Being a remote developer gives you a lot of freedom since you can control your environment. You can choose when to start your workday, where to work from, you can run your personal errands whenever they best fit in your schedule. It feels like the perfect job, doesn’t it?
Yet those benefits mean nothing if you cannot deliver for your remote team. You can follow those 5 tips to create a stable work environment and maximize your productivity.
Adapt Those 5 Tips And Boost Your Productivity
- Commit to a work schedule
- Plan your week
- Dedicate a place for work only
- Learn how to manage your time
1. Commit to a work schedule
Regardless of whether you are a morning person or a night owl it’s important to stick to working hours that work best for you. That helps you stay focused on your tasks and maximize what you can deliver for the day.
Most people go through a warm-up phase once they start their workday - catching up on emails, checking their calendar and going over assignments for the day. Gradually they feel ready to do in-depth focused work and choose their first task to dive into. Splitting your workday will naturally keep you more in the warm-up zone and less in your game time.
Being consistent with your schedule makes your teammates confident that they can always count on you and that is crucial for emergency situations when someone needs your help immediately. Planning team activities also becomes a breeze since there’s no need to constantly check when everyone is available.
Last but not least, that helps you detach once you finish work. Scattering work-related tasks throughout the day can make you feel like work never ends and that leads to unhealthy work-life balance.
2. Plan your week
Working remotely means almost no supervision. Your team expects you to deliver for them without micromanaging you. Hence, you should be able to operate autonomously and planning your week is fundamental to keeping an organised schedule.
Check any planned forthcoming group calls, go over reviews you need to make, maybe you have a scheduled deployment, etc. Plan your personal errands too to make sure you’re not forgetting something that can shake your focus during the week.
In other words, just start your week with an overview in mind, so that you know what to expect and decrease the chances of being caught off guard.
3. Dedicate a workplace
That is integral for your productivity and your work-life balance. You need a place which you associate with work only - that makes it easy to switch on and off your work mode.
In order to keep your performance high you need to be able to unwind too and the easiest way to draw a line between work time and chill time is your own dedicated workspace. That is also the reason why many find working from home challenging and have a bad experience with remote work as they fail to separate both worlds effectively.
If you work from your apartment or house, make sure you have a seperate room or at least a dedicated desk. If home has too many distractions, co-working spaces or private offices might be better options for you.
4. Learn to manage your time
Productivity and time management go hand in hand. Working from home is an opportunity to make the most out of your time and many developers go through a self exploration process to find the rhythm they are most prolific with.
Maybe working out in the morning before work energizes you and keeps you in a good pace for the rest of the day. Maybe you’re a type of person who likes to start with your tasks right after your morning coffee, then have a long focused phase until early afternoon and then take a break.
Figure out what keeps you in high spirits and stick with it, you no longer have to keep a traditional office based routine as for some people fixed lunches at 12 might be more distracting than refreshing.
Every now and then you might have time gaps. For example, you’re waiting on a colleague to discuss a new feature but they are not reachable. Pick up a bug in the meanwhile instead of waiting for them to show online.
Distance leaves you with two options to communicate - messages and calls. While video calls naturally give more information as people can see your body language, you should be as descriptive as possible when texting since tone and intentions are hard to decipher over the wire.
Always keep your team informed about your status - what you are struggling with, what issue you plan to pick up next, what’s your availability during the day.
Repeat yourself if you doubt someone missed something important, you won’t be perceived as spammy - the team communication app you use serves as a broker and if people are focused on something they can skip out on your messages and get back to you later.