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My question today is addressed to those astronomers who have quite a lot of experience working remotely.

In general terms, the answer to the question includes the following elements: the range of tasks to be solved, the methods and frequency of interaction with colleagues, the frequency and necessity of visiting the office/laboratory/institute, the exchange of results and generalizing work on them, the degree of involvement in astronomical problems and activities in general .

This will help to understand whether an astronomer can fully work remotely?

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    $\begingroup$ Some might suggest that all astronomers work pretty far from their study subjects… $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 16 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ @JonCuster I think everyone understands what we're talking about $\endgroup$
    – dtn
    Apr 16 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ This is clearly a matter of opinion. Also, a large fraction of employed "astronomers" are actually teaching in physics/astronomy/maths departments and do not just get to work remotely. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Apr 16 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ Few people access supercomputers in person, period. You appear to be wanting a particular answer. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 16 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ @dtn for future reference, there is also Academia SE for questions like these. You can find a lot of questions about working remotely. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 16 at 22:32

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This might be more a question for Academia.SE, but: I have tried this during two different fellowships, and while it did work out, I cannot recommend it.

Due to family reasons, I stayed in my home country, commuting to neighboring countries every four weeks (the first place), and every second week (the second place). When at home, I had an office in my then-old, now-current university.

My experience is this: You really can't underestimate the value of daily chats at the coffee machine and during lunch, the possibility of just dropping by a colleague's office, and the group meetings and journal discussions. Despite what's possible online, when I was home I missed contact with colleagues abroad, and when abroad I felt somewhat alienated (in lack of a better word).

Because of my affiliation with my "home" university, I did have these things after all, at least to some extent. But if you mean staying at home home, in your apartment, then I think it will take quite some effort to be a "part" of the department.

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    $\begingroup$ I understand perfectly well the importance of live communication with colleagues..It's true But what about productivity? In fact, all the results that an astronomer obtained at home can be obtained on his work computer with the same software? Or are things a little different remotely, and the astronomer is not assigned (or does he not set himself) too serious tasks while remote? $\endgroup$
    – dtn
    Apr 16 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ The 'chat at the coffee machine' adds to the productivity. It is, after all, a place to chat about the work as well - and get a new and fresh inspiration or approach or interesting paper recommendation from a colleague you might miss out otherwise. $\endgroup$ Apr 16 at 18:48
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    $\begingroup$ @dtn Yes, as planetmaker says, by "coffee chats" I don't just mean that they're important to thrive socially. They're very important scientifically as well. Both for problem-solving ("Oh that error? I've had that, it's probably because…") and for getting involved in each others projects (⇒ co-authoring more papers). $\endgroup$
    – pela
    Apr 16 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ It is truth too. That is, the results obtained can be discussed with colleagues live almost instantly. $\endgroup$
    – dtn
    Apr 17 at 3:02

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