Is it possible to work remotely in the gaming industry?
Yes. Now the chance is bigger than ever. Game companies built their own workflows and pipelines. The game industry has learned that productivity is still there, that people are getting the job done. And even though after the covid19 pandemic, we believe that some companies will return to the old ways, many will stick to the remote or hybrid type of work.
*Hybrid type of work means remote work from home + few days per week or month in the office*
We also always encourage our clients to consider remote workers due to the high demand from the industry.
Why would you want to work remotely?
Before we go into details, I need you to take a step back.
Working in pajamas and slippers and having multiple calls per day in your underwear might be someone's cup of tea.
But... (Captain Obvious strikes again) people are different.
Even though a remote game job might be good for your colleague, it doesn't mean that it might be as good for you.
Let's dig into the list of pros and cons of remote work, k?
What are the pros of remote game jobs?
- You're the master of your schedule. Remote work means flexibility. Ofc each remote company sets its core hours. You are expected to be available at this specific time to ensure proper workflow in the team. But outside these stiff hours - you're good to plan and work however you please. You need to sleep till 9:00 am, cause waking up at 7:00 am damages your productivity? Sure, you're good to go. Or maybe you need to spend 30 minutes on meditation or yoga? Or perhaps you would like to go for a walk?
- Increased productivity. Elimination of all distractions and learning how to plan your day (and stick to the plan) works wonders.
- No office distractions. No one bothers you. You can focus on your stuff.
- Save time and money. Two words: No commute. Powerful argument and quite self-explanatory, right? ;)
- Life-work balance. Since you don't need to waste your time on a daily commute, you can spend all these precious minutes with your family or hobbies.
- You can work anywhere. Literally. Would you like to work on a sunny day in the park? Hell, maybe you would like to work while lying on a hammock on a paradise island? Possible only while working remotely.
What are the cons of remote game jobs?
- Overworking Now is the other part of the equation. Remote work might improve your work-life balance. But! This is a double-edged sword. If you don't stick to the rules, it may go sideways, and soon, you'll notice that you spend more time on work. (Scroll down tho, we have some ideas on how to split these two and find this balance). That might lead to burnout.
- Lower productivity. If you read the list of the pros, you're probably confused. I mentioned that Remote work leads to a spike in productivity. Well, "It depends." If you're a person motivated by your peers' supervision, you might experience something entirely opposite.
- It might feel lonely. Especially if you're leaving alone. Long-term isolation and lack of social activities can have a toll on your mental health.
- Distractions at home. Sometimes your family or roommates do not get the idea that you're actually working. Instead, they think that you'll easily find time to do some chores around the house since you're sitting at home. So it's time to play a "boundaries" card.
- You cannot start a sentence without "John, you're on mute." ;)
So now you're aware of all the pros and cons of daily remote work, and that brings us to the important question:
Is remote work good for you?
You need to step back and decide if you're gonna thrive in this system or is it better for you to work in the office. (Which is fine as well. The key is to pick whatever works for you best).
Are you an introverted person who feels overwhelmed by being around other people? Or maybe you think that it's hard for you to focus (chatting with fellow devs can be distracting, I know :D).
And if a remote game job is something that you would like to pursue - bear with me for a bit longer, and let's set you on the right track with a few tips.
Hot to get a remote job in game development?
- Check gamedev job boards. You need to know where to look for. You can check out our job openings or visit a page like RemoteGameJobs.com.
- Think about your preferences like "when do you want to be working?" You'll be able to cross-check your expectations with the reality of the market. If you prefer to work at night - it doesn't make sense to apply to the job where core hours start early morning. Btw you can also ask us when in doubt. We know our stuff ;)
- Get to know the companies listed there. Create a list of companies you would like to apply to. Are they working fully remotely? Or maybe they allow some people to work remotely? (Partially distributed teams work differently than Fully distributed Teams. And that also reflects on the communication flow, onboarding process, and so on. Every game company does remote work differently). Know their culture. See who you are dealing with.
- Craft a good CV for your job search. Don't know how? Read here or ask us on our social media.
25 General tips for mastering remote work in the video games development
- Get to know the remote work policy in your company. Learn all procedures and expectations.
- Learn how the task planning is supposed to work, how you're supposed to get a review of your work.
- Ask for feedback.
- Make sure that you're getting the proper hardware and software to work. Often gamedev companies provide the whole setup. You need to discuss that with the HR Manager or your direct manager (during the recruitment process).
- Take care of the documentation. It needs to be well organized and up to date.
- Keep your work files secure.
- Invest in an ergonomic chair and desk. Now you might think it's a detail, but if you consider it - your back is gonna thank you.
- Create your workspace - ideally, you should have a separate place to get the work done. Place where you can focus, conduct calls, think.
- Stick to your working hours. While on remote work - the time between work and free time gets blurry sometimes. And it's an easy way to become overworked. Close your Slack/email/ Discord when you finish your job and focus on your "me" time.
- Set clear boundaries with your family/roommates. People living with you need to understand that you're at work and respect that even though you're at home, you're not available to do some chores around the house. Establish a clear routine.
- Take your mental health seriously. If you feel any signs of apathy or depression - act fast. Maybe you lack social interactions? Maybe there's something else going on? Don't hesitate and ask for help if needed. Good managers understand the importance of mental health in the working environment.
- Get familiar with the Pomodoro Technique if you often lose focus - it's a great way to boost your productivity. And it also makes sure that you take breaks from time to time.
- If you're using the same computer for work and "recreation," set up different user profiles *it also works with the Internet browsers*. Name one as "work," and remember to use it only for the work-related stuff. It helps you keep your focus.
- If you feel distracted by social media - deactivate all notifications on your phone.
- Block websites that distract you during your work. You can install dedicated plugins and apps to do that.
- If possible, consider using co-working shared spaces from time to time.
- Take care of your social life after work.
- And hobbies.
- Familiarize with remote work communities like https://www.reddit.com/r/remotework/
- Don't be afraid to ask for help.
- Try to hop on a video call as often as you can. *I know how it sounds, but seeing people and interacting with them virtually can do wonders to your mental health*
- Sync with your team as often as you can. You need to be sure that your work is aligned with the goal you are about to achieve.
- Note your work progress and share it with your peers. People working remotely need to be more proactive when sharing the fruits of their work. You need to make sure that others understand what were you doing.
- Find the time to "hang out" remotely with your team. Off-topic talks help with the bonding and boost morale.
- Enjoy ;)
I hope that we have covered all your questions about the remote game jobs. Don't be a stranger if you have anything you would like us to add. See you on our social media channels!