It's hard to believe it, but I've been working remotely for 6+ years now. Back in 2009 Dotsub closed its Ottawa office and I started working remotely. It's been an amazing journey. Now Dotsub has remote employees in Canada, The United States, Argentina, The United Kingdom, Italy, and Ireland.
Remote working is becoming more and more prevalent in the tech sector. I figured it might be useful to share some of the lessons I've learned over the years.
You still should 'commute' to work. When you don't have to physically travel to an office to work it becomes easy to pick up some bad habits. You can literally roll out of bed, grab your laptop and start working. I've found that over the long term this can adversely affect my mood and productivity.
Have a routine for your time before work. Get dressed and make yourself look presentable. Have some breakfast and watch the news. In the nice summer months I'll even take the dog for a morning walk. I've talked to other people who will drive to get their morning coffee.
Take a real lunch. You should not sit computer and eat everyday. Get out of the space you are working in and eat a good meal. Breaks a good for your mental health and an important part of any work day. I made this mistake for far too long. It was only after I started walking our dog on lunch that I learn how important taking a lunch break is.
Have a start and end time for your work day. I love to code and sometimes I forget to stop. While it is great to be passionate about what you do, you can easily burn yourself out. Make sure you know when to call it a day.
If possible Have a designated work area. I've found it very helpful to have a space just for work. It makes it a bit easier to keep a work-life balance if you are not working and playing in the same space.
Use remote communication tools. It is pretty easy to feel isolated when working remotely. Email is a pretty poor tool to bring a remote team together. We by using Campfire in 2012 and later switched to Slack. These tools help by not only creating a spot for meetings and work related chats, but a fun space to get to know everyone on your team. Our #General and #Random channels are our companies watercooler.
Enjoy working remotely. No more being stuck in traffic before and after work. You'd be amazed how much time you win back by not commuting. I still smile a little when I hear the morning traffic report while sitting in my home office.