18 March, 2020

10 Essential things to Start your work from home

With the pandemic coronavirus coming to our lives. We’re making sure that we’re safe and our surroundings as well. One of the important precautions is that we stop our outings and try to stay home as much as possible.

We as a Software developer are blessed with work from home facility. Many offices instruct their employees to continue their work from home. For some, it will be new and they might be thinking about “how am I going to manage it”, “Whether I will be able to do the amount of work from home I am doing in the office”, “How I will connect with the team”.

To make your work from home efficient and productive here is some of the tips I’ve followed when I work from home:

1) Prepare Yourself and Your Surrounding
When you’re working from home, the first thing you must do is that you prepare yourself and your surroundings.

  • Choose an isolated working space
    It will be very easy to get distracted from family, friends, and other stuff of day to day life when you’re working from home. So choose an isolated space in your home exclusively for work to keep all the distractions away.

  • Create a relatable office environment
    If you want your work productive at home then please don’t start your work lying in bed or sitting inappropriately on the sofa. If you need the office environment then Make sure you have got a proper desk chair. This will help you to be focussed and productive. Other than that, Sitting improperly can affect your health as well.

2) Stay hydrated
It’s very important to stay hydrated gradually throughout the day. Water is best and you try other refreshing drinks, fruit and vegetable smoothies, coconut water, etc.

3) Keep up to date your laptop and other accessories
If you’re planning to start working from home and you’re not preparing your laptop then trust me you’re going to give most of your time in the installation of stuff you need regularly. If you already prepare all the necessary stuff you need then it will be very smooth for you. Here is the list of things you should be ready with

  • Update your laptop

    • Setup all your projects
      Setup all the projects you’re currently working on and if you’ve time then set up your team’s project as well as you might need to give assistance to your team members.
    • Copy your SSH KEYS
      In our team, we connect with GitLab, virtual machines, etc via ssh keys. So instead of copying my laptop’s ssh keys everywhere, I copied the .SSH folder of my Office’s system to my laptop. This saves a hell lot of time.
  • Keep your keyboard and mouse
    I am one of those who are very comfortable with their keyboard and mouse so to sustain the speed of my work at home as well I share the same keyboard and mouse between the office and home.

  • Multiple internet connections
    One of the primary tools, make sure you have got a good internet connection. In case something happened with the primary source of your internet connection then please have multiple or alternate internet connectivity options.

4) Communicate your availability
Please make sure that you update your team members whenever you’re available or not. This way it will be easier for you and them to communicate with you.

5) Get ready to have lots of Video Chats
When you’re not working with the team in one place, one of the most regular things will be video calls. To discuss anything with your team or your client make sure you’ve proper communication tools installed on your laptop.
Here some of the etiquette you should follow in a video meeting

  • Have a pair of working headsets.
  • Choose a place at home which has proper lighting.
  • If you’re not talking then mute your chat.
  • Be prepared to share your screen.

6) Write down or Record the discussions
it most likely will happen that you will forget the decisions taken in the meeting. Please note down your discussions or you can record them.

7) Follow your Office Routine
Initially when I started working from home. It was difficult for me to turn off my work even though the workday is over. When you work in the office it’ll be easy for you to stop the work when the day is over but when you’re working from home you keep replying to the emails or sometimes you start the work, scheduled for the next day. This attitude will affect your personal life. So make sure you start and finish your work in a timely manner. It would be great if you complete your work in office hours.

8) Plan a 5 minutes virtual team meeting
This point is underrated and I feel is the most important to keep the bond with your team. Sometimes Working from home will make you feel bored, alone. So it’s very crucial that you keep alive the relationship with your colleagues. One great strategy is to plan a 5-minute virtual team meeting every morning to simply know about each other and to connect.

9) Update your work status
At the end of the day of your work, whatever you’ve completed please share the update with your team members. This will help you and your team to assess the work you’ve done and the progress of projects you're working on.

10) Don’t forget to take in between breaks
We're so used to see the faces while we're working so work from home can be pretty boring sometimes. So my advice is Don't stay in one place for the entire day. Try to get some fresh air in between.

The primary aspect of productive work from home is to find a suitable and efficient way to complete your tasks. I hope the approach I’ve shared will help all you guys out there who are starting their work remotely.

If you’ve any suggestions please write down in the comment box.
Happy Coding

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