From eWorker to Office Warrior

With work locations in Canada, the US, Europe and Dubai, the iRangers team is spread around the world. Some of the iRangers work in our offices, while others connect remotely. Dima Razbornov has been working as part of the team remotely for 4 years and this spring he joined the Winnipeg office. We dipped into the ins and outs of both sides of work culture and here is Dima’s story.

Working remotely or from an office, which one do you prefer?
It depends on the project and more specifically on the actual task. If it’s day-to-day work, it’s really great to be surrounded by colleagues, share your opinion face-to-face, get feedback and generally work together. Also, at the office, you can just tap people on the shoulder, as well as learn more from nonverbal communication.
However, for tasks with high-focus, I prefer working solo. At home, I would accomplish more in less time, but the downside is a lack of face-to-face communication with the team. So now when I’m in the office, I occasionally put on my headphones and tune out.

Can you compare the benefits and disadvantages of both worlds?
Well, now that I’m back to being as I like to call it ‘the office warrior’ I can say that the office itself is an important factor.
iRangers office in Winnipeg is located downtown with lots of restaurants and cafes nearby which is super handy for lunches and breaks. Another plus, it’s quite a comfortable office with space for rest with couches, foosball, etc, as well as the kitchen stocked with snacks.  Some days it’s cool to spend the whole day in the office and not to feel like you’re missing out on anything. I quite enjoy being here. Also, being in the office is more fun, you can chat about happenings in the city and hang out with your colleagues.

Some stats say that 90% of remote workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers. You, on the other hand, made the opposite transition. What is your experience so far?
It worked out perfect! However, in my opinion, the key is our company culture. Here, no one asks why you stayed at home, neither it’s important when you arrive or leave the office. What matters is that work gets done. That’s because we are a boutique company that delivers the highest quality projects, but we also function as a tribe where we have complete trust, flexibility and self-autonomy.

As an experienced remote worker, which tips you can give to someone who is just starting?
Relax. Do your work and know when you should stop because you don’t want to become non-lifer. Plan your day ahead, schedule time to work and time for breaks. The great thing is you can organize your day to match your best productive hours in the day.

How to set boundaries when working from home to make sure you don’t burn out?
For me, this has nothing to do with the location, it totally depends on the project we are working on. Sometimes with urgent tasks, you work until it’s solved. But on usual days, you just need to know when you should make a break or wrap up for the day. Very important: don’t sit in a chair the whole day no matter what.

How do you substitute for the face-to-face conversations?
I advise using messaging, video calls, conferencing from Microsoft Teams as cloud base service or Skype for business for on-prem, OneNote to easily share notes and TeamViewer to connect and remotely work on computers located anywhere in the world.

At the moment, you’re located at our Winnipeg office most of the time, but you combine it with working from home?
Correct, and this is the most wanted option. I would say: if your company can offer this combination, it’s the best for productivity and personal life. It’s freedom.

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