This one is for those of you who have full-time remote jobs. I noticed @wanderingdev mentioned being an FTE for a US company, hoping she may be able to weigh in here.
I have a very nice remote programming job. Great team, and the whole team’s distributed. I’ve been working remotely for years now – but never as a developer. I used to do more writing-related jobs, where you get paid by the word, and hours don’t matter.
As a coder, I’m suddenly paid by the hour. I am not a “consultant” - but I still find it very confusing and troubling, and I’m trying to nail down some norms. I’m supposed to be “full time”, which basically means 40 hours/week or so (43, but who’s counting).
I have a timer I use (nobody asked me to use it, and I don’t share the time report with anyone). I used to stop the timer whenever I went to the kitchen for a moment or to help with the kid. Working like this, an 8-hour day quickly became a 13-hour day. Meaning, it took me 13-14 hours to get 8 hours of work done, and it was pretty terrible.
I decided to do a sanity check with a colleague whom I have good rapport with. He’s a senior dev who’s been with the company for years. He said that in an 8-hour day, he usually manages to get in about 4 hours of “billable time” – meaning, about half his time is spent actually working, and the other half is doing other things, which he says is important to stay creative/fresh and not burn out (I definitely see the sense in this).
He told me that when he used to be a consultant, he used to charge exactly per what he actually worked – but then he doubled his rates to make up for it. (I don’t get a ton of money, I’m not a very experienced coder, and I’m not considered a consultant by any stretch of the imagination)
So… I decided to cast a wider net here, just as a sanity/reality check. As remote programmers, how do you manage your time? What does an “8 hour workday” look like for you, in reality?
Do you have a timer? When you watch a YouTube video, do you stop your timer? Etc. etc.
When working at an office it’s easy to get a fix for the norms - but working from home, you guys are what I have. TIA.