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Hi! My name is John Slipper.

I do product management & frontend development in Auckland, New Zealand.

Some Tips for Remote Working

Man in grey hoodie working at a desk in a home office

Photo by Claudio Schwarz

As I’ve now been working remotely for a few years I thought I’d share a few things I hope will be useful for staying productive (and sane) during these interesting times.

A quick search will likely reveal 100s of other articles online so this is by no means an exhaustive list. These are just my top 5:

1. Stick to schedule

Work the same hours and try to keep work and home time separate.

Some people also like to dress in their work clothes to help get them into the right mental space.

…the correct mental space for me however is wearing the most comfortable clothes possible 😁👚

2. Avoid distractions

Being at home means also being around everything else in your life. For some that’s distractions like streaming, gaming, social media and other apps. For others that could be a family demanding your attention.

For those finding their device notifications on their laptop or phones are an issue try the “do not disturb” feature (Windows calls this “Focus Assist”). If you can’t stop getting distracted by social networks or games there is software that blocks apps and sites and help keep you focused during working hours.

Balancing family and work is a significantly harder problem to solve. I’ve not personally had any experience in this area (unless you include minor 🐈 interruptions), so here’s a few links that might help inspire:

3. Have a separate space to work that you enjoy being in (if possible)

Having a dedicated space can help with both 1. and 2.

A separate physical space can also translate into a separate mental space.

This is obviously not possible for everyone, especially in the current unforeseen conditions.

4. Make time for breaks and food

It’s easy to keep working for long periods and to eat badly, but your mental state (and productivity) will actually benefit from good nutrition and little time for rest and reflection throughout the day.

A little exercise also goes a long way to help this too if it is permitted where you are. Even if running isn’t your thing then a short walk close to home (while also respecting social distancing) help to get a clear head and lift your mood. 🏃

5. Be available and keep communications open with colleagues

It’s easy to feel disconnected when you’re used to being surrounded by people.

Calls can help to make others feel less distant. When it could be hard to efficiently communicate a point using a message, try calling (preferably with the camera on).

Otherwise adding emoji to messages that need more context can help better communicate intent and reduce potential misunderstandings.

Ensure you’re available for your expected hours and clearly communicate when you’re not.

Transparency = trust (hopefully)