This article is on how to work remotely, especially for those getting into it for the first time.
Avoid the temptation of working from your couch/bed. If you have a spare room, convert it into a home office. A decent table and chair will do wonders to how you work. If you have been used to working with a second screen, get one.
Have a plan for a backup power source. This is especially important for those working in areas where stable electricity is luxury. Always get a backup power source,if you work in country with unsable power supply like me in Nigeria😀. NEPA will disgrace you.
Like electricity, get a backup ISP. Always understand that your ISPs are out to frustrate you, especially when you’re getting on a video call. Your ISP will disgrace you.
You have to be disciplined with your time. If you need to start from 9-5PM, then be disciplined about it. There’s a tendency to keep going with the flow and this may lead to a burnout. You need to take care of yourself.
Your kids will never understand why you can’t play with them, seeing that you’re home and not at “work.” I got you, I have two kids. Take the time to explain to them that Ribena and coco pops doesn’t pay for itself.
Written communications are difficult. Super difficult, people will interpret things based on how they fill. Be as verbose as possible. And don’t forget punctuations too. There’s a world of difference between “Let’s eat, Tom.” and “Let’s eat Tom.”
When in doubt and it looks like things are getting heated, jump on a zoom call. We practise this at Alta Labs. A 5min call will do what a 1000 words back and forth can’t. Zoom is your friend. By the way, Google Hangout is a pretty decent product.
Make time for breaks too. A 40min walk around the neighborhood will do magic to your productivity. Remember the laws of diminishing returns? It applies here too. Take breaks.
If you’re going to be away for an extended period, let your colleagues know about it. Nothing is as frustrating as working with an unresponsive colleague. No one wants that. Manage expectations properly.
If your standup is asynchronous, be as verbose as you can. Document everything. If you spent 1hr pairing with a colleague, write it down. If you spent time reviewing PRs, write it. If you were in a product demo, write it. It’s all work. Work doesn’t always mean committing code
If you are not the one sending a call link, always assume the other person is sending a link that leads to video. Have a shirt close by. Nothing is as awkward as jumping into a call shirtless. Some of us no too like clothes like that...
Take care of your space and hygiene. Seriously, shower, shave, use deodorant. Lift your blinds and let fresh in. No be until you you want common were you suppose baff. A clean workspace does magic to your productivity.
I know you have an amazing project management tool, but I’ll strongly suggest you have a personal ToDo list. It helps you keep track of your day and helps with personal accountability.
Lastly, stop trying to explain to your parents that you have a job. It will never make sense. Every once in a while, send N5,000 airtime to mum and dad, trust me, during devotion that week, when they are praying for you, everyone will have to kneel. It’s a special kid of prayer.