Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Remote working

September 24, 2019 | Life

We've been recently given the ability to work remotely 80% of the week if we so desire. This is an amazing improvement for me, I spend almost two hours a day commuting. Remote working has given me my free time back. And for me, remote working means working at home. I have bought a separate electric desk for remote working and put a lot of effort into making remote working easy and efficient.

While at the office I could basically just go next to someone to ask a question. While remote working the process always at least started via chat. Screen sharing and calls (with or without video) easily make it as effective as live chatting. But while at the office, I think it's a good practice to start a conversation via chat. That way you will not immediately interrupt the other person at an inconvenient time and they can get back to you when they aren't in the middle of anything.


We have an open office where I work. That means more noise. There aren't any spaces for quiet working apart from a booth more designed to have your solo meetings in. For teams, there are no quiet team working spaces apart from the room we sit in. And in my case, we sit next to one of the noisiest teams in the company. And I don't mean they are just talking amongst themselves or being noisy for fun, they answer the phones and coordinate things with our project managers and upper management. And that just creates more noise, there's not much they can do to lower it.

Sometimes I notice having a lot of difficulties in concentrating properly to logical functionality thinking because of the noise. Especially if I'm also interrupted by someone. While working from home, I can eliminate these noises and distractions almost completely. Unless a neighbour starts renovating in the middle of the day. But even then the noise is different. And at home, I can put my headphones on without worrying that I might seem uninterested or unavailable, or that I will miss some important team information. At home, I can ignore chat messages (or put myself in focus mode in Slack) for a while and nobody will come talk to me. So I can more easily work without interruptions.

I also enjoy being able to talk out loud about what I'm doing (I could pretend I'm using the cats as rubber ducks constantly but really sometimes I just talk to myself) without it disrupting someone else's work. I like to talk out loud, especially if I need to remember something or when I'm trying to come up with a good logic for something.

I have also noticed that I drink more water while I'm working from home. I easily end up with a headache if I don't drink enough during the day, so this is a big plus for me. I try to drink enough while I'm at the office but often meetings disrupt my drink schedule. I sometimes take a water bottle with me to the meetings, but then I find myself needing the toilet in the middle of a meeting and that is inconvenient as well. But I've noticed that even with no meetings, I drink less at the office. Maybe it's because I always refill my glass at home after I finish it, I take a bottle next to me. And when the bottle is empty, I always refill it immediately.

If I need to work longer hours, remote working comes to the rescue again. I pretty much could work two extra hours and still stop working at the same time I would normally come home from the office. A lot more convenient and I'll still be left with enough time to do something other than just eat and go to sleep. I've sometimes spent 10-12 hours at the office... and if you add the commute to that... well, let's just say that I don't want to do that ever again.

Remote working also frees me to do some housework while working. I could, for example, start the washing machine while waiting for my tea water to boil on my afternoon coffee break and have the program finish just after my work hours are full. That makes my evenings more effective.

I like to go to the gym in the mornings. That way the length or intensity of the workday won't affect the workout being done. It's a lot easier to get the gym done when working remotely. I don't have to worry about missing the bus or if I will be late for work. Any exercise in general benefits from me working remotely. I've once or twice even went to the gym in the middle of the day, that has also been a very nice feeling. It gives a different kind of energy for the rest of the working day. If I have to go to the office after the gym, I'm basically automatically two more hours away from home, which is bad for my cats.

Remote working together with my fiancé is a rare but wonderful day. It's nice to have another person around. It's not like we really have time to chat much throughout the day since we both are busy but what it brings to the table is being able to have lunch and a coffee break together. And just the fact that you are not alone.


I currently have two extra monitors at the office. I got the second one because changed from a desktop to a laptop and gave up my large screen in the process. I only have one extra monitor at home. I often miss the third monitor because I'm so used to having it and being able to split my programs into more screens. I have an iPad that I can use as an extra screen too, but the user experience with a proper monitor is better. But in those cases I really need more screens, I can have 4 screens at the office or 3 at home. The software only cost 10 dollars or something, so it was cheap.

We usually have a nice general environment at the office. I can't take part in the conversations remotely, which is something I definitely miss sometimes. I can still take part in the conversations happening in our chat rooms, which makes me feel less isolated from everything.

One definite negative is missing the office dogs. Sometimes a coworker will bring their dog to the office and I just love dogs. Missing their office trips is always sad. Especially because there are some amazing personalities among the office dogs. But I hope I can arrange my office days to align with the office dog visits as often as possible. I rarely have any specific need for a certain remote day so I can switch them around.

But compared to the positives I get from remote working, the negatives don't matter enough. Besides, I still have to go to the office once a week so I still get to see most of my coworkers every week. I also sometimes go to the office more than once a week. It's really great to be able to switch between remote and office working based on my schedule.