Remote working/working from home


#1

I’m a 100% remote worker and I went to a session on Saturday where we evaluated the pros and cons, and shared tips about creating healthy home work environments.

Does anyone else work from home and/or remotely?

If so, I’d love to hear your top tips for staying engaged, healthy and productive in that kind of environment.


#2

I would love to be able to work remotely. Not really to work from home, but to be able to work from anywhere. Spending a few months in one country,a few in another…


#3

Productivity is always the biggest issue for me. Let’s face it-- my home is full of distractions. My cat, my X-BOX, those bills that need paying, the backyard that needs to be watered, etc., etc. The list goes on and on.

I struggled with this for a while, until I decided to make myself an office environment in my home. My house is fairly small (only about 950 square feet), and as a result we do not have an office. We do, however, have a guest room, which is rarely used by anyone except my cat. We keep it nice and clean, in case of any unexpected visitors, so the room itself was naturally distraction-free. It was an easy thing to buy an office chair and install a fold-away desk on the wall above an outlet. Voila! Instant, cheap, work environment, with a closable door to lock out the rest of the world.

Each day I work from home now, I get up at the same time as I go into the office, I get dressed, showered, and shaved, and sit down at my “work environment” at the same time I’d start the day at the office. I get up for lunch and breaks at the same time I would otherwise. I call it quits at the same time I would if I were walking out the office door.

Here’s the final product. Even though the room itself is small, the desk doesn’t take much space, is collapsible, and has actually been a nice improvement for our visiting guests, most of whom end up using it at some point.


#4

I have the same issue with distractions, but I handle it quite differently.

I do have a dedicated home office but I get restless if I sit in it all day, so I tend to move around the house. I don’t take a lunch break (no fun when there’s no one to talk to) so instead I take 10-15 mins every couple of hours and either do something around the house which requires me being active, or take care of an admin task that is on my mind. Most of the time that works.


#5

What is the cat’s name? :cat2:


#6

This is actually what I like best about working from home: I’m the only one there.

My cat’s name is Rosie. She’s a great cat, and one heck of a derp.


#7

I’ve been working from home exclusively for almost 4 years now. I like it a lot, although it definitely has its challenges.

I wrote a blog post with some of my tips and tricks here:
https://blogs.balsamiq.com/team/2015/09/03/on-working-from-home-better/

This article is also a nice little digest of thoughts on working from home:

- Leon


#8

Related article that is handy: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/twenty-six-time-management-tricks-i-wish-i-had-known-at-twenty/


#9

I worked 3 days at home, 2 in the office for 4 years. At first I struggled with distractions but then we moved into a house where I could make a seperate office. [quote=“dougcollins, post:3, topic:1556”]
Each day I work from home now, I get up at the same time as I go into the office, I get dressed, showered, and shaved, and sit down at my “work environment” at the same time I’d start the day at the office. I get up for lunch and breaks at the same time I would otherwise.
[/quote]

I did exactly the same as Doug, even going as far as wearing the same clothes I would if I were in the office as I found I was much more productive.

However, something I didn’t enjoy was the fact I felt quite forgotten about. Everyone else worked in the office full-time and I found out that a lot of people didn’t realise I worked full-time at all, they thought I was only hired part-time. Since I have started a new job where I am 100% office based I enjoy it much more I do miss working with my dog on my lap and being able to look out into the garden, but I love having people to talk to and being able to socialise.


#10

Yeah, I hear you on this.

I’m grateful that I now only work for 100% distributed companies so it’s not an issue, but I used to work for a much larger (office based) organisation and I often felt forgotten. No one was to blame, but it is a definite problem when only a small number of the team aren’t in the office.


#11

I was grateful that we had a good IM system in place, but since joining the new company I feel like it’s been much easier to build relationships with people now I’m office based.


#12

This is all really interesting and helpful :slight_smile:.
I really want to work from home, at least part of the time, as we have a dog that suffers from separation anxiety.
Unfortunately I think my work place has a bit of a… stigma against working from home? So even though being at work is super helpful in terms of collaboration and working on projects, we are only really supposed to work from home if we a sick and don’t want to share our germs.

I wonder whether the “stigma” of working from home will disappear anytime soon? if it is a company culture thing or something else.


#13

I read an interesting article once about the guilt of working from home. Because there is such a stigma around it people who do work from home when some colleagues are office based often end up doing longer hours, not taking breaks office staff do etc, because there is an underlying guilt about working from home. Also you’re trying to prove that you really do work and not just laze around as a lot of people think!

On a side note - have you looked at crate training for your dog? We crate trained ours as a puppy and I’ve heard it’s very good for anxious dogs too.


#14

Agreed!

She is crate trained in terms of sleeping. We heard that smaller locations can be good because dogs have “denning” instincts. But unfortunately couldn’t get a crate so went with the garage (she scales our fences). She’s okay with it now, but only if we got back when we are supposed to :stuck_out_tongue: otherwise woo betide us, things get destroyed!


#15

We got a really good cage when we first got Leo, it’s enough for him to stand up in and stretch but now he’s older we just let him have the whole living room. He goes in his cage for quiet time though and everyone knows not to touch him in there as that’s his safe place. Makes it nice and easy when we travel as he always has his home!


#16

I’ve been working from home almost exclusively for 10 years. I took a brief break in 2011 to return to a full-time office position, but it didn’t work for my family so I came home. My biggest challenge is isolation, so I make an effort to meet people in person (either clients or friends) at least once a week. It’s important for humans to connect :wink:

Like @HAWK, I have a dedicated home office but get restless, so I like to work wherever. For example, I’m in my living room now :slight_smile:

As a remote worker, I think it’s super-important to have as much structure as possible. I start my days promptly at 9am, take a break for lunch/exercise, and then pickup my daughter from school at 3pm. I try not to schedule any client meetings after she gets home so I can either help her with homework or do light admin tasks. I’m also a big fan of the Pomodoro method, which promotes working in 25 to 50-minute focused sprints and then taking break. It really helps combat distractions and stay focused, but the FRIDGE is my enemy!

Here’s a blog post I wrote about my current remote setup. I hope it helps!
http://maryshaw.net/work-anywhere-remote-working-setup/


#17

I’ve realised that I do this without actively meaning to. It’s a much more productive way for me to work – otherwise I get restless and waste time on things that don’t need to be done.


#18

I got a great tip from someone today. A protein shake with a splash of coffee in it mid-afternoon. It keeps the sugar cravings at bay and keeps you sharp for the afternoon. I tried it yesterday and it worked a charm!


#19

I currently drive an hour to and from work every day and have been for the past 2 years nearly. Seeing there is many people working remotely in the field is awesome! I would love to land my first UX gig next year and have it be remote :wink:

I’d be 120% content with working from home or local coffee shop with a good set of headphones.

#goals :grin:


#20

Emphasis mine. The necessity of a good pair of headphones to drown out the world cannot be understated. I love good sound and some noise cancellation, but don’t have a huge budget. I bought these a while back and have had pretty good success with them. https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDRZX110NC-Noise-Cancelling-Headphones/dp/B00NG57H4S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475772587&sr=8-2&keywords=sony+noise+cancelling+headphones

What does everyone else use?