Working from Home
Having worked in tech my whole career, I'm used to working remotely. It’s also par for the course at CoLab where we’ve been working together as a distributed team for a decade. Here are some tips for staying sane and efficient.
Keep your sleep routine consistent. My family goes to bed at the usual time. This is important to keep your energy levels consistent during times like these. Take advantage of that extra hour or two from not commuting I find this helpful because with all that is going on, insomnia strikes whenever she pleases.
Take a daily shower. It helps me with my wake up routine and getting out of the cabin-fever funk.
Go to your home office (if you have one) as if it’s your real office. I created my own space where I feel creative, inspired, and comfortable. When I'm on conference calls (which could be all day), a private space enables me to be in my comfort zone and help kill it with solutions for teams or clients.
Cook meals for yourself and your family. I make breakfast, lunch, and dinner, either in my kitchen or grilling outdoors. More home-cooked meals is a bonus for me and the fam. I find cooking therapeutic and meditative.
Take regular breaks. Throughout the day I take 15-20 minute breaks to check on the kids, mainly to see if they are following a schedule and not burning down the house.
Get outside. If it’s nice out I take my breaks sitting outside and soaking in some sun. Our family takes a walk each evening, which gives us a chance to see our neighbors (from a distance).
Start meetings with check-ins. Go around the group, asking people to share how they feel, what they are working on, and if there are there any blockers for them to achieve a task. Then we can determine whether someone can help unblock issues. AND we talk about what we are grateful for.
Turn on your video when video conferencing. I make it a point to show my video so people can see me, and I request the same. As remote workers, we need that personal connection.
Hold virtual group gatherings or happy hours. I schedule them with my team or friends -- sometimes with a theme to change things up. Keep it fun and talk about non-work related topics. More gratitude, less attitude -- always.
Create dedicated blocks of time for more complex tasks. When I have a big project, I dedicate a whole day or 2-3 hours a day of just heads-down work. No calls or meetings. I put time blocks in my calendar so my teammates know I’m busy during those times. Some kinds of work require uninterrupted time.
Set an end time for your workday. My workday ends at 7pm. That means no more work-related tasks, emails, or calls. It’s later than usual for most people but remember, I'm not working all the time throughout the day and taking time here and there to do things around that house. It's all about the give and take. I DO occasionally take calls later in the evening for side hustles or planning world domination with other passionate people. Why?
Because I LOVE what I do.
STAY HOME. Reach out. Take care of each other.
New to remote working or managing remote teams? CoLab is putting together remote work IT solutions for community organizations and cooperative businesses, FIND OUT MORE