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036: Working Remotely

April 18, 2016

In this mini Fragment we touch on a highly requested topic - working remotely. Donn talks about how to ease into remote working, tools for working remotely, tips and tricks for staying sane and productive while remote and he wraps it up by discussing the benefits employers have when hiring a remote workforce.

Show Notes

  • Remote work is best suited for information workers (programmers, designers, engineers, etc)
  • Read Remote by DHH and Jason Fried
    • Great book that echoes what I feel about working remote.
    • Tip: Listen to it on Audible, it's faster to consume.
  • How to ease into remote work at your current job
    • Convince manager to allow a 1 day trial for one - three months.
    • Remote day should be on Friday (fewer critical things happen on Friday, on average)
    • After trial, if success, aim for 2-3 days of remote work. (Again, do this at the end of the week. Wed,Thu, Fri)
    • Once successful, rally for full week of remote with an occasional in office visit (a day every week work two)

Staying sane while working remote

  • Donn's blog post on this topic
  • Create a work day schedule (5am-2pm, 8am-5pm, 10am-7pm, etc)
    • When you're done, you're done. Leave work (your office/etc).
  • Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. Stick to a schedule.
    • Get up at the same time
    • Get dressed for work (no PJ's etc)
    • Do your hair.
    • Be presentable
    • This is all mental
  • Prepare for the day
    • Get coffee/tea/water and snacks
    • Try to limit the opportunity of distractions
  • During the day
    • Take a lunch, away from your desk.
    • Go out for lunch with someone (significant other, friend, etc) at one to two times a week.
    • Work out of the house a couple times a week, this increases our creativity.
  • Outside of Work
    • You need social interaction, Cabin Fever is a real thing.
    • Exercise 3-4 times a week if possible.
    • Group classes are perfect for this.
      • CrossFit
      • Martial Arts
      • Yoga
      • Pilates
      • etc
  • Communication When Remote
    • Put 3x-4x more effort into communicating than previous. You're not visible seen so you need to be more vocal.
      • Call
      • SMS
      • Blow up the Slack/Hipchat channel/etc
      • Objective - Clear your own path

Tools

  • For remote to work effectively, everything should be considered remote. If one employee is remote, then all meetings should occur as if the team is remote. This ensures that everyone can work effectively without missing anything.
  • Communication

Remote for Employers

  • Benefits from Remote workforce
    • Much larger talent pool than the exhausted pool (or non-existent one that local). Higher quality employees/contractors/consultants for the same overhead.
    • Remote creates much more loyal employees. You're giving them their life back and this is reciprocated.
    • Your company becomes anti-fragile as you're able to adapt with the industry faster. You can hire in areas others cannot.
    • On average, remote employees work harder and are more productive than their office counterparts.
    • Less overhead! No need to pay for additional office space.

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