What are your thoughts for engineers working remotely? I have yet to experience working remotely and I'm assuming it comes with seniority. I don't see a lot of entry-level jobs that offer this type of perk in startups and I have a hunch it's because of the risk. What's Heroku's outlook on working remotely?
Half of Heroku is remote, and the other half is at HQ in San Francisco.
We care a lot about creating an appropriate work environment for remote staff in our day-to-day, which takes a lot of effort from everyone involved.
We communicate asynchronously a lot, following a model similar to open source projects and their various topical mailing lists. We also use chat and video tools extensively.
Working remote is not for everyone. Some people need to get out of their homes and into an office environment where they are able to interact face to face with their colleagues. Those who work remote create their own distraction-free home office and keep regular work schedules to make it work. It takes a certain level of discipline to be able to work remotely effectively.
The risk you mention can come from either the team being unable to work that way, or the individual themselves. The risk is exacerbated when the remote folks are many timezones away without sufficient overlap from the people they have to interact or collaborate with.