What Software Engineers think about remote work? [Survey Report]

What Software Engineers Think About Remote Work
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A survey I made among 600 senior software engineers primarily from Java, C#, Python, Ruby, and Javascript stack confirms that remote work is here to stay. Rather than fighting with remote work and campaigning on how to get back to the office, I think it’s time to focus on how to master it. Almost all important technology companies are announcing permanent remote work post-covid. We collected many great customer success stories and talent stories by embracing this simple fact. We’re on a mission for revolutionizing the software talent industry.

The world is healing rapidly after the pandemic thanks to global vaccination campaigns and seems like most of the developers are happy with the remote work setup with minor improvement ideas in mind.

What makes software engineers productive in remote work?

  1. Asynchronous communication culture
  2. Simple and understandable success metrics
  3. Clearly defined goals and objectives
  4. Great base payment
  5. A crystal clear growth path or freedom of taking initiative and experimentation
  6. Automating all manual tasks repeating more than once per week
  7. Increasing the average skill and experience level in the engineering team

What makes software engineers unproductive in remote work?

  1. Toxic meetings
  2. Vague metrics and big chunks of quarterly goals
  3. Vague engineering expectations and lack of direction
  4. Weak base payment and almost impossible performance rewards
  5. Heavy HR bureaucracy for the professional growth
  6. Repetitive tasks preventing the satisfaction of “building something new”
  7. Weak teammates and having nobody to look up to

Responses from 600 senior software engineers

Question: How is your company handling remote work so far?

Great — 61%

61% of the senior software engineers think their companies are handling remote work “Great”

The vast majority of senior software engineers who responded to my survey thought their company is handling remote work “great”. This shouldn’t mislead you into believing these companies are actually doing great work managing the remote workforce. The primary responsibility of a manager is to increase the output volume and quality of any team. Maybe a better survey question would be “Do you feel constantly challenged in remote work as a software engineer?”. Exceptionly provides a set of key benefits to this group.


Average — 29%

29% of the senior software engineers think their companies are handling remote work “Average”

Almost 30% of the workforce is not completely happy with remote work. Senior software engineers who responded are either isolated or micro-managed. Lack of async communication culture in a company is destined to fail in remote work. Sending people back home is not remote work.


Terrible — 11%

11% of the senior software engineers think their companies are handling remote work “Terrible”

This presents unique opportunities for consultancy and SaaS businesses to address the primary pain points of remote work.

Some quick updates from Exceptionly, we published a dedicated page for our software engineering platform features, customer success stories, and talent stories. We also have a dedicated frequently asked questions section. I’m happy to have a virtual coffee to discuss the software talent strategy of your business: feel free to book a quick meeting here!

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