Tag Archives: hr

Working remotely – how much does it cost

People work for many reasons. For me the workaholic journey started from the idea of covering the basic resource needs. I just wanted to pay for the food. Later it became mostly self-realization thingy.

Work is not the only thing needed for a healthy being. Spending quality time with family, side projects, working out etc is also important. For all of that we need some spare resources: time, attention, willpower. Working from home is an incredible setup allowing to boost all of the areas having a more productive employee as a result.

This post was inspired by a recent offering to work on the other side of the city (no remoting), so I’ve decided to evaluate the benefits involved. By the way, you can also check out my story of starting to work remotely.


Whenever I commute in Kiev, it takes 1 hour regardless of where I go to. If something takes more than that, I consider the thing to be outside of Kiev : )

5 times a week an hour to the work plus an hour to return makes 10 hours total. Thus I will spent 10 more hours not on my side projects: 40 + 10 = 50 hrs.

More time

The place I currently live in has everything I need in walking distance: groceries, gym, a few cafes for when we don’t feel like cooking, farmer’s market, my driving school, self-government.

When the infrastructure at work goes down and I exhaust all the ways to make that live again, I just go ahead and do something from my personal task list.

Having to commute somewhere in such cases makes mental barrier higher so just slacking off in the office seems like an easier strategy. I don’t like life setups encouraging things which are not effective long term.

Leveraging the productive time

There are hours when our bodies tell us we’re ready for something in particular and there are hours we feel otherwise.

If I feel like working during the commute time – that productive urge is being lost. The advantage of having the ability to work from home is just that. I can do productive work whenever I feel tike that.

Similarly, when I feel bad, I can have a short nap, work without leaving my bed or do all of that in my favorite pajama in the midst of the day.

Stable energy supply

A few years ago I’ve discovered that eating regularly is very important for my wellbeing. Whenever I’m hungry, I’m more reactive (prone to screaming at people) and less productive.

I guess some of the companies have food catered just because of this reason (yay google with their supplies).

Apart from the feeling good at work, eating regularly allows me to feel good after the work, in my spare time – this is not visible on the time sheets but allows me to sustain a good pace in the long run.

At home place it’s much easier for me to arrange steady supply of foods.


Whenever flu season comes, the public transportation is filled with infected people. Similarly are the offices (especially if your company does not allow working from home while urging the employees to meet deadlines and client commitments).

This year I’m spending a lot of time at home and I didn’t had any of that yet. Last year I’ve been sick at least 2 times while having only once per week office volunteering gig (tutoring kids).

Infrastructure investments are easier to make

From the stuff I’ve observed it is common for companies (yay outsourcing) to put their offices on the outskirts and / or put off installing improved AC’s.

I even have a story in my past where I was not very fond of our AC equipment, found a system to fix that but the thing never happened because of the difficulties involved with the building owner and stuff.

At my home I can do much more with much less hustle. Also it’s rather cool to upgrade both my home and working environment with the same actions (yay standing desk made of cardboard!). Me being happy in this respect too are a direct result of being interested and having this control in the same time.

By the way, me not being in the office means somebody else can be there, in the end less space rented more moneys saved.

Better control over reachability / interruptions

Open space offices are also full of distractions. I can ask my teammates to give me a break for a few hours but that does not prevent people from other teams from reaching out for something.

Working from home is just like having my own personal office in this respect: I turn the Skype off once decided to have some productive time et voila – I can code up a decent chunk of something even in the middle of a day.


Ability to work from home also allows us to change bases. Grabbing the whole team to chill at a beach bar is awesome bonding experience as well as a nice refresher for a tired brain.

The other side of the table

I know that allowing people to work remotely feels dangerous as you have much less control over people.

I’ve been in team leading positions with people being on the other side the Earth a few times. Some people tend to work well in such circumstances, other tend to slack off. Herding people to the offices doesn’t solve this problem completely too (especially if you have Xbox there).

I also recognize WFH is not a silver bullet. What I would like to say here is that value of allowing to work from home is tremendous. Use it discreetly to win / reward talent.

Bad, good and the unexpected

This week I had a conversation with another company who seems like a good cultural fit. They have a work from home policy but encourage people to work from the office.

I love the style: instead of putting regulations which enforce your presence, the environment is just built in a way where it feels good to visit the office.

Interestingly enough, I feel compelled with the thing. Let’s see where will I be in a year from now : )

Recap: HR PechaKucha

Yesterday I’ve used another opportunity to hang out with something other than my laptop at HR PechaKucha organized by Impact HUB.

Audience was mostly HR’s / recruiters from IT.

