Stop wondering what it takes to be effective at remote work and find out with these tips and tricks from the pros at G2i.
With coronavirus sweeping the globe in 2019, there has never been a more remote business atmosphere before. If they weren’t completely remote, many organizations had already begun making the switch to allow for some remote work, while some hadn’t started at all. Needless to say, after COVID-19 every business had to ensure that its operations were working seamlessly - wherever employees were working.
While it’s true that things are starting to return to a “new normal,” it’s still not the pre-pandemic world we once knew. Today, more than ever, it’s still vitally important to learn how to work effectively and productively from a remote location.
At G2i, we are a completely remote organization and always have been. We’ve learned a lot about how to operate this way over the years since our inception, and we like to think we do a darn good job. With this in mind, we asked our stellar staff to give us their best tips for working remotely.
Without further ado, here’s what they had to say:
Pariss Athena, Developer Success Team | Boston, MA
I can homeschool my child if something like a pandemic happens and we’re all stuck in quarantine. This also helps exponentially to create a better work/life balance.
Christopher LeBrun, Directory - Finance/Ops | Easton, MA
They say sometimes when you are trying to sleep that it is actually good to get up, move around, read a bit, pet your dog, something (non-screen related) for 15 minutes or so and then try again, that sitting there just "trying" isn't going to work. I've found that for WFH as well. If I'm struggling with motivation and feeling like I’m slogging through tasks, I get up, walk the dog, empty the dishwasher, something for 30 minutes or so to change my scenery and or get me to feel accomplished. Then I go back to my computer refreshed.
Jess Marranco, Marketing | Buffalo, NY
In quarantine especially, I realized how much impact getting “dressed” can have on your attitude and mindset. I’ve always believed in comfort first, but feeling presentable has made me feel monumentally more prepared to take on a workday when I’m working remotely. In addition, I’d say I’ve learned to appreciate the value of spoken communication. I’ve always dealt with anxiety and have sometimes been sheepish when it comes to phone calls, but sometimes it’s exactly what’s necessary to get a point across and avoid misconceptions.
Daniel McGrane, React Developer | London, UK
Use the freedom to structure your own time to find a work day that works best for you. You can experiment with different shifts, for example getting up early, doing hobbies for a few hours midday and starting a second in the afternoon. Or if you are unproductive at certain times of the day, structure your day so this coincides with your time off.
Jenn Menard, EA / OPS | Delray Beach, FL
Like many people, I sometimes experience loneliness and disconnection because I’m home alone during the workday. I suggest taking advantage of meeting new people, talking about common interests, jumping on a video chat with another team member, friend, or loved one throughout the week. I find that maintaining relationships is crucial to mental health especially when working remotely.
Stephen Mitchell, Growth & Partnerships | Fort Collins, CO
It’s not a perfect equation where one shoe fits all. Test out different working situations and see what works best for you. Then build a routine around it
Pablo Pinto, Product Manager | Quito, Ecuador
So much time for learning! Use the time you save from not commuting to work every day to brush up on your skills or take that course that you’ve been wanting to take for years. It could be something additive to your work or could be something totally unrelated such as hobbies. Make sure this time for learning is scheduled in your calendar so that you actually keep it top of mind.
Christie Roy, Developer Success Team | New Orleans, LA
WFH can make it hard to shut off from work and increase the feeling that you need to be accessible. So maintain strict boundaries around your working hours and create a routine for yourself to clock on and off, as it were. I've read about people taking 15 minute walks before and after work as a "commute" to help themselves get ready.
Chris Severns, Developer Success Lead | Middlesboro, KY
If you WFH I strongly recommend a dedicated space for working. It helps to separate work from the rest of your life while you’re at home. Personally I struggle with working from the couch vs my office. Even though it’s 20 feet of difference, there’s a shift in feel that is hard to overcome.
Bryn Valenciano, Account Manager | Pensacola, FL
Make time to get out of the house to work at a coffee shop at least 2 days a month.
And last, but certainly not least:
Gabe Greenberg, Founder, and CEO | Delray Beach, FL
Working remotely is highly reliant on the hardware you utilize to communicate effectively. Here are my go-tos:
- I use a Jabra 410 speakerphone and a Logitech webcam c930e. It's extremely important to have good hardware when you are on a lot of video calls. The speakerphone is great so I don't have to wear a headset all day and I can hear really well and when I speak it's really clear. The webcam is super-wide-angle and the picture is also very clear.
- Zoom has been a better video conferencing tool compared to any other solution I’ve used, and we've been using it for years. I often suggest hardwiring via ethernet rather than using wifi if you can do it.
- Async's first communication is really really important to taking advantage of remote work. That means fewer meetings, more long-form communication, and not expecting answers immediately from your co-workers. (see this for more info: https://basecamp.com/guides/how-we-communicate)
- Slack can be incredibly distracting and creates less productivity. I almost always have notifications off by turning on "do not disturb" on notifications on my Mac. I need a heads-down time that is uninterrupted. Also, group chat is dangerous for quite a few reasons: https://basecamp.com/guides/group-chat-problems
- I schedule two days per week to have all my meetings and the rest of the days are primarily for heads-down work. It allows me to have both a "makers" and a "managers" schedule.
And there you have it!
Some of the best remote working tips from some work-from-home pros! What kind of WFH tips have you uncovered that would be helpful to the community? We want to hear them. Leave them in the comments below!