office. During this time, everything was the same as I'm in office as I mainly do development work which includes designing features, writing and reviewing code and writing documents with my own PC for work. Of course, I need to update myself with what is happening in office and communicate with my team mates. And I found it easy to do those things as we already adopted a lot of tools to work and collaborate online.
Tools and methodology
There are a lot of experience sharing post about what specific tools should be used for remote working. However, I found them not quite helpful as a lot of them are quite complicated to use across the team. I realized that we (my team mates and me) just needed tools to let us easily get updates with the progress of each other and tools to make communication smooth and efficient. And we were able to achieve that with what we already have:
- github - for development
- slack - for text communication
- skype - for vocal and video communication
- yammer - for announcement
- google for work - for document sharing
- HDE One, of course - for access control
and other online services that we use for development.
We held a small meeting within our team on skype every day for around 10 minutes before I went offline. Aside from that, there was nothing specific done for my remote working. And everything went smoothly.
Remote work saved my time significantly. I didn't need to commute to and from office, which usually takes around 3 hours. Since I work at home, I managed to start working right after my breakfast. I even got time to prepare my own lunch during the lunch break as I usually have lunch by myself.
However, I gained some weight during this one month because of apparently lacking of exercise and staying indoors too much. I should have spent more time going outdoors and doing exercise after work.
My team and I managed to work without much difficulty during this one month. I'm quite happy that I had a chance to try remote working out. I would like to try more if it is possible.
Finally, a photo I took from Beijing Botanical Garden during this one month.