Can Engineers Work from Home?
By - Rohit Joshi • 2 weeks ago • 6.9k views
I want to know what do our fellow engineers think about working from home for engineers. Post COVID pandemic, a lot of engineers began working from home.
Several of my colleagues shifted to their hometowns and are working remotely without any issues. I want to know what's your take on WFH.
Engineers can work from home. I've spent over 30 years working as a software engineers for various companies. I once used to be an advocate of working from office. But since 2020, I favor working from home for engineers.
Just about 2 decades ago, working remotely was not an option for engineers. Every day you had to show up at the office in your formals. But things have changed.
I have witnessed firsthand how remote work has transformed the landscape of our industry. I've formed a few very strong opinions about working from home, its benefits and drawbacks. Let me explain.
Remote work is not limited to software and IT professionals anymore. Several engineering fields have began adopting remote work and collaboration.
Mechanical engineers may have difficult time finding remote jobs. But several aspects of mechanical engineering are now computerised. For example, you don't need to attend office to do computer aided design (CAD). You can collaborate with your colleagues online.
Companies like Tesla and Ford have implemented WFH for some of their engineering positions.
For Civil engineers, majority of work happens on-site.
Civil engineers can also work remotely for many of their tasks. While onsite visits and inspections are essential, much of the design, planning, and project management work can be done from home.
Civil engineers can use advanced tools like computer-aided design (CAD) software, geographic information systems (GIS), and project management platforms to collaborate with colleagues and clients remotely.
Companies like AECOM and Arup have begun to offer remote work options for some of their civil engineering roles.
Let's talk about remote work for chemical engineers.
Chemical engineers might face more limitations when it comes to remote work, as their job often involves working with hazardous materials or in controlled environments like laboratories.
However, some tasks, such as data analysis, process design, and project management, can be done remotely.
Companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, such as Pfizer and Amgen, have started to offer remote work opportunities for some of their chemical engineering positions, particularly for those in research and development roles.
In general, the remote work is reshaping the industry and nature of work. Read can software engineers work remotely? and WFH for Data Engineers.
In future, almost every engineer will have the opportunity to work from home. The Internet penetration now allows every engineer to work from the remotest part of the Earth without any issues.
So, in conclusion, more and more engineers are working from home and will work remotely in future.
I respect your opinions, but I'd like to provide a counter-view on why engineers should not work from home.
Here are some points to consider:
1. Collaboration and creativity
While remote communication tools are getting better, they can't fully replicate the level of interaction and creativity that happens when engineers work together in person.
Face-to-face brainstorming and problem-solving sessions are essential for driving innovation. Prove me wrong.
2. Hands-on experience
For many engineering disciplines, hands-on experience with tools, machinery, or equipment is crucial.
This simply cannot be achieved while working from home.
Direct access to these resources and the ability to physically manipulate them is necessary for both learning and executing tasks.
3. Workplace culture and team building
A strong workplace culture and team spirit are vital for employee engagement and motivation.
Working from home can lead to isolation and detachment, making it difficult to build trust and foster camaraderie among colleagues.
4. Supervision and quality control
Ensuring the quality and accuracy of work is essential in engineering.
While working from home, supervisors might find it challenging to effectively monitor progress and provide guidance, which could lead to errors and compromises in quality.
5. Confidentiality and security
Engineering projects often involve sensitive information and intellectual property.
Working from home could increase the risk of data breaches and loss of confidentiality, as home networks and devices might not be as secure as those in an office environment.
In conclusion, while working from home has its benefits, there are significant drawbacks for engineers.
Face-to-face collaboration, hands-on experience, a strong workplace culture, effective supervision, and confidentiality are essential for success in the engineering field, which can be better achieved in an office or on-site environment.
What are your thoughts on these points?
Let's keep the discussion going!
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