For nearly two years now I have been working from home, it has been an experience which I have enjoyed and has brought benefits for my employer too (that would be you if you employed me).
No office space required
I have contracted for a number of companies over the years, some have dedicated teams for managing the office space and some not, its not unusual to turn up for my first day of work and have nowhere to sit.
At home I have my space organised, I have my own office separate from the rest of the house (and kids). I have a big desk and Herman to sit on, and on my first day I am ready to go - no faf.
No hardware required
As above, its not unusual for a new person to be lacking the necessary equipment on their first day. As a programmer, I need a pretty high-end beast of a computer for my employer to get the best out of me.
At home I have a spanky i7 8 core monster, 8 GB of memory and a system SSD. I have 3 monitors and my iPad to watch the news on. I don't need you to buy me anything.
No software licences required
This is the biggest problem, in my experience, a developers toolbox now-a-days is quite heavy and expensive.
As a C# Developer, I need
- Windows - duh
- Visual Studio, at least Pro
- Resharper, its developer heroine, I can't go cold turkey, its too late
- Graphics software, I must draw icons occasionally
- E-mail, spreadsheet and document software
At home I have all of this and much more, I get my Action Pack every year and its full of goodies. What is more I am already set-up, you won't lose a day of programming while I watch a tracker bar.
No late to meetings because of train delays
Every morning I have a meeting with all my colleagues in London, the Isle of Man, Russia and India. Its a magical Skype chat, everyone has a coffee or whatever, and we all find out what we did yesterday and what we are going to do today (Stand-up).
Day-to-day communication is easier
During the day, I am available at the drop of a hat for a chat.
We have organised meetings too, I just get myself a cuppa and click a button to start planning the next sprint or whatever.
Pair programming is easier
One of the real revelations for me has been screen sharing, we had used Skype, but more recently we have moved to join.me for this.
You can pair program without having to look at the back of your colleagues head or get his/her mouse covered in the contents of your doughnut.
I do like a bit of mood music, but this will not disturb you, unless you move next door that is...
I won't upset your office manager by not wearing a tie, or only wearing a tie
The best programmer for your job is not necessarily going to be the one who can get on the 7:01 to Paddington.