What are your best remote work tips?

If you work remotely regularly, what's helped you be the most productive and get work done from anywhere? Any tips to share for those who are new at remote work?

jmitch's avatar
3 years ago
Dedicated time and space

If you work from home, one of my biggest tips is having a dedicated space that is only used for work. Don’t go into that room or sit at that desk for any other reason. It helps you focus and get into your work mode when you need to. Another tip is keeping somewhat regular hours. Remote work let’s us have flexibility with our time but keeping a schedule helps not only you but also helps your team know when you’re working. This helps prevent interruptions during focus times and keeps you accountable.

9 points
iCanAutomate's avatar
@iCanAutomate (replying to @jmitch )
3 years ago

This is 100% true. Having a dedicated work room makes all the difference. Plus, use your calendar efficiently. Block time for focused work and have fixed slots for calls.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @jmitch )
3 years ago

On that dedicated space, make sure it has some natural light, too. My office used to be an inside room with no windows ... and edison bulbs because I thought they'd look inspirational. Instead I was in a dark, gloomy room all day and that was definitely not good.

Now I'm sitting next to a large window and it's much better!

1 point
kil0ran's avatar
3 years ago
Change the scene

I work full time from home. Some tips from me:

  1. If something is bugging you, talk to a team member. Don't stew on it. The very act of talking out loud often solves the issue, and it's something missing when you work from home, particularly compared to open plan offices.

  2. Spend at least one day per week not in your home office. Have a bunch of places on hand where you know you can get good wifi (and maybe coffee). Ideally, places you can walk or cycle to. Coffee shops, libraries, art galleries, even the Great Outdoors. I'm fortunate to have a National Park (UK version, not something as big as Yosemite!) on my doorstep that has decent 4G coverage. In summer I can cycle 20 minutes and sit under a tree with my laptop and work.

  3. Have a soundtrack and a routine

  4. Block out times in your schedule for personal time, otherwise you'll be tempted to have a meeting just because you can

  5. If your partner/kids are at home, book time with them during the day. 10 minutes every couple of hours

  6. Still have a lunch break. Dont' eat at your desk

  7. Plan, plan, plan. If you hit a roadblock have something on the subs bench ready to pick up and go. Estimate your task times

  8. Do that thing you've been putting off first thing in the morning

  9. If you end up staring at the screen, feeling lethargic, and generally not engaged, don't force it. Just down tools - maybe even for the day.

9 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @kil0ran )
3 years ago

Great list! Absolutely agree on working somewhere different at least once a week. I often take that as a chance to meet someone in town for lunch, which gives me a reason to have to get out of the house and some social interaction.

What's your work soundtrack?

On 9, you're very right. That's typically when I cut my losses, go for a run ... and just maybe jar the idea out of my brain and can come back and get it done later.

1 point
ITAMRocks's avatar
@ITAMRocks (replying to @maguay )
3 years ago

Because I'm writing and particularly susceptible to ear-worms it tends to be instrumental stuff - everything from Monteverdi to Daft Punk through Ennio Morricone and Miles Davis. I like baroque (Bach) and mid-20th century American classical - Copland, Bernstein, Gershwin, William Grant Still, Reich, John Adams, Glass

1 point
awwstn's avatar
3 years ago
Trust your team.

The biggest problem I've seen on remote teams is a lack of trust.

If a manager or leader can't develop trust that remote teammates are actually working, then no amount of micromanaging or task reporting is going to fix it. So, work with people you trust, work to develop that trust, and start from a point of assuming good faith, not bad faith.

I'm not sure why some people have a tendency to distrust remote work, but when I've encountered them I try to remind them that a person who wants to slack off can easily do so in the office as well.

8 points
brendanciccone's avatar
3 years ago
Find ways to get into your work mindset, but don't get over-consumed by it.

I tend to work remotely and here are some things I've picked up over time:

  • Do daily, asynchronous standups so everyone is kept on the same page about tasks
  • Keep tasks somewhere everyone can see them so you never have ghost work
  • Always use a webcam during meetings, if possible, to have more presence
  • Create a set schedule of working hours and keep it, otherwise, you'll never stop
  • Download your collaboration tools mobile apps, but still follow a set schedule
  • Wear clothes you would wear to work to put yourself in the working mindset easier
  • Communicate frequently with your teammates, even if it's not work-related
  • Take breaks and go outside at some point
6 points
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @brendanciccone )
3 years ago

This is a great list! Particularly your point on webcams. I've previously worked remotely without being in the habit of having the camera on, and now we always use it. I think it makes a huge difference in facilitating productive conversation, preventing distraction/multi-tasking, and simply getting a bit closer to the experience of an in-person meeting.

4 points
NBNite's avatar
3 years ago


If you're a morning gym-goer, find a way to break that sweat in the AM. It will help maintain some level of a routine and the shower afterward will have you feeling fresh - even at home.
And even if you're not someone who works out in the morning, a shower before sitting down at your desk can really help you zone in. I even brush my hair as if I'm going to the office (even if I don't have any video calls) - so much of working from home is the mindset that you're in and this really helps to get into the right one.

4 points
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