I've had the privilege of getting to work both in offices, at home 100%, and remote working over the course of my career. There are pros and cons to every approach. My personal favorite is having the best of both worlds like where I'm at with Eventbrite. We have an amazing office in Nashville, snacks, la croix, free catered lunches, etc.
At home for me though, I have my two beautiful daughters and my wife. And I also thrive in that environment as well. I don't mind the interruptions of my five year old just wanting to say hi or play barbies with me for a few minutes, or my 18 month old banging on my door yelling, "DADDDY", here and then throughout the day. Those interruptions I welcome.
After having done the 100% remote, and remote working things, here are a few tips on working from home...
- You don't need 3 monitors to work from home, get one nice large one, and as of these days I think 1440p (2,560 x 1,440) is a good resolution. 4k (3,840 x 2,160) can actually end up being too much
- Subscribe to a coffee company's monthly delivery service! I use Black Rifle. Then I get the beans, grind them in a Capresso Burr Grinder, and use a V60 pour over. I start every day doing this, and something about the process of it, gets my day started on the right foot. But, find what works for you!
- Use the slack mute button. It's there, and it's useful, tell your team, "heads down for X hours", and do it, ignore slack for a while, let the red dots grow for a bit, then check them later after your mute expires
- That said, keep your team updated! Create a team chat where you let people know you're away.
- Even more importantly, create a #watercooler or #random chat. When we were 100% remote at appendTo, we still felt like an IRL team because, well we talked to each other a lot in there. Just to say, hi every now and then.
- Open a long running hangout every now and then. It helps to just see faces from time to time
- Hangouts + Visual Studio Code Live share = 👏🏻. Hands down some of our team's best code writing happened while we opened up a long running hangout, stared a live share session, and just slung some code together
- Take breaks. Use a break timer like https://breaktimer.app/. Take a quick walk every few hours, take the dog out, play with your kids, stand up and do a sun salutation a to keep your lower back from exploding, etc
- If there's a lot of noise in your hosue, get some noise cancelling headphones like airpods pro, bose or whatever
- I got myself a nice microphone too... Blue Yeti
- Take a trip to a coffee shop , grab a drip coffee or tea, hangout a few hours, and go home. Something about just getting out of the house for a little while can help.
- Try actually getting ready for work! Don't just roll out of bed and into the office, go for a run or do a quick workout, take a shower, get dressed, heck even just drive a loop around your neighborhood and come back. It'll help get your mind in a work mindset
- Keep getting interrupted when you don't need to be? Get a colored lightbulb and internet of things it into a, "hey I'm on a call" light to let your family know not to come in right now... https://github.com/burkeholland/house-bot
- Stop working at some point! One thing I've found difficult is to separate work from home. On days when I WFH I often work way later than I would have at the office. Try really hard to stop when you normally would. I have a hue light setup in my house and I'll even turn my office to like a red color at 5:30pm to remind myself to stop working.
Hope some of the above tips can help you improve the quality of your remote working experience! Let me know if you have any other cool ideas for me to add to the list.