Can Web Developers Work From Home?

So, you want to know if web developers can work from home? Well, the answer to that question is a definite yes. In fact, I am a web developer that works from home. Sometimes also in other countries than the one my employer is in.

However, working from home is not every developer’s reality. There are still many developers who need to fulfill their 40 hours of work in an office.

Why is that? Well, because the web developer landscape is pretty complicated. Don’t worry though, because in this article I am going to break down the scenarios of when a web developer can and can’t work from home.

Keep in mind this is generally referring to a salaried employee. If you are a freelancer or contractor, there is a much better chance you will be able to work remotely as a web developer with no problem at all.

Do Web Developers Need An Work Office To Complete Their Job?

Before we really dive in, you should know that a web developer almost never needs to work inside an office. Assuming they have a decent computer for coding, a good internet connection and slack, pretty much everything can be done remotely.

The only thing that may suffer when not everyone is in the same office is teamwork. However, I think this is a weak argument many CEOs and Product Managers make to try and keep an office environment. In fact, for the short period of time that I actually did work in an office, everyone just slacked each other anyways. Despite the fact that we sat a few inches apart from one other…

Just look at the thousands of projects on GitHub that have collaborators from all over the world working on them. All of these people have their own home set up and contribute to the same codebases without ever meeting each other face to face.

So in terms of being able to do your job properly, there is no reason to not work from home as a web developer.

Now let’s look at some of the less obvious reasons.

Reason #1: Supervising Your Employees

The main reason why many web developer jobs are not remote is simply that employers want to make sure people are actually working. If you work from home, it is hard to know what you were doing all day. Were you actually stuck on that bug for hours or were you watching Netflix?

The main way to combat this is to have daily stand-up meetings. Where you state what you did the day before and what you plan on doing today. That way, the manager can gauge how much work you are actually getting done.

However, for many employers that is not enough. So keeping everyone in the same room where they can be monitored is the easiest solution.

Reason #2: Not Fair / Concerns Others Will Complain

The second reason is that employers don’t want other employees to complain about the added freedom you may get as a software developer working from home. If they could do their job from home too, then the employer would have to give them the freedom to do so. Resulting in more problems than if everyone would just work in the office.

Even Elon Musk recently announced that all their office employees need to work a minimum of 40 hours from the office. Simply because it is not fair to the workers who need to work in the building.

Although honestly, this seems like really poor reasoning and a very rare Elon L 👎.

Reason #3: They Already Bought The Equipment To Work In An Office

Finally, the third most common reason why some web developers cannot work from home is that the employer has already invested significant money in office equipment that would go to waste.

Although to be quite frank, the majority of software engineers have a much better home set-up than anything you could find in an office! Nevertheless, it’s a common concern for many employers when deciding if their web developers can work from home or not.

Summary

So that’s about it! Although, generally speaking, web developers are capable and many times do have the opportunity to work from home, it is not always the case. This can usually be broken down into 3 separate concerns. 1. Being unsupervised, 2. equality issues with other employees, and 3. wasted equipment and office space.

However, in my personal opinion, if you aren’t currently working from home as a web developer but want to, it’s time to ask your employer or start searching for a better job!

Happy coding!