In 30 years time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
I just finished reading Remote: Office Not Required and while reading wrote a list of points that would help me survive as a remote-worker. This post is not about the benefits of remote work rather it already assumes remote-working is awesome. If you are looking for tips on how to make sure it works for you then keep reading.
- Divide your work communication between highly-urgent, urgent, not-so-urgent:
- 5% of your questions are highly-urgent i.e. use phone
- 15% of your questions are urgent i.e. use instant messaging
- 80% of your question are not-so-urgent i.e. use email
- A successful remote working setup usually requires some overlap of working hours between co-workers otherwise it won’t be an ideal situation
- Use screen-sharing (Google Hangout, Skype etc.) and screen-recording to describe or show work during meeting etc.
- Everything should be accessible to everyone all the time (use DropBox, GitHub, Basecamp, Google Drive etc.) so that important stuff is not locked with only one person e.g. a shared team calendar is a good idea
- A shared team chat room (e.g. Slack, Campfire) is good for social cohesion and to goof around with coworkers
- Sometimes work from a co-working space, library, park, cafe etc as that’ll reduce loneliness. Your working space doesn’t always have to be your home-office.
- Invest in the right chair, desk and screen so not to ruin your back, eyesight or anything else on your body.
- The time and money saved by not commuting should be invested in exercise/gym and healthier lifestyle. Work from home not from bed :)
- Your only way to win is by showing progress and work, its lot harder to fake things which is great news for team productivity.
- Good writing skills are important as your majority communication is going to be email, chat, discussion boards
- Worry about over-working and not under-working as without self-discipline you could end up working all day. Time tracking to put 40 hours a week on average works well.
- Build a daily routine which not necessarily has to be 9-5 but the one that works best to accommodate work and family life perhaps working 4 hours then 2 hours family time and then working 4 hours again works best for you.
- Remote work isn’t binary, you could work remotely in morning and come to office around lunch
- The way to make sure you are not ignored being remote is by showing exceptional work/progress