Tips on working remotely

When the company I work for went fully remote due to the COVID-19, a lot of people were forced to drastically change their daily lifes and the way they work. For me, this was the norm since the begining of my career as a developer, so I felt obligated to share a few tips with everyone. This is a copy of content from a few slides I shared with Pitch.

Due to Coronavirus, more and more people are working from home. While I’m personally always very happy to see a change in that direction, it is not ideal (or effective) if people are forced to do so by external forces. In the slides bulletpoints that follow, I wanted to share my thoughts and tips on successfully and happily working remotely that I’ve learned over the years. Most of it might be obvious to a few of you, but I hope at least some find it useful.

Find that perfect spot…

  • Make sure to find a separate place to work from. Working from your bed doesn’t (unfortunately) work and it will be very hard to focus. Plus it’s bad for your spine!
  • Once you find the place, do only work there and nothing else. I wasted a lot of hours playing League of Legends at what was supposed to be an in-between-ci-builds games
  • Explain to your family/flatmates that you sitting there means focused-time. From my experience, other humans can easily get in the way of productivity, and they sometimes assume that sitting at home means leisure time 🙅‍♀️
  • Talk to others! It’s easy to feel lonely even in a house full of people. Figure out your cooler-chat time. Talk to the guy at the grocery store or call telemarketing companies if you have to. Schedule everyday calls with your team. Loneliness is the main problem of working remotely.
  • Last but not least… don’t work in your sweatpants! I know it’s tempting, but having a dedicated spot, going through your usual morning routine, wearing work clothes makes your mind right for being productive

Slack etiquette

  • Use the “Pause notifications” feature to block focused time or the 🎧emoji status. Now that people don’t see you, they don’t know if you’re busy or not. Slack can be a huge distraction.
  • But stay responsive when you can! Slack is now your window into the virtual office, and others need to reach you somehow. I make responsiveness on Slack my top priority.
  • Following on the previous point, remember about the cost of pings. You don’t know what others are doing, and pinging them for something you don’t need immediate attention on might be very disruptive. Use public channels for communication and be patient.

Time flies…

  • Make a schedule. It’s easy to get used to the office life and intuitively organize your workday around that (or so I’ve heard).
  • Keep your calendar up to date. If you want to make use of the perks of working remotely and rocks some tunes in the middle of the day, that’s fine - just remember to update your calendar so others know you’re not available
  • You now don’t have to commute - use that time wisely by pickup up a new hobby or spending more time with your family. Remote work is a gift!