I thought I’d share a set of rules that I personally respect when working remotely from home.
Rule number 1: Workspace
Having a dedicated workspace is key when you want to seriously work remotely. Mentally it is important to close the door that separates social life and your workplace. You will gain in concentration and be able to be more productive.
Many people, working from home, place themselves in spaces such as the sofa and the kitchen, in my opinion this does not work. The workspace should encourage you to work, not continually put you in front of distractions. Working from a common area of the house ends up not distinguishing when you are working and when you are not.
Everyone in my house knows that when my door is closed I am working; and they know that, virtually, they are not physically at home at the time. On the contrary, when I’m not in my workspace, I’m 100% available to my loved ones and my family.
BEFORE STARTING TO WORK FROM YOUR COMPUTER CLOSE THE DOOR !!
Rule number 2: Equipment
The second rule is closely related to the first, what to put in the workspace? The answer for me is simple: only the best! A nice desk, a 27 ” monitor or more, a very very comfortable chair (you will really spend a lot of time there), plus a webcam and a good microphone are at least mandatory in our perfect equipment.
To work well remotely it is also necessary to take care of our workspace: paintings, posters, lamps … I invite you to have fun customizing your location to make it truly yours.
Rule number 3: Communication, always
Communication in remote work is even more important than in a real office. If you don’t communicate within your team, you practically don’t exist.
In E-quipe we talk a lot during our working time, using our virtual offices we have the possibility to really share our lives and we share in our breaks the beautiful experiences we are living around the world. There is an unwritten agreement between us: every time we are online we say goodbye to everyone and at every opportunity we take our coffee breaks together.
When you are AFK (away from keyboard = away from the keyboard) always remember to report it in the software you use (slack, remo, facebook, hangout). This way you will save your colleagues from wasting time looking for you when you are not there.
Rule number 4: your colleagues
Thinking about it, this rule should be number one to be able to work remotely. If your co-workers don’t spend the same time and attention as you do, everything else is useless.
I think the fundamental point is to immediately clarify your commitment to work, do not forget that when you are working remotely you are actually working; you are not at home, you are not walking the dog, you are not making personal phone calls. When you are in your room you are out of this world. By demonstrating this from the first moment with your colleagues you are making an unwritten agreement where you imply mutual commitment.
It’s not always easy, many people see working from home as something other than just working. It is essential to learn to dedicate the right attention to work and to one’s colleagues right from the start.
Rule number 5: Learn to trust
Remote working is based on trust. Unlike working in the office, there is no real proof that you are working (not taking into account the fact that being physically in the office is not synonymous with productivity). It is vital that you trust your colleagues and that they do their part of the work. Always try to stay up to date on the tasks of others and feel free to talk to a colleague of yours if together you have not been able to meet the deadline of a milestones.
Of course, it is also essential that the company trusts you! Always try to keep others updated on the progress of your work, remember to mark as completed the tasks that were assigned to you and share your successes with your colleagues. Working remotely does not mean being isolated but rather the opposite.
These are the rules that work for me, working remotely allows me to be productive while I have the time and the ability to do what I love.