Have you ever wondered, do software engineers work from home? After all, coding is the kind of work that can be done remotely, so it stands to reason that many software engineers are able to do their jobs without having to go into an office. But what does the data say? Let’s take a look at the numbers and find out.
What Percentage of Software Engineers Work from Home?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, software engineers who worked remotely accounted for only 7.2% of the software engineering workforce, according to a study by Upwork. Software engineers were still among the most popular jobs to be done remotely, but the majority of software engineers still had to work from an office.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, 76% of computer and math-related employees in the United States began working from home in May 2020, according to The Economist. That number is a huge jump from pre-pandemic levels, and it shows that software engineers are increasingly able to work from home as technology makes remote work easier and more accessible.
Later on, as the offices began to reopened, the percentage of people in tech working remotely dropped to 49% in July 2021. This coincided with easing of lockdown regimes and willingness of the tech companies to bring developers back to the office.
The latest State of Remote Engineering Report by a software platform called Terminal has found that in 2022, more than 60% of developers are already working fully remote, while 75% are working remotely at least 3 days a week. Moreover, 75% of developers in the study said they want to work remotely at least half the time each week.
It’s crucial to note that the majority of developers (57%) prefer working from home full-time, so companies will most likely need to adjust in order to keep these workers happy. One telling statistic is that 33% of developers would quit their jobs if they were no longer allowed to work from home.
Pros of Working From Home as a Software Developer
Working remotely as a software developer comes with its pluses and minuses. Let’s discuss what exactly they entail.
Working from home provides software engineers with a much greater degree of flexibility than traditional office work. Software developers can work on their own schedule and work from wherever they want. Terminal’s research found that 59% of employers are increasingly offering flexible working hours to support remote engineers.
2. Better work-life balance
Remote work provides software engineers with the opportunity to create a better balance between their professional and personal lives. Working from home makes it easier for software developers to manage their time and take care of family obligations without sacrificing productivity. 64% of developers who work remotely report feeling a better work-life balance, and 48% report feeling less stressed.
3. Increased productivity
With fewer distractions, software engineers can often get more work done in less time when they’re working from home. More people said they can get more done at home or remotely (68%) than those who find themselves more productive in an office environment (32%).
4. No commute
This is one of the most obvious advantages to working from home. Not having to commute saves software engineers time and a lot of stress. Plus, it reduces their carbon footprint and saves money that would otherwise be spent on gas or public transportation.
Working from home can also save software engineers money in other ways. They don’t have to pay for lunch, office clothes, and parking. This creates more disposable income that they can use to invest in their career or other pursuits.
Cons of Working From Home as a Software Developer
Though software engineers can easily connect with their colleagues and clients online, remote work can still be lonely. Loneliness and social isolation were the two key complaints of software engineers working remotely, according to the survey. Just over half (55%) said they suffer from a lack of day-to-day social personal interactions, while 40% cited loneliness or feelings of isolation.
2. Impeded collaboration
Software engineers are used to collaborating in person, but working remotely can make it difficult, according to 38% of respondents. It’s harder to meet up with colleagues or stakeholders to brainstorm or tackle a problem when everyone is working from home. This can be especially challenging for software engineers who are new to the job and need more guidance.
3. Lack of visibility
Working from home can make software engineers less visible to their employers and peers. This could potentially lead to fewer opportunities for growth or advancement, as software engineers may be overlooked for important projects or promotions. Being less visible to their managers and supervisors was noted by 31% of developers as being one of the difficulties of working remotely when it came to pursuing career development.
Finally, software engineers who work from home can be more prone to burnout. If software engineers don’t have clear boundaries between their work and personal lives, it can be difficult to stay focused and motivated. This can have a negative impact on software engineers’ productivity and mental health. A third of developers stated they have been given more time off from work to help reduce burnout, while employers are also being more understanding by having less strict deadlines (31%) and lighter workloads (12%).
What Do Software Engineers Do?
As somebody interested in becoming a work-from-home developer, you may be wondering what the job of a software engineer typically entails.
Software engineers are responsible for creating software that meets user needs. This may include developing software from scratch, testing software, and troubleshooting any issues.
Software engineers must be comfortable working with a variety of programming languages and tools to develop software according to software design specifications. They also need to have excellent problem solving and communication skills in order to work effectively on software projects.
In addition, software engineers must stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and technologies in order to ensure their software is up-to-date and secure.
Working from home as a software engineer can offer many benefits while still allowing you to work on exciting projects that make an impact. However, it’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before making the switch to remote work.
Do Software Developers Work Long Hours?
Software engineering is typically a career with good work-life balance. Most software engineers work an average of 40-44 hours a week, with occasional overtime when hard deadlines have to be met or during software launches.
That said, software developers often work flexible hours, which allows them to work from home or adjust their schedules to fit their needs. This gives software engineers the ability to work around their personal commitments, such as family obligations or doctor’s appointments.
Software engineers may also work additional hours if they’re interested in pursuing software projects in their free time or advancing their own software development skills.
Ultimately, software developers can work as much or as little as their projects and commitments require. The ability to work from home gives software engineers the flexibility to work the hours that best suit their needs.
Do Remote Developers Get Paid Less?
Interestingly, software engineers who work from home make even more than those working on-site. According to Glassdoor, overall average software engineer salary in the United States equals $90,408 per year, while the salary of remote software developers is $93,896 per year. This data is confirmed by other sources as well.
This is often due to the fact that software engineers who choose to work remotely are not constrained to their local market and are able to seek employment in large tech hubs with higher salaries such as San Francisco, Seattle, and New York.
However, it is also worth mentioning that Big Tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon often adjust the salary of remote workers according to their area’s cost of living. Thus, someone residing in high cost-of-living areas such as San Francisco, California may make more than their colleagues in lower cost-of-living areas such as Austin, Texas.
How to Become a Work-from-Home Software Developer?
In order to become a remote software engineer, you would need to go through the standard route of computer science education. This usually involves either a 4-year Bachelor’s degree or an intensive short-term coding bootcamp.
Throughout or following your education, it is often a good idea to do an internship to get a share of work experience and become marketable for a full-time job.
After you are done with your training, you should search for remote positions online or through your network. Many tech and non-tech companies advertise job offerings for remote developer roles even for new university graduates.
Other companies may not openly call the position “remote” but will mention it in the job description. You should use remote-friendly job boards to look for remote positions online.
What Age Do Most Programmers Start?
People decide to pursue software engineering careers at different stages of their life.
It has become increasingly popular for many people to switch careers to computer science after pursuing another career first. As such, the age at which individuals begin their software developer journey varies significantly.
While some people decide to get into software engineering since the beginning and start their CS careers right after college, others begin in their 30s, 40s, or even 50s.
Thus, you should know that it is never late to break into tech, if that is what you desire. Being “too old for tech” is a vanished myth that has been broken a long time ago.
Working from home as a software engineer is becoming increasingly popular — and with good reason! Not only does it offer financial savings for employers and increased flexibility for employees, but it can also lead to better collaboration among team members located around the world.
Of course, there are still some challenges associated with remote work — but these can generally be overcome by implementing systems that foster open communication between all stakeholders involved in any project or task.
Ultimately, working from home offers numerous advantages for those interested in pursuing a career in software engineering — so why not give it a try today?
Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.
Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.