I've been working remotely since before the pandemic and love it. For those of you that work remotely, what are some tips or great things you've seen an organization do to facilitate remote work life?
I'm always looking to up my remote game and as well, the comments here could help newer folk to remote work level up.
Latest comments (34)
Best thing someone can do as an employee: minimize distractions. This was a problem in the office, with open office space, conversations happening constantly, etc. It can still be a problem at home. I now have a dedicated office room with a door that I can close. My productivity has never been higher.
Best thing you can do as a team: intentional connections. This was done very well on my previous team -- all of our daily standups were done over slack, but we had a dedicated time blocked off on Mondays (to share about our weekends, and talk about what we were excited to do this week), Wednesday afternoons (mob programming if anyone was stuck on any issue whatsoever), and Fridays (to discuss how the week went, what we learned, share weekend plans). Because the nature of these meetings invited us to share personal things as far as each person was comfortable, it built strong bonds, trust, and made us amazing at collaboration throughout the week. We not only got each other through the worst of the pandemic but were also top performers as a team. I no longer work on that team but we still keep in touch and meet monthly to catch up.
Always keep your teammates up to date because you will leave, and suddenly they have something important :)
For me the most important is to have some kind of "hello afterwork ritual". When I'm finishing work in my office I go down to my car, turn up some loud metal tunes and drive home. So when I am arriving I'm also mentally home. In the first weeks when remote work started during the pandemic I just closed my notebook and well - I'm home but my head is stucking at work. I realised I need to do something. Mostly I go for a walk outside or listen to some records of my vinyl collection, otherwise I can't finish work
Use a Kanban board to keep focused and prioritize work! It helps make yourself accountable so you don't end up playing video games all day :)
Join a Co-working Space
For people that don't know, a co-working space is office space that you rent and where other random people rent and work close by as well.
I'm a full-time web developer and I've worked out of my co-working space cubicle most days. It's great because I:
Obviously this works best if you can afford it and the commute is short.
Wrote about it here.
Great article, with a lot of good info! I work remotely for a major US bank so I don't have options like customizable work hours or a choice of what team I work with, but there is still room for personalizations that make remote work better.
For me, that really comes down to: 1) Much better office furniture (re: chair and desk monitors) than I would be working with in a corporate office space, 2) Better headphones than what they were providing at work, and 3) Break time with my cat. Some of the more open-minded employers still allow people to bring dogs to work, but for pretty obvious reasons, I have yet to hear about a technology workplace that welcomed cats (and cat boxes) on premises.
For me: have an end-of-day routine to separate work from personal time, make sure to have pauses along the day, and connect with others away from screens...
I feel that you are asking about working from home, not working remotely. Having been working remotely since 2015 (with 3 years break in between) I'd say the challenges with remote work are mostly organizational and there really not a lot you, as an individual contributor, can do about it.
Sure, there are some small things around communication you could implement (mostly revolving around communicating much more than you'd do working on-site), but it's not really essential.
Definitely I was referring to a lot of what you can do as an individual, but how your org works for sure as well falls into the discussion, e.g. async communication first etc.
In my case the most important tips are:
I wrote a full article about this interesting topic, because to be honest working remotely is not so easy 🙃
Join a gym or club. Being cooped up every day can get very lonely.
Working in the same place nudges people into collaborating, socializing, and making friends. When I went remote full time in 2016 I felt pretty lonely, I also started shaving/washing less, and eating worse.
I started going to the gym (7am crossfit) regularly in 2017 and its been a game changer. I was forced to wake on a schedule, and wash afterwards. I started to eat better, and after a while, I found I looked forward to working out with the regulars. They are a lot like my work friends used to be - we see each other roughly every day, but we dont necessarily hang afterwards.
Working on a laptop at starbucks sounds cool, but it's not healthy in the long run.
Use a good workstation, table, chair, monitor.
Agree on a good setup. If I do go to a coffee shop though, I have a stand. Here's my whole setup, iamdeveloper.com/uses
From a personal standpoint what's important to me is to recreate what i have known before in non remote workplace :
From a company perspective , i think it's important to give employee the opportunities to know each other a create link.
I know some people prefer to stay at home all day working, but I get cabin fever if I do that. I usually start the morning at home then work from a coffee shop or bar for the afternoon. It helps to be around people even if they're not your coworkers, and in a sense it's like you have new coworkers everyday :)
I also have found that usually whenever I get stuck on a problem and it's not budging, changing up my location (different coffee shop, coworking space, a park, etc) gets me unstuck in like 10 minutes. When I was physically in the office I would spin my wheels for hours sometimes on a problem, but being remote for the last few years I don't find myself experiencing that nearly as often as I used to. Like, being able to change up my location when I need to has made a massive difference.
The biggest problem with remote meetings is that they are too long.
... most meetings you don't need anyway ;-)