You can succeed working remotely. Here's how I have made it work.
Given the recent closures of schools, events, and work from home policies being enacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I was asked by HR at Planoly to provide any tips that I have for making working remotely work, so since I had to write them out I felt I would share them :). These tips aren't the end-all-be-all, but they have definitely played a massive role and keeping things civil with loved ones, increase productivity and efficiency, and overall make you a better employee, engineer, or whatever it is that you do.
- Create a dedicated work space; don't try to be multi-purposing your kitchen table or couch. If you do you will work either less than normal or justify working extra. At the end of your day, have the ability to close it off (e.g close the laptop, or close the door, turn off lights etc.)
- Get dressed for the day even if it means a hoodie and shorts. Changing out of your pajamas will start your day and not extend your lounging around time (mentally).
- Create a schedule and stick to it every day
- Be on the same page with spouses and kids for when you are working YOU ARE WORKING (e.g no taking out the trash requests, no homework checking, no solving toy fights, etc.).
- my #1 is to STAND the entire day if possible. Invest in a standing desk (combination one that allows you to sit if you must) but the ability to stand increases productivity imo. IKEA says countertop slabs that you can throw some legs on.
- Block apps on your phone using a scheduling app that creates "focus" time (ActionDash on Android is great for this) to prevent unnecessary scrolling or mindless distractions.
- Create margin in your transitions - between work and personal life. At the end of your day EMPTY your entire day's thoughts onto paper; any unfinished tasks, notes, thoughts, or comments that relate to what you are working on currently or are planning for in the future. Use the above list to plan your next day at the beginning.
- Don't sign into personal accounts on your work machine (this should be done anyways) but will reduce the possibility of cross-life scenarios.
- Noise-cancelling headphones (even if you live alone!, but especially if there is kids in the house) this will help separate yourself even further from your environment and reduce distractions and context switching.