Working remotely. Some tips based on my experience.

Today we have a lot of technologies and tools to make the remote collaboration easy giving to us an incredible productivity and quality of life.

As a software developer working remotely for the past four years (and counting), I saw that I could perform in the same way as someone in an in-person office.

If you are planning to start to work remotely, I believe the primary challenge will be the daily fight against your bad habits, especially in your first months. Here’s a small spoiler about bad habits: they are not easy to win, definitely not, and you will need a lot of self-discipline to make it happen.

So, here’s some little pieces of advice, looking to tree most important aspects: Routine, Visibility, and Organization.

Routine

Have a clear routine is a key to be productive working remotely and to have a healthy life. It’s necessary to understand how your body works and find the right schedule that will works for you, especially for your sleep.

To improve your routines, I recommend some simple strategies:

  • Have a particular hour every day to stop your job time. It’s crucial as having one hour to start.
  • Do some regular exercises like walking or gym. Exercises are fundamental, and the negligence will always cost us in productivity.
  • Keep a daily notes about your routine. It helps a lot to find where you need to improve, the does and don’t.

Remote working gives us a tremendous flexibility and time savings, but we can’t trouble it with an entire lack of routine underestimating the importance of having a daily rhythm.

Visibility

It’s important to be apparent about our working time to the people around us, especially our family. A good strategy is to adapt a particular part of our home where we can close the door when necessary and keep it organized as close as possible to an office. Our brain usually works well with associations and maintain the place similar to an office can help us, and also the others around us, to understand there is a place to work and respect it.

Also, it’s necessary to be always visible to our teammates (or clients) regular saying that we’re available and doing something. It took some time for me to understand it, since when we’re working in-person, we don’t need to say all the time we are there (apparently) working. But, when we are working remotely people don’t look to us every day and need to be always conscious about we are there available to help them.

Organization

Keep our space clean up is something very easy to be negligent when we’re at home. Working in the middle of the trash is the best signal to allow our family to infer we’re not getting so serious about that space. Always remember, the organization is a kind of visibility.

I have a whiteboard in my office, and I use it all the time for my organization and clarity. Keeping one or two post-it’s with the main tasks to be done on that day on my second monitor is a magical thing who always help me to reach my daily goals.

Bonus point about organization (personal organization)
Please, do a favor to yourself and don’t start your day working as a tramp. Take a shower, dress up clean clothes, brush your hair, smile and pretend to be a normal person. It helps a lot and takes only 10 minutes (maybe 20?) of your day.

Essential tools
If you’re reading my text until here, then it’s time to give you something useful back :) #kidding

Here’s my list of essential tools to work remotely:

And the tree super classics

So, if you know about others great tools to improve the remote experience or have some useful tips/history to share then, please let me know and let’s talk about it, I’m always eager to learn more and improve it.

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Tailor Fontela

Software Developer. Full-time apprenticeship.