TL/DR Guide to WFH

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Working from home can be an enjoyable experience, if done right. Here are some tips to help you.

  • Dress the part.
    • Men/Women – Look presentable, you never know when the boss will want a video conference with you or you get pulled into a video meeting.
  • Minimize Distractions.
    • Not everyone has a dedicated work space. TV should stay off, good to keep window open (unless there is a lot of noise coming into your space). If you’ve got a personal PC close by, leave it off to resist the temptation of working on personal things.
    • If you have young children, you need a plan to keep them occupied. Yes, it is difficult (I have a very extroverted, and highly social 17-year old and find it tough to keep him occupied).
  • Focus on the task at hand.
    • If you’re on a conference call (video or audio only) it’s very (VERY) easy to drift onto other works. PAY ATTENTION because you never know when you will be called on to answer a question. I mean, at work (in your office) would you be on your phone or bring in your laptop and work on something else?
  • Look at the screen!
    • When you’re on a video call, don’t focus on the camera – it looks creepy but look at the screen so you remain engaged with what’s going on.
  • Hours
    • Maintain regular hours, when your office is the kitchen table it’s easy for the distinction between work and home to blur but at the same time you have more leeway so ensure you’re putting in the time you need to get the work done – people are watching and probably depending on you to get things done.
  • Daily Scrum & weekly stand-ups & one-on-ones
    • If you are a manager consider a daily scrum, communicated through something like Slack.
    • A weekly stand-up allows you to stay connected with your teams. I would also recommend to use video for these meetings.
    • Don’t abandon one-on-ones. Your team still needs to talk to you, keep those lines of communication open.
  • Get out!
    • Yes, get out and get a breath of fresh air. Build some type of exercise routine into your day and watch your health!
  • Socialize
    • Many companies are still keeping their teams engaged by offering Lunch and Learns, Team Lunches and Beer Fridays (all through video conference) and it works! The company I work for has been doing these for weeks, and a significant part of the company attends. It’s one way to keep connected with everyone in the workplace even though you can’t physically be there.
  • Time off – time out
    • Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you don’t need time off. Take a vacation day (companies are encouraging this). If you’re sick, take the day to recuperate.

Do you have any other tips? Share them here or with me on LinkedIn and on Twitter.