Remote work in the times of COVID-19
Hi fellas! We’re witnessing history and trying to make best out of it. There’s a Chinese saying that you shoudn’t wish to live in the interesting times. Guess we don’t have much chance to decide now.
Anyway, half of the web decided to caught on the wave of the virus and every one seems to be an expert on remote work now. Nevertheless, I’ve spent over 5 years working remotely from places with better or worse conditions for remote work and thought that maybe I’ll also share something you might find useful. Let’s cut the story short and move on to the tips:
1. Clean up your environment
Make it as clean and distractless as possible. If you live with other family members and have a luxury of a separate room, use it. It’s difficult to convince roommates that your’re actually working from home. If you’re trying to solve some important problem, focusing on solution, while being often distracted, things can go sideways very quickly. Firstly, you won’t be productive, and secondly it can cause some frustration and have a negative effect on your domestic partnership.
2. Get dressed
A vision of sipping coffee in pyjamas all day might be exciting, but believe me it isn’t. You’ll be surprised how strong negative effect it might have after a few weeks on you mentally.
3. Schedule your day
It’s important to have a schedule for the day planned as daily and evening routines. Don’t sleep longer than usual, finish your work on time and plan your activities. Even when our range of possibilites is strongly limited during the quarantine, try to manage some time for physical activities and some play. As programmers we have this great possibility to learn something new or polish our skills during this hard time. It will keep you sharp and if everything will go apart and you’ll have to look for a new job, you’re increasing your chances.
4. Prepare for the worst
It’s important to show your employer that you care. It’s a difficult time for every one, so prepare as well as you can. What do I have in mind? Try to acquire simple redundancy in regard to the tools that are necessary for your work. Try to have double internet connection, microphone, headphones, camera, pc/laptop (with VPN configuration and ready for work). Ideally we’d like to have a spare electricity provider, however if we run into problems with the electricity, being not able to git push won’t be our biggest issue… Anyway, we all have to meet the deadlines, so it’s worth to keep the trust between parties and show that they can depend on you.
5. Communicate professionally
When we communicate via text only it’s easy to misinterpretate a message, which can lead to conflicts. It’s also quite easy to forget that the someone, who crashed the build in the pipeline is an actual person, after not seeing some one for a few weeks. Be polite, be cool, be positive. Report your progress on the tasks and also find few moments for a daily coffee maker chit chat.
I guess that’s the crucial picks I wanted to share. Take breaks and appreciate that you’re one of the lucky guys or gals that can work remotely :). Stay positive!