I must admit I always have liked the idea of working from home but never really had done full time before as it's a quite fundamental change and there weren't so many companies offering this to their employees.
In my current role there already was a fair amount of remote work as the rest of our design team is in Oslo so I have been getting used progressively to it in the last year without even realising.
And since a couple of months ago we all have been forced to work from home so this has been a perfect opportunity for the company to streamline our processes and be efficient working from home.
I have found this change quite interesting and would like to share how I have adjusted, which things have worked well and which ones I'm still trying to improve:
For me the key thing has been to maintain a routine. This helps me to have a structure throughout the day and to be mentally sharp. So now a normal working day for me goes more or less like this:
- 6.30 am - Wake up: Now that I don't have to worry about the commute, I take it a bit easier and lay in bed for a few minutes without having to rush.
- 7 am - Breakfast: Since I am working from home I tend to prepare more elaborate things to eat. It depends on the day though.
- 7.30 am - Get ready: I have a shower and get dressed with something I normally wouldn't use to sit around at home. This switches me into "work mode".
- 8 am - Start work: The big kitchen table is my ideal desk at home as there is plenty of room and a nice view of the garden and the sky so I don't feel like I'm all day isolated in a small room.
- 9:45-10:15 am - Standups time: I normally go to a different room for my 2 standups of the day.
- 10:30 am - Daily cup of coffee and main work of the day. I normally go to a separate room where I have a whiteboard and music and where I can go into some deep focus.
- 12 pm - Lunch: I try to have a hard stop every day for lunch at this time to make sure I don't get distracted and end up eating late.
- 1 pm - Back to work. Normally I have a couple of regular meetings each afternoon so try to get some things done in between.
- 5 pm - Finish work for the day: I try to stop working whenever possible at the same time and go for a walk to clear my mind and stop thinking about work.
During the day, I try to share information asynchronously and progress so we are all on the same page.
One of the tools I have started really liking during this full remote working time is Invision Freehand for brainstorming. It helps a lot having discussions about design work.
I have found this routine to work really well for me and I think overall I'm being more productive than when I was working at the office. It looks like we are going to be working from home for a good while so it will be interesting to see if my routine and productivity will evolve or stay the same.