What might seem like common practice in many countries (US, UK & Israel from personal experience) however, is practically non-existent in others, such as Germany.
I was quite surprised to see that the amount of positions that offered remote working in Berlin
(and in the rest of the country) is almost zero.
I'm talking about both freelance positions and permanent positions still being 100% in-house, though I don't have much expectations from the latter, remote freelance positions are also nowhere to be found.
I'm not referring to Startups as I can understand the need to have someone present on your team... You know what, scratch that - I've known a lot of successful Startups teams that are completely international and this remote (e.g. buffer), as long as it's not a co founder, and the Startup is web-based, I don't see why it shouldn't work.
So in a sort of a suggestion to employers to get flexible, and to employees to take the jump, here are some reasons why remote working rocks:
I've never once had a traffic jam between my bed and my desk (although there's a first time for everything). Especially in big cities, the No Commute part is a big time & money saver, for both sides.
If you have stability doing remote work, you'll probably make sure you have a room set for the office, where you probably don't have to much foot traffic & noise.
You usually don't get such control as an average employee.
Many articles suggest that taking a power nap of as little as 30 minutes somewhere between 12:00-13:00 will be very beneficial for alertness and performance at work. Good luck trying to do that in the office.
But in all honesty, this is much more than that, nobody is effective 8 hours a day 5 days a week, and if washing some dishes or doing some laundry might ease your eye tension, why should that be regarded as impossible while going for a smoke is OK?
I've got a lot of personal projects, and I must say that you can't compare the efficiency of working on your own project and doing your day job.
Even if it's just a temporary gig, I'll always be more concentrated on my own projects, because it's done under my rules and my environment.
Now of course I know that for some people, it's the other way around - they never get their own projects done.
In which case I think the outside structure of an office might be beneficial, but that's not my case.
This advantage both for the employer, and the employee.
As an employer, you don't have to limit yourself to just local talent, especially in small cities, it can be impossible at times to find a developer with a very specific skill set
(good luck finding a Haskell developer in Bonn, it's hard enough to find them anywhere), or trying to make them relocate to the middle of nowhere.
As a developer, this means you can spread your wings and work with companies from around the world, you get to see how different countries are coding and experience many different technologies and ways of coding.
This is the major reason why employers don't want to hire remote workers, drumroll please:
Employers don't trust the developers to actually work, and fear that they won't be doing anything while collecting a paycheck.
Well to this I have one question:
If you don't trust your employees to be honest with you, why would you hire them at all?
There must be some sort of trust, and like with the risk of hiring someone who's completely lying on his resume and is totally unqualified, so is the risk of hiring someone remotely that might not do the job.
Both of those cases don't take more than about a week to clear up, and it's a risk HR departments take all the time.