Working at Atwix for the last five years, I’ve been collaborating with my team as well as other co-workers from remotely from day one. Now, as the current situation dictates and we have no option but to work remotely, I want to share some tips on remote work.
Conduct Daily Stand-ups
You probably had morning stand-up meetings when you were working from an office. Getting everybody updated and focused on work when working remotely is even more important.
Have Regular, Project-Based Calls
Do not try to get all the questions you have resolved during the one call. Instead, give yourself some more room to get one problem resolved at a time. Also, treat your co-worker working with you on several different projects as several stakeholders — have separate meetings and separate text chats per project as you would create a separate tasks in a task manager for different projects.
Other Meeting Advice
- Keep the meeting as short as possible. You all have work to do, so save each other’s time when you can.
- Prepare and share the agenda in advance, so other participants can contribute to it.
- Follow up after the call with discussed, agreed and action points listed out.
Make Small Improvements to Your Workspace
When in the office, we do not notice most obvious things that bring us comfort — dedicated meeting rooms, water-cooler conversations, in-person meetings, nice monitors and the list goes on. But when remote, we are left without these things, so trying to recreate them at home can help you get better work done.
Items to consider:
- Comfortable work chair
- Large external screen
- External webcam with 1080p video calls support
- Wired headphones
Organize Your Daily Schedule and To-Do List
Being at home, with no teammates and managers on hand who can help you, it is even more crucial to have a calendar reflecting your meetings as well a to-do list reflecting your daily tasks. I know from my own experience how confusing it might get when having unread emails, to-dos in Slack, as well as open tabs in Chrome in addition to the main to-do list.
Get it to one: Read all the messages, close all the tabs and add everything to your to-do list. Having one source will help you concentrate and avoid anxiety. Learn more productivity tips.
Get the Feeling of the Office
I know it’s not for everyone, but I like being exposed to some level of background noise; it helps me concentrate and get into the zone, so I get more things done.
If you are like me, try putting your headphones on and playing a song or an album that you know well and keep it going over and over again. That’s my favorite background sound.
Here is an Apple Music playlist that works for me.
Share Documents More Frequently
Enriching your knowledge base today might be more critical than ever. Give people an opportunity to find any information without reaching out to a manager or responsible person.
When you finally can, get together as much as you can. In the meantime, you can use meetups, conferences, bar camps to over-communicate and get the balance right. For now, stay safe, stay home and see you all soon.
Alex Lunkov is a business analyst at Atwix and a Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist. He has worked with Magento since 2016, shoulder to shoulder with Magento merchants, and distributed teams on delivering Magento 2 projects from the ground up. He is passionate about building communities, is an organizer of Magento Meetups and a speaker.