How long have you been working from home?
I’ve been working from home for about three years. But even when I was working at Google, I was working from home one day a week—usually on Friday.
Do you have any rituals or habits for getting into work mode in the morning?
The first thing I do is make myself some tea. Then, I take a post-it note and write the top three things I want to work on that day. I put the post-it note in front of me on the wall. That’s it, I’m ready to work!
What are your tips for working from home for people that are new to it?
It’s helpful to create new routines and rituals to replace the ones you had around commuting. Many people who start working from home report working longer hours. When working from home, we need stricter boundaries. Decide on a start time and end time, use time blocking, and communicate your schedule to the people you work with, and the people you live with.
What do you think are the best things about working from home?
To me, the time you can save is the best thing about working from home. In my last job, I was commuting three hours a day when going to the office. I know most people’s commute is not that extreme, but the amount of wasted time spent on commuting is absurd. Working from home means more control over our schedule. In my case, I can read more, exercise more, and spend more time with my loved ones.
Do you have a favourite way of keeping in contact with people?
I’m a big proponent of asynchronous communication, so I avoid Slack as much as I can. For work stuff, I mostly use email. For chatting with friends, Telegram. I’m pretty agnostic when it comes to video conferencing software, but I'm mostly using Zoom.
Are there any special tools or equipment you have like standing desks or laptop stands etc to make things easier?
I have a laptop stand and an external keyboard. It's really helped with my posture.
What are some productivity lessons you’ve learned from working from home?
Ha, I wrote a whole guide about working from home! Don't jump straight into work. You can use your non-commute time for meditation, breakfast, journaling, or any activity that doesn't involve a screen. Put everything that matters in your calendar. Don't over do it, but make sure that everything you want to get done is in there. Make sure to also have time for breaks. Finally, establish some rules. This means creating boundaries with people—whether colleagues, family, or roommates—and establishing some communication principles.
How do you make up for the lack of social contact that comes from working from home?
It’s even more important when working from home to be proactive with your social life. Especially if you live on your own, it can get lonely very quickly. Make sure to schedule time with the people you love. If you can’t go out—as is my case right now—call your friends and join an online support group. (Why not check out Ness Labs?)
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