As a team of developers, we’re experienced when it comes to remote working. We’ve been working from home way before Covid-19 made our homes the default working environment. As developers, we’re the masters of working from home, it’s where lots of us feel the most productive, coding is complicated on our brains and it takes a lot of brain power and minimal distractions to create great products.
It’s understandable that in times like these, change and uncertainty to our daily lives is scary, especially when it’s related to our health, but here are the work from home practices that work for us and allow us to keep producing great work for clients from the comfort of our homes.
Communication is key
At Cuhu, we’re used to remote and flexible working, which means as a team, we already have lots of the practices in place for home working, whether that’s video calling, time tracking, we’ve got it worked out and perfected. Sometimes developers aren’t the best communicators, but it’s so important to keep in contact when you are remote working!
The main reason is that in the office there are always people to talk to and ask questions. When you are at home, you may not ask the questions you need because this can’t be done as quickly and easily as it would in the office. Therefore, key information may be left out. The second reason is that with your team members being far apart, working from home for prolonged periods can lead to loneliness, which just equals lack of productivity and loss of morale. That’s why you need a solid foundation for communication like Slack or Teams! Some companies that aren’t used to remote working may be stuck choosing which platform is best for them, but these are our top two, that allow us to communicate effectively, share updates, and still have a laugh with one another when we are feeling in need of human interaction.
The rise of video calling
This also leads us to video calling! At Cuhu, we hold daily standups where we talk about what we are doing that day and what we did the day before, so everyone is kept in the loop and questions can be asked if necessary. Holding stand ups via video call is a great way to interact with your team and catch up with not only work, but other things going on in each other’s lives. Some members of your team may live alone and during the Coronavirus isolation period, may be feeling lonely, so never underestimate the power of video calling.
We like to use Daily and Zoom. These are handy as you can have as many people in the chat as you like and they aren’t as buggy as some others. Video calling can be incorporated into any team, it doesn’t have to be just for tech agencies. A daily video catch up is beneficial for multiple reasons; quick communication, discussing complicated matters and maintaining closeness of your team during home working. Ensure your weekly plan has many external touch points so you feel connected with each other as a team.
Create a great work space
For people who are new to working from home, replying to emails whilst lying in bed all day or sitting on the sofa with a drink in their pyjamas may seem hugely appealing. However, believe us when we say there is a reason the most successful freelancers have a dedicated home office. Working from home can often mean spiralling into bad habits. It’s best to stick to your daily working routine as best you can when working from home.
This includes, getting up at a similar time, eating breakfast, and most importantly, making sure the area you are working from is comfortable for you. If you don’t have a dedicated home office, make a space for yourself to work from at the dining table…not the sofa, have everything you need around you to do your job in the same way you would in your office.
Ensure you have everything you need to do your job properly
When you first start working from home you may think all you need is your laptop. However, you will probably start missing your laptop stand, multiple screens and wireless mouse pretty quickly. Creating a great working space also means extending your home tech to emulate your usual desk space as closely as possible!
Go outside…no really!
We’ve been told to keep our distance from others during this time, however we can still make the most of the outside world. Working from home limits our time outside. When we wake up we don’t need to leave the house which can lead to a cycle of laziness. We’ve found the best way to keep your mind active is to still take your breaks as you would at work. Go for a run at lunch, take a walk outside and make sure you switch off from work at the time you usually would. Maintaining a routine is key to keeping a healthy mind in times of uncertainty when you are cooped up inside!
It’s great to see companies around the world coming together to continue to do great things through the use of technology. Getting used to the initial transition from office to remote working can be difficult, and it does take time for everyone to adapt to these practices. However, keep at it, we’re all in this together and we assure you that remote working can be just as effective (sometimes more!) as office working.