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Ideas or thoughts or stories to improve work from home experience

I was not a big fond of Work from home and always like to work from the office. With these new restrictions, I was missing my lunch break time with my other teammates where we would discuss some other topics apart from our usual work so that we could be fresh again.

Initially, I was missing this time, but now we have come up with a lunch hour plan. We just connect to a common zoom video call and have a remote lunch session. We sometimes even have a 10 mins coffee/tea break session as well where we can see each other and have the same office feeling. 

These small new ideas have been improving the overall experience of work from home and I kind of started liking it. 

Anyone else has such great ideas to improve work from home experience?

6 comments

Kat Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

There are so many great ideas out there. Here is the list I filtered for my team all form this community.

Tips for long-term working from home:

  1. Get up a the default scheduled time (OK, you might add your commute time...)
  2. Keep your daily morning routine (Coffee, bath, dress up, dog,...)
  3. Let your coworkers know, that you're available for work
  4. Try to use a single tool to get all your messages, tasks & notifications
  5. Let them know, what you're working on: Jira, Confluence, Slack 
  6. Use virtual daily standups for your team. If you haven't done it before: Do it now!
  7. Create a "virtual" coffee bar to chat with your coworkers around non-work topics at a defined time like the 9am break
  8. Drop your "virtual" pencil at a time when you would leave your work in the office. Home office is not meant to be 24/7, it's like being in the office.

Some people also add:

  • Commute to and from work by taking a quick walk around the block. 
  • Have an alone-time ritual (15-30 minutes reading a book, playing a game, exercising) between work time and spending time with others in your household where possible.
Like # people like this

Thanks @Kat  for the great ideas.

One thing I've been doing to help me transition between work, school, and "offline time" is setting certain sensory things for certain times! 

For example, I drink tea. I have one tea that I drink for work, a tea that I drink for class, and a third tea for downtime. And I stick to these every day, so I didn't have any work tea yesterday. ;) 

I also have taken to lighting a candle when I start to study and really need to focus.

At first, I was trying to designate a different space in my house for work and school... but one of my favorite things about working from home is being able to sit wherever, move into the sunshine if I want to, sit on the floor if I want to, etc. so that was actually draining the "fun" flexible part out of it. It just takes a little experimentation! 

Like Raunak Chowdhury likes this

We have similar initiatives to keep the connection with work through 'fun' activities like:

  • virtual coffee corners where people can connect at set times of the day
  • the virtual e-peritivo to close out the week over virtual snacks and drinks
  • a colleague started an online workout session

On the other side of the spectrum, it is challenging to keep teams and team mates in the loop about what is going on. Yes, standup meetings are a great way to connect. And yes, VC and Chat tools make it really easy to connect. But if you're not careful about work hygiene, you'll soon find yourself burried in online communication happening one line at a time. Or entire days of connected zoom meetings and no more work getting done.

To cover for that, asynchronous communication works much better. Write your daily standups down. Also publish what you plan to work on for next week. Be open and transparent about your mid and long term goals and how you're progressing.

This is not easy, as not all of us are professional writers. But as many of us now have to combine work with taking care of children at home, needing time for deep work, we cannot expect everyone to always be responding instantly. 

Confluence is obviously a great platform for this type of communication and documentation.

Like Raunak Chowdhury likes this

Thanks, @Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_ We are also doing asynchronous communication. We are using Monday.com for this. 

The online workout session is one of the most important ones to get the side benefit of keeping healthy under these circumstances, this idea can also work w/o turning on the camera, right?

As multiple streaming sessions are kinda' heavy on the internet usage......

 

What do you reckon? 

Hi @Hana luiza ,

Yes, of course. It is a strong recommendation that you at least see the workout coach, but whether you turn your own camera on / of is your personal choice of course.

Great fun though to see everyone participating actively, wear a funny outfit to sparkle up the fun aspect a bit more as well though.

During remote summit we have been in zoom sessions packed with close to 100 people with very little hickups, I must say. And the tiled view of all participants makes it real fun sometimes!

It's a matter of trying out and see what works / feels best :-)

Oh, I forgot to mention: the exercises from the workout are afterwards also shared by our coach. Looks like this:

Screenshot 2020-04-03 at 11.16.56.png

(it's in dutch, but you get the image I'm sure)

Danny Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

I find it great that I can easily go have a break from my desk in my house, walk downstairs and give my kids a cuddle. Really gives me a great feeling and I can keep working without getting demotivated. 

  1. Protect your free time with calendar bookings.
  2. Spend your lunch with your family if you can
  3. Get rid of all the procrastination in your "workroom", when you are in the room you are working. 
  4. Have a "door closed" when it is closed you are working.
  5. Open the door when you are not working. You kids want to see you all the time. 
  6. Make time for you, go for a daily walk or exercise. 
  7. Set up a weekly team video chat session. Very informal and keeps your teams connected. Not everyone needs to talk, it is just an option to chat about anything and everything. Even a subject that is not about work. 

Thanks,

Danny

Like # people like this

Thanks, @Danny These are awesome ideas.

I have been working remotely for the past 19 years.  The biggest issue for me when I started working remote was knowing when to shut it down.  I didn't have a demarcation line from ok work is done and now I can enjoy the family. I had to make myself start leaving the home office at 5 or 6 pm to unwind....and not run back in there when I think I have figured something out and then stay there for another 3 - 4 hours.  Ok maybe I still do that a little but I am way better at shutting it down for the day.

also:

- get a dedicated space and make it bright

- dress for the day (i.e. don't stay in pjs)

- communicate, communicate, communicate with your co-workers (IM, Zoom, etc...)

Like Raunak Chowdhury likes this

Thanks, @Ed Gaile _Atlanta_ GA_ for sharing your experience. You rightly pointed out that the biggest issue even sometimes I face is knowing when to shut it down. These suggestions really helps.

And communicate in writing, asynchronously, a lot! The worst thing you can do in a team is not consider the people not in the room. So when in a team, make sure that you don't get A and B team members (the ones who know and the ones who dont because they simply missed a meeting).

The most important thing for me, while I work at home, it to "screen off" from my family, just to avoid any kind of distractions from work flow.

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