Tips on Working Remotely
Since 2017, RK-TCS has been operating with team members collaborating virtually from their respective home office. As so many people around the world continue to look at many more months of lockdowns and the need to work from home, we thought it may be helpful to share some ideas that have worked well for us, and some that didn’t work so well.
Working Space at Home
We’ve often said we can work from anywhere, as long as we have our laptop, power and an internet connection. This is the most critical minimum requirement for the home office. One small luxury we love is a large monitor screen – it sure reduces the strain on our eyes when working for long hours.
We spend the majority of our working day at our desk, so a comfortable desk and chair are critical – it’s worth the investment.
Don’t make it too comfortable – without team mates to keep you awake, if you are doing heads-down work, it’s easy to ‘fall asleep’, especially when work hours are longer because of time-zone differences. We’ve had a few meetings where one team member didn’t show up because “the couch ate her”!
More and more people are using video-conferencing technology so having a background that isn’t too distracting is a good idea. We love the people who have very meaningful artwork on their walls – while waiting for everyone in a meeting to arrive, it makes for fantastic small talk, much like coffee-table books do in reception rooms.
Have a clock in your line of sight – it may seem redundant since we’re staring at the computer all day and it has a clock. But having the physical clock directly in the line of sight helps with showing up to meetings on time.
Background music – of course it has to be turned off during meetings, but for those long days when you’re working on your own, a little music or background radio or TV goes a long way to feeling connected and drowning out small distracting household noises. Some people need total silence to work, so it’s a personal preference.
Off Limits during Working Hours – make sure everyone you live with knows you are ‘at work’ and cannot be disturbed, especially when you are in meetings. A working space where you can close the door is the best, if it is possible.
Light – as much as possible, set up your working space where there is light. Sitting in a dark, window-less space all day long gets depressing. The window should ideally be in front of you, not behind you when you are sitting down. Not only is it pleasant to look outside, but the light on your face makes you more visible during video conferences.
They have watercoolers in offices for a reason – keep a bottle of water or your favorite drink nearby. It’s important to stay hydrated.
When chatting with family or friends, we often take our device with us as we walk around our home or outdoors. This is not a good idea for business meetings – we’ve all seen or heard about far too many blooper-opportunities!