This post is meant to be a guide for people who are new to working 100% remote and provide some tips and tricks for staying effective. At this point I have been working 100% remote for 3 years and I honestly can say I love it! But it wasn’t always that way.
1. Find your focus spot
I have found that my office is not always the place in my house that allows me to focus best, I highly recommend experimenting and moving to different spots around your house. I have always done this even when working in offices, I found myself not always able to focus at my desk and could be found working in a conference room or the lounge or kitchen where-ever I found worked the best for that moment.
2. Keep your workflow lean
Now this one I advocate for even when you aren’t 100% remote, but keeping your workflow lean by limiting the number of extra pieces of technology you need to a minimum is awesome for being effective. I work solely on a 14” Thinkpad, no external mouse, keyboard, screens, dock; this allows me to pick up my workspace and move it where-ever I need to. I have done meetings and outage resolutions while in the passenger seat of my car, and not felt like I needed any extra tools.
3. Being effective with children
This is a tough one and quite honestly I have been blessed with a inate ability to dround out background noise when I need to focus so my kids have never been an issue except during meetings which if they are in my focus spot I will typically move in cases where I will talking a large amount, however the majority of the time I use these moments as a parenting moment and a few minutes before my meeting I will explain to my kids that I have a meeting and they are more than welcome to stay in the room but must stay quiet, which has taught my kids how to handle personal situations like important phone calls.
I realize this is not sufficient for some people and this is in no way a one size fits all guide, so for those who have a hard time focusing with background noise I would have to just say find a good set of head phones and or make your focus room a kid free zone during work hours.
4. Setting Work hours is important
This is probably the most important tip I can give to new remote workers and one that I still struggle with from time to time.
Working remotely can have wonderful effects on your work/life balance but only if you let it. It is extremely easy to work more hours than you ever would have when you were in the office because now your home is your “office”. Keeping a good work/life balance takes constant vigilance, for that I reccomend you define your work hours and document them somewhere that your peers can easily discover, this way you limit the number of pings that happen outside of your work hours that aren’t extraordinarily important.
Working remote is a relatively new trend and I am still learning myself but I hope that these tips can help you be more effective.
I plan to update this as I come up with more information so keep a look out for updates to this page and feel free to comment your tips and maybe I will add them to this list.