Tips Our Team Learned the Hard Way While Working Remotely

A laptop showing a video call full of coworkers.

Finding your ideal work from home rhythm isn’t as easy as you may think.

When pajamas replace business casual, the fridge is now just a short walk away, and Netflix marathons are streaming on TV – working remotely from home can sound like a dream come true.

Shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders have shifted the work cultures for many offices, both big and small. For some, working remote is the ideal setting for maximum efficiency. But for a majority of those who’ve transitioned to make-shift home offices, you’re probably discovering it’s more of a tough adjustment than you had expected.

You’ve probably read a ton of remote working tips post. 10 Tips to Working from Home! Remote Working 101! These posts were all most likely filled with some very solid and essential tips, but in reality, transitioning from an office environment to a home office, successfully, is a series of experiments to learn what works best for you…

Just as our own employees have discovered over the years.

Remote working tips from full-time remote employees of a fully remote business.

From day 1, FeedBlitz has been a fully-remote company with employees across the country, communicating through online portals, from different time zones. Many transitioned to their remote positions from regular in-person office environments.

While they’ve all had time to find their remote strides through trial and error, we know you don’t necessarily have the length of time to discover your own work from home quirks. And so, we polled some of our department heads for their personal best tip or trick to working remotely:

James, Customer Support Lead, remote for 3 1/2 years: Take breaks! People think they need to be hyper-focused and super productive at all times because they’re working from home. I definitely did when I first made the switch. But seriously, take small breaks throughout the day, just like you would in a typical office. It not only boosts your focus, but turns out it’s pretty good for productivity.

Heather, Director, remote for 7 1/2 years: Set clear expectations and boundaries with your teammates and with your others in your home (your spouse, roommates, kids, whoever) about when you must be left alone and when you have a little more flexibility for interruptions. And, if possible, try to keep those times fairly consistent. It’ll be hard at first, but pretty soon you’ll be surprised, everyone in your house or apartment will learn to figure out where things are for themselves. (You aren’t the only one who knows where they left the remote!)

Also, don’t forget to try to get a little fresh air at least once during the day. There’s more to life than your workstation, and a little sunlight can be a good reminder!

Jennie, Content Manager, remote for 4 1/2 years: When I need to do some serious concentration or hammering out first-round drafts, turning off all notifications and alerting the team I’m going into my cave helps me stay wicked focused. In an office, it’s easy to put up a sign or sneak away to a quiet corner to be undisturbed, but online…no one can see you, and it’s odd and confusing if people disappear from the chat channels without a word.

Phil, Founder + CEO, remote for 15+ years: Of course set expectations and maintain boundaries — which can be hard if you’re WFH with kids! But also, I’m a believer in establishing a space for work and ideally it’s worth having a door you can close (plus a home office deduction on your taxes might suddenly be possible). Home offices also tend to have poor ergonomics – cramped desks, chairs that aren’t designed for the use you’re giving them now, monitors that strain your eyes, poor lighting, etc.

If you’re going to work a lot remotely, especially if you have (or find yourself suddenly having) back and neck problems, I can’t overstress the importance of a good quality adjustable office chair. While a Herman Miller Aeron might be out of your budget (but oh so worth it if you can), get a decent chair (and see if your employer will let you expense it; if not, it might still be deductible) and a good desk that’s the right height.

The most important tip of all: Find what works best for you.

There are 100’s of different systems and combinations and possibilities for creating a remote working routine. What works for one person or company won’t necessarily work for the next. Hopefully, these tips will help spark ideas of what would and would not help you.

Have you discovered random, unique tricks to being remote? We’d love to hear about them – we’re always experimenting with new systems and tips.

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