Lots of folks have suddenly found themselves working from home, so if you have tips or are looking for help, this is where you want to be.
I’ve done remote work for a total of over 3 years and I find it useful to get a separation between work and leisure mindsets. It is so easy to get distracted when the same computer you use for leisure is the one you use for work. With the current human malware situation I got issued a laptop for my workstation and I find it so much easier to keep my mind focused.
I agree with that. I have a MacBook for work and then built myself a PC for gaming etc.
For years I just worked directly on the laptop, but have recently hooked it up to an external monitor, mouse and keyboard for the first time, and that’s been a bit of a game changer - I’ve had a bad back seemingly forever and this has made a huge difference.
The usual advice applies here…
- Don’t use your bedroom as an office because it’ll disturb your sleep; you need the mental break between the two.
- Make sure family members understand during work hours, you’re working.
- Keep normal hours to the maximum extent possible, including lunch break and any other breaks you might normally get in the office.
- Do all the usual morning hygiene you’d do if you were going into the office — shower, shave, etc. — and dress more-or-less as you would for the office as well, maybe a little more casually but not much so.
- Enjoy having the freedom not to be disturbed by those around you who don’t understand boundaries.
I always recommend separation to folks. I’ve tried working away from my house too, with little success.
Having a specific “office” in my house where I don’t go unless I am working works well for me, personally.
If folks can’t have a specific working room, I’d say 100% don’t work where you sleep.
Making sure family members know you’re “at work” despite being at home is a really crucial one. I try and do the odd bit of housework in breaks, but I certainly feel sometimes that there’s an expectation that I should be doing more.
I’ve been opening up Zoom meetings several times a day for those that want some human interaction and/or been isolating because of what’s been going on. I’ve had a lot of great conversations and invite everyone here to join me. You can follow me on Twitter or just check my TL for times that I go on during the day. @toddlibby on Twitter.
Nice one, Todd!
Y’all can drop into this Discord whenever you like too: https://discord.gg/CCD8ycE
All good advice! The only thing I can think to add is: don’t forget to move around. Assuming you’re not on total lockdown and you’re able to, go for a walk at lunch, even if just around the block.
V good advice Derek. Getting away from the desk and your house (within restrictions) is super good for your mental health.
I started working remote about 6 months ago. I am fortunate to have my own office space in our house, but I realize that isn’t possible for everyone. I would recommend having a space just for work, even if you set up on your dining table during the day.
One of my favorite things about working in a home office is being able to blast as much music as I want, so thats kinda fun.
I recently invested in a pretty good quality office chair. That’s made a huge difference already in my back pain I was getting in my old chair. If this social distancing/work from stuff goes on for a long time I would recommend getting a good chair or things like that.
Agreed, Derek. Even just standing up, walking downstairs and putting the kettle on can be enough of a break.
Mine is more gereral advice, no matter where your desk is: Try to stretch regularly, and be careful not to carry all of your stress in your neck and shoulders. I went for physio a while back and they told me off for wearing my shoulders as earrings!
And @pushtodev I wholeheartedly agree on the external monitor/keyboard/mouse thing, if it’s at all possible. Even though my old monitor feels like a bit of a downgrade from the retina Mac (I’m a lucky soul), having it at the right height and distance from my face is really nice. Using a mouse instead of a trackpad has been helpful for my hands, too.
Getting a good desk and gear setup is so important. I couldn’t work on a laptop all day.
After three weeks of working from home, I find myself sorely missing the sit-stand desk and the ergonomic chair our company is providing in the office. I wish I could afford something like that for my home office.
Getting a home setup is super important. I imagine this situation will be going on for several months now, so it might be worth seeing if your company can fund some better home equipment?
As I said, we got to choose what chair we wanted and they got electric standing desks for everyone as well. But that’s not something we could simply take with us. OK, maybe I could have taken the chair, but I guess nobody expected things to last that long.
This is what I have at the moment. The tabletop (and the writing desk to the left) were made by my father in law and I put a set of IKEA legs on it. The chair is also an IKEA one and I think it is more than 5 years old by now. I arranged my cables so that when I work I connect the monitors, keyboard, and mouse to the work laptop (the silver Dell under the goat plushies). When my work hours are done, I move the cables back to the desktop unit under the table.
I also got the light setup I wanted for a long time. I want to go back into streaming and that’s one of the main reasons things got arranged as they do. I got an overhead key light (a cheap led panel from Amazon) and a pair of Neweer smaller panels that I bounce off the wall for less glare.
The room is slightly less cluttered than it appears. Most of that is my hoard of PC parts and the boxes they came in. I love tinkering with PCs, even though I can’t really afford to do it now. But I got to put together a few units for friends so at least I got that itch scratched from time to time.