data scientist working from her home

Can Data Scientists Work From Home? (Here’s the Truth)

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Find out if data scientists can work from the comfort of their homes. 

Can Data Scientists Work From Home?

Absolutely yes, data scientists can work remotely from anywhere in the world as all their work can be done on their own system. 

Of course, because they deal with sensitive data, some extra security measures need to be taken when working from their home internet connection (VPN access, credentials rotation protocols, etc).

What data scientists do exactly

Data scientists play a vital role in companies, supporting businesses in making better-informed data-driven decisions.

In other words, data scientists help companies solve problems and achieve their goals – goals like minimizing costs, increasing customer satisfaction, reducing errors, finding growth opportunities, predicting growth, and many others.

  • Project Planning & Discovery Process: gather requirements from stakeholders, prioritize features, get access to data.
  • Data Manipulation, Cleaning, Aggregating, Collecting, and Querying Data.
  • Data Analysis: looking at the characteristics of the data and finding trends, creating visualizations, to create business impact.
  • Data Visualisation: building dashboards to visualize trends, and monitor KPIs
  • Building Machine Learning / Deep Learning Models: data cleaning, select features most relevant to the model, tune the parameters to make the model as successful as it can be, optimize for best precision and accuracy
  • Model Implementation: ML Engineers or Data Scientists work to put the models created into production
  • Meetings with Stakeholders: besides internal meetings, data scientists need to have constant meetings with their main stakeholders to inform them.

How is the remote job market situation?

The remote job market is growing more and more, and the COVID pandemic is one of the reasons why this is happening.

Many businesses realized during this time that remote working has lots of benefits and they want to keep allowing their employees to work from home even after the pandemic ends.

Huge companies already planned to switch to work remotely long term:

  • Dropbox will allow all their employees to work from home permanently
  • Shopify will let all their employees work from anywhere, indefinitely.
  • Facebook will let up to 50% of their employees work remotely
  • Microsoft will allow remote working 50% of the workweek
  • Lambda School rolled out a permanent WFH policy

The Upsides of Working Remotely

Comfort: no dress code, no disruptions, better work balance.

Increase in Productivity: Studies have shown that when you skip long commutes, in-office distractions, and extra coffee breaks people tend to be more productive.

Zero Commute: no more dead time spent in traffic or public transport,

Better work-life balance: working remotely will keep you closer to your friends and family, and this alone can improve your health and wellness.

The Downsides of Working Remotely

Sharing ideas: unlike going to your colleague’s desk and talking ideas, when working remotely sharing ideas can be a bit more difficult. You need to chat first, schedule meetings when you’re both available, and even for a quick call, you need an extra step of confirmation.

Unplugging from work: the line between work and breaks can get blurry when you work from home. You need to set a clear schedule or set up alarms to remember to take healthy breaks. Get some fresh air, stretch a bit, meditate – and avoid burnouts.

How to work from home effectively

Use proper working equipment

  • Laptop, Monitor & Good Chair: companies usually provide their data scientists with the proper hardware, and sometimes they even allocate them a budget for tech equipment (office setup, mouse, ergonomic chairs, desk, etc).
  • Good Internet Connection: of course, you need to have a fast internet connection to be able to do your work
  • Security & VPN Access: to safely get access to servers, databases, and sensitive information, the company should provide you with premium security software and VPN access 
  • Licensed Softwares for Data Science

Use the best team collaboration tools

  • Hangouts / Zoom / Microsoft Teams: use video conference apps to communicate effectively with your team and stakeholders, and share your screen to present your findings.
  • GitHub / GitLab: used for seamless code collaboration, vital for any data scientist.
  • Slack: used to quickly chat with your team, create sub-team channels, and share funny GIFs from time to time.
  • Confluence: helpful for document collaboration, project planning, documentation, and share meeting notes.

Use work management tools

  • JIRA / Assana: use a ticketing system to keep track of your work and share progress with your team.

Where to find remote data science jobs?

There are dozens of sites out there where you can find remote job opportunities in the data field. Make sure to find companies in your timezone and where you are legally authorized to work.

Our favorites are:

  1. WeWorkRemotely.com
  2. RemoteOK.io
  3. Flexjobs.com
  4. AI-Jobs.Net
  5. Data Jobs
  6. Remoters.net
  7. Indeed
  8. Glassdoor
  9. Angel.co
  10. Linkedin.com

Key things to mention in your CV

When applying to remote jobs, make sure to sell yourself as a great remote worker.

Specify that you are comfortable working autonomously and you can effectively manage your time and projects without supervision.

Mention the collaboration apps you’re familiar with, and give examples of situations where you effectively worked remotely.


Summary

Data scientists can do their job remotely.

Although many companies still prefer the traditional in-office working, there are plenty of companies out there that allow their employees to work from anywhere in the world.

Plus, remote work is on the rise, which is great for those loving to work from anywhere on the globe.

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