Lets face it working fully remote is a complex subject, fortunatly the software industry is more or less accoustomed to this movement, as we can see from some of the fully remote dev houses. Nevertheless, we find ourselves in a world where remote work is encouraged and the norm. ( Who could have seen this coming? I certently did not. )
Turns out I had it totally wrong - it took me a good while to understand how to balance work and personal life while working from home. I want to share that experience.
Build a schedule
The one thing that helped me the most working from home was bringing some sort of "normality" to my days, this started by building a at first loose schedule of my day. Wake up times, lunch times, coffee breaks all the good stuff.
Tip - don't skip breakfast. Seriously don't.
Having a semi predictable schedule allows you to see how your time is being used, as well as opportunities to better manage it.
Block out time in your calendar
Your time is yours 🤯 - why should the calendar be only for meetings? It takes some time and courage as well as having the appropriate culture in your workspace. However, productivity skyrocketed when I blocked out slots for "deep work". This allowed me to schedule my days in such a way that meeting didn't interfere with my focus time. Context switching especially in meetings was the single most negative impact to my productivity.
I found out that early morning are the most effective for my "head down" deep work.
The era of constant communication. Slack 👀 I'm talking about you. Slack ( or any other form of instant messaging ) has given people the wrong idea that communication should happen instantly and that if you're not responding as soon as you get the messages you're seen as being rude and ignoring the person... Ok - maybe I'm over generalising this, fully aware it doesn't happen everywhere, but it does happen and we need to be aware on the impact it is causing.
I usually snooze Slack and change the status to Focusing - replies may be delayed - it has worked pretty well considering.
Don't forget to exercise. I can't stress this enough - especially if like me you're spending a good chunk of your day sat on a chair typing away at a screen. There has been countless research on the positive effects on productivity ( concentration ) - of having an active lifestyle.
Lets see some Data
This wouldn't be such a beneficial post if we don't look at some data and see how patterns change over time in the era of remote working. For this study I will be focusing on just myself pulling data from various sources. Initially we'll be looking at Github for individual project contribuctions as well as Outlook for meetings information.