Xavier Nayrac

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How to stay productive while working from home

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Pour la première fois voici un article en anglais écrit par une développeuse qui travaille pour une entreprise française, depuis le Mexique et le Brésil.

{ Guest Post }

It’s been a bit more than year since I started remote working from Mexico and Brazil. I must admit it wasn’t easy to adapt myself to this way of working, as I consider myself someone who likes to talk and share some fun moments with my colleagues and friends.

The reasons why I took the decision of working remotely were purely personal, from spending more time with my family to visit friends in other countries. I took all this as my main motivation in this new adventure.

But even with this, motivation is not the only thing that can get you through a successful to remote working.

Distractions

If you don’t live alone, you won’t be the only one at your home adapting to remote working. Your family or roommates will have to adapt too. Having your own space at your house, where you can focus during your working hours will help you a lot. It is a good idea to avoid common areas such as the living room or dinning. Neither working from your bedroom the best option. You should find a place dedicated only for work and where you feel confortable, that way you can disconnect from your duties once your working hours are finished, and the people in your house will think twice before interrupting you.

From time to time is nice to work from co working spaces, there you can meet other people that do remote working as well, it is nice to chat about their projects, and even how they handle remote working. If you will be doing remote working while travelling maybe it is worth for you to take a look at Desktime App there you can look for co working space by city.

Organization

Organizing your day is one of the things that will lead you to achieving your objectives easily. People tend to think that remote working equals to “working in your own schedule”, which for some people might be true, I strongly advice to organize your day as if you were in your office or in a “regular job”. This way you can maintain a routine, stick to lunch hours and mainly you work only the hours you should work. Without a schedule you can easily find yourself having 2 lunches a day or working more time than you should. Resting is always important to maintain your productivity.

Communication

One of trickiest thing about remote working is communication among your team, first off you have to work a lot in your writing and speaking skills. Also, I think it is important to maintain meetings like: Retrospective meetings so everyone can talk about the issues they encounter during the week and find a solution with your team. Standups are important too, it is a really good way to communicate to your team what you are currently doing and if you might need a hand from them. In my case, communication is even harder, as I’m the only one in my team that works outside France, which means I start my day at 2 p.m. (Paris time). To handle this, we do asynchronous standups, which are written in Slack (our main communication tool), pinging if necessary the people we need to talk with.

At Tigerlily we even have a Slack room, where we come to say hi to everyone when we arrive and aware people if we will be away for some reason. This channel is also use to share articles or even fun stuff we found on the Internet is like a water cooler room.

Besides Slack, we use a lot Google Hangouts to do our meetings, and lately we have started using appear.in, which is a very simple app that allows you to start a video call without signing in, just by sharing a dedicated URL.

Breaks

It is important to take small breaks during your working hours, as you could do in your office. Some people find pomodoring a good way to manage their time, if you haven’t use it give it a try.

Finally, working from home or remotely doesn’t mean you don’t get to socialize with other people. With the extra time you gain from commuting you can use it to enroll in outside activities, or any kind of hobby you have been willing to practice, even assisting to your local meet up or why not organizing one :)

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Ana Rosas
Full-stack developer, working remotely at Tigerlily from Mexico and Brazil.

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