A few highlights below:

  1. Oleg suggested to scale a business as a number of types of services it provides rather than volume. It should keep customer relationships warm and people employed where the fit is the rightest
  2. Mariya from Bavarish House
    • surprised me that they actually teach people to talk English. She was also the one to break the PechaKucha rules by starting her speech with 2.5 mins long video
  3. Kateryna from Luxoft
    • among other things shared an interesting case where a priest attended their training center interviews and was actually the best in that batch               IMG_20150530_205031
  4. Konstantin revealed to me that:
    • there are people which actually enjoy 2.5 hour long personality tests even before talking to a company representative
    • there are companies sacking people based on personality tests                                          IMG_20150530_213011
    • + bunch of funky tests: Thomas test, Keirsey, Motivation by Gerchikov, Burnout by Rukavishnikov
  5. Julia from NetPeak sold their company’s idea to me
    • I’m amazed by anyone who know what is the need for corporate values (naming all of them for your company makes you an evangelist in my eyes).
    • she also had awesome slides                                                                  IMG_20150530_220511 IMG_20150530_220424
    • Chatting with her afterwards I’ve also learned that the internal processes are developed and maintained by the employees, not evasive manageme
  6. Olga confirmed that Lohika does have training labs as well as a mysterious development center in Romania (yay, vampires!)
  7. I was ranting about the recruiters misconduct in “Recruiters guide on how to properly repel candidate developers”
    • Tinder meat scroll
    • was invited to speak for a company (so others can line up, please!)
  8. Sasha was closing the event and shared a few tricks HUB Volunteer Service NGO uses to motivate people:
    • I loved the most the idea of paying with celebrities time
    • although there was a guy eager to do work in exchange of a bike (so Sasha lent him a one just to make the world better)
  9. Before the event we had a chat with Max and he shared an awesome strategy for aspiring yet-to-be-developers: create a Djinni profile

Special thanks to Svetlana Bugay and her soft skills training which inspired me to challenge my chicken-hearted developer soul with some public speaking.

What the recruiting Bible says about resumes before having a chit-chat?

Today is a big day for the Ukrainian economy: our currency reclaimed a bit of it’s past value and I’m officially giving up on updating my resume when some random people ask. Hours saved will be donated to charity and occasional exposures to Xbox.

Below are a few reasons (including one true story, bro) on why you might want to do the same.

LinkedIn and some reading skills to the rescue

During the latest 30 days I’ve received 16 invitations and none (0) of them bothered to follow the instruction linked from the profile.

Or, to give them a benefit of the doubt: nobody from the contacting people was brave enough to try any of the suggestions on how to cheaply earn some reputation with me.

And as economists say – it’s all about the incentives: given somebody does not bother to read my LinkedIn profile while they don’t have my resume, what the chances are if I’ll whip up a one for them?

Not everybody is a fit – why bother?


I’ve had a magnificent chat just recently which saved me a few hours from preparing a resume.

A manager: Hi there
A manager: I’ve got your contact from Xxxx, as a candidate for a DevOps position

Me: yup
Me: let’s talk?

A manager: ask urgent questions first – might be you’ll get them answered now
A manager: )

Me: Who DevOps will work for? Who are they delivering value to / who are their clients? Who will manage / work with the DevOps? Who is the Ansible fan there?

A manager:
> Who DevOps will work for?
a company with a foreign investments

> Who are they delivering value to / who are their clients?
No clients yet – we create product(s)

> Who will manage
There is an owner / investor with money – the company is managed by that person

> Who will work with the DevOps

> Who is the Ansible fan there?
some teams do

>> Who DevOps will work for?
> a company with a foreign investments
what is famous about them? what can I learn from them?

>> Who are they delivering value to / who are their clients?
> No clients yet – we create product(s)
who are the potential clients? market \ domain?

>> Who will manage
> There is an owner / investor with money – the company is managed by that person
where I can read up on them?

>> Who will work with the DevOps
> developers
how many teams (products) is to be supported? what does an average working day looks like? what are the success criteria?

A manager: Ivan
A manager: sorry, you’re asking not correct questions with regards to the investors
can you read up on your investors at the current firm you’re working for?

A manager: ?
Me: yup

A manager: can I see a link please
Me: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/<my_favorite_employer_here>/investors

A manager: cool! sorry, I can’t give you that information
A manager: a good day
A manager: to you

    A manager removed me from Skype contact list here.

Me: is that an ending of the conversation?
A manager: from the context, I clearly stated that
yes – I bid you a good day again!

Me: what’s the reason? have I made you upset with something?
A manager: you’re working on a dream job, it seems, and we’re not matching the criteria in the asked questions. No, you haven’t upset anyone

Me: thanks – I’m always afraid of making people upset
Me: which criteria were not met? – I haven’t named a single one as of yet

    As of yet neither the manager, nor the recruiter have revealed what the problem was.

The End

So while most of people will be busy updating their resumes, me and you can get in front of the queue in this awesome game called life

P.S. There’s no recruiting bible I know of – maybe that’s the reason for all the funky things happening around? ^_^