As a software engineer, I’ve only *ever* worked remotely. I honestly have no idea what it’s like working in an office as a dev/engineer. Probably makes me weird. 😅

What did you like about working in an office, if you’ve had that experience? Was mentoring different? What did you dislike about it?

  • 17
    I dad joke people relentlessly. We talk about bullshit. Share candy in candy bowls. Hide in bathrooms when you just can't handle the bull pen. Go for walks during break times. Listen to people swear a lot.

    I have told school teachers this:

    "I work with kids too. Except they are big and swear a lot."
  • 22
    Management: fully remote is not possible because it lacks all the social aspects of collaboration.

    Also management: we need to outsource work to offshore countries in order to save costs.
  • 16
    It's nice to fool around.

    That's it.

    Anything else: Do not recommend working at an office. Coworkers...

    Kitchen looks usually like mayhem, except with more fungi and vermin.

    Toilets - maybe they can use them... But once you know who doesn't wash their hands it - at least for me - annihilates all respect for said person.

    And when they can't use them properly, I'd highly discourage going even near them.

    Break room conversations / work gossip...

    When you learn about the political / religious / intellectual level of your coworkers, you might want to annihilate them completely.

    One of the reason I like home office, I can "actively" decide to join the chat room / voice room / whatever...
  • 9
    Sometimes jokes are better in the office.
  • 10
    I worked at a very international company and whenever someone came back from their country they brought super interesting food. For example, Chinese sweets are super weird but in a fascinating way.

    I disliked everything else.
  • 4
    I always find you can make decisions faster and with less ambiguity in person. Remote, it's hard to express everything you're thinking and come up with edge cases on the fly like you can when you are in the same room. Plus I find it easier to start such conversations when the person is walking to or from their desk. Remote, it seems more like I'm bugging people.
  • 11
    The only plus side of working from office is relatively better/closer communications
    And it sucks in everything else

    Working from home u have... Better pc, available food in fridge, available shower, normal toilet, saving time on transport, and can relax in bed, and no need to dress.
  • 6
    Working from an office gives you a chance to see just how disgusting other humans are concerning common public restroom hygiene and decency.

    So there is that. Other than that, I find no other benefit from working from an office. As software devs we really don't need it tbh.
  • 5
    I think better on remote work. If someone ask you to fix things, you don't hassle yourself to respond immediately, then come up with answers that are better. Usually at about 1-2mins after you scan and organize your thoughts. You can't do that in the office, like lagging and walking back and forth to reconstruct the solutions you have in mind while your manager usually wants answers on the spot, as if we are Alexas.
  • 7
    @electrineer Heh, we have cable tv in the break room. I can hear it through the wall in my office. At lunch they were watching Ancient Aliens. About 12:30 the power goes out (fire at substation down the road). I poke my head into the break room. I immediately get blamed for power outage. My response: "I am not saying its aliens, but its aliens..." and I walk out.
  • 2
    @AleCx04 In my company, I remember even a customer complaint because the restroom was just disgusting. Plot twist: the customer was a woman and referred to that restroom. Like, a hairbrush full of hairs in plain sight and shit.

    The men's restroom never got that bad, though.
  • 3
    Contrary to the other commenters here, I prefer the office. But I think that’s due to a culture I wholeheartedly like. Also, food and drinks more readily available, less distractions (in the form of pets and partners), some decent company for lunch, people to ping ideas with if need be, the office is cosier and homelier than my home, there’s a gym and a sauna, and possible afterwork board games (& drinks) at the office… many, many things are better than when at home. I know I’m lucky in that regard, tho. Not everywhere is it so organically emphasised for the delight of employees.
  • 5
    @Fast-Nop I once had to report the restroom in the secure building I worked in (back when I was doing QA at a transcription company, before I got into tech) because the walls of a stall were covered in blood. Like, someone had that time of the month and then decided to finger-paint with it. I’m not even exaggerating. Women’s restrooms can be…. Awful.

    I only point out that it was a secure building because it’s not as though any rando off the street could get in to use the loo.
  • 3
    @jasongodev I actually think with a much bigger asynchronity, you might ask me something and I’ll have a proper answer a few hours later. In the office this is much harder to do because people see you and therefore think you’re free to think about their problem.
  • 1
    I enjoyed office banter and going out for a walk with people at lunch time.
  • 4
    I loved discussing problems and possible solutions with my coworkers. Often others in the room would get intrigued by the conversation and chime in with new fresh ideas.
    Also joking around from time to time and having casual conversations can be good stress relievers.
  • 0
    @100110111 You have a sauna in the office? Can you also do jacuzzi debugging?

    However I'm not sure if I want to see my coworkers naked..
  • 1
    Commuting to the office was mostly an annoying waste of time, either crowded and delayed public transport or traffic jam.

    Coffee breaks, kitchen talks, lunch break, occasional closing time beer (the infamous German "Feierabendbier") can sometimes be nice, but mostly overrated.

    Communication in the office: it depends. I used to work with developers who had their headphones on most of the day, staring at the screen, listening to music, oblivious to the world outside. No difference if I texted them from home or sitting next to them. Same goes for the occasional pair programming session which can be done remotely totally fine.

    I also met charming and communicate coworkers where I enjoyed every minute together, even in otherwise unbearable meetings. But in a corporate company, it was usually not up to me to decide who I spend my time with.

    Attending one meet-up or conference gave me more than one year in an office.

    Office life and company culture is overrated.
  • 1
    @saucyatom well we don’t have a jacuzzi 🤔

    Sauna is so deeply ingrained into our culture seeing people naked is just normal.
  • 1
    Until Covid I worked mostly in office (well 50/50).

    If you have good noise cancellation headphones, it's alright.

    Always a pleasure to tell someone from marketing :

    "Hi, I don't have time right now, please create a devops task". and then just put headphones back on
  • 0
    How long have you worked remote ?
  • 0
    So many good points in this thread.
    I miss office some times but otherwise love remote.

    @IntrusionCM oh those people. So gross and so hard to avoid. I saw a PM like that and he once offered me food. 🤢
    I definitely don't want to go back to that.
  • 1
    @TrevorTheRat It’s a complicated answer. I was a transcriptionist for a decade before getting doing QA at a transcription company, so I was self-employed and working remotely doing that. I had non-remote work here and there in addition to that while I was in uni. And then I attended a coding bootcamp remotely and my software engineer experience has been entirely remote. So… over a decade? But only two years or so as a dev. 😅
  • 1
    We have a bunch of one holer bathrooms and a couple of multi-person bathrooms. I avoid the multi-person bathrooms as I started noticing who doesn't wash their hands. Like wtf...
  • 1
    @Demolishun now you don't know who's hand you shouldn't shake
  • 1
    @electrineer Well nobody shaking anything these days.
  • 0
    So I currently am studying software engineering. Had an internship from home that I didn't finish because of the remote working situation. Couldn't concentrate or discipline myself in my own home environment.

    Currently am having another internship with another company, at the actual office this time. It's going 100 x better!! Will be working there parttime after the internship as well.

    For me it's getting out of the home and actually surrounding myself with likeminded people that makes it alot better. I do like the no travel time of working from home, and also the nicer lunches ;)
  • 0
    It was next to a mall.... At least used to be.... So the food was nice.

    For most of my career (10yrs) the rest of my team is in another country... I just go to the office for exercise and food
  • 0
    Office has its good points if your coworkers are nice. I think the best approach is to mix it up with maybe 1 office day per week, the rest remote. But I'd take full remote over full office if I had to pick.
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