Here are a few tips for working from Avid’s Director of Engineering, Tim Campbell, who has been working from home for ten years.
Create a routine
You probably have a routine that you go through each morning when you are getting ready to leave the house and go to your office. Create a similar routine. You will have to decide what works for you and your work schedule, but create a routine and stick to it.
I can tell you from experience that rolling out of bed in your PJs and immediately starting work is a bad routine. You will end up not showering and wearing the same Cheetos stained PJs all week. Treat it like you’re going to work.
Setup a dedicated work space
This is really important. You need a comfortable work space that is suitable to work at for extended periods of time. This needs to be something you don’t have to set up every morning and tear down every night. Hunched over your coffee table is probably okay for short periods of time to check a few emails, but it’s not going to be comfortable or healthy for a normal work day.
If you have the space in your home, create a dedicated work space. Having a dedicated work space will make is easier to walk away and take a lunch break or to walk away at the end of the day. If your dedicated work space is the kitchen table it may be difficult to truly take a lunch break or shut down at night.
Give yourself permission to take breaks
This will be one of the bigger challenges you will face when working from home. It’s really easy to allow yourself to fall into the trap of not taking breaks. It’s too easy to just grab a quick sandwich and eat it while you are working at your computer, this happens to me all the time.
Don’t allow yourself to get chained to your desk for hours without taking a break or taking some time to eat lunch. Give yourself permission to take breaks! Walk away from your computer. If the sun is out, go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine.
Use the available technology
We have a huge amount of technology at our fingertips to stay connected and to communicate. Avid has all the tools to allow us to work effectively from home. Ryver is a great tool. I’ve found Accession Meeting to be a hugely valuable tool for communicating and sharing information.
There are also many free tools that we can take advantage of such as FaceTime and Skype. I’ve used FaceTime on a few occasions with customers to walk through an issue and it worked great so they could show me video of what they were looking at. The solutions you use will be somewhat dependent on your mobile device and cellular carrier.
Ask for what you need
Working from home can be challenging. Don’t hesitate to ask for the tools you need to work effectively from home. If you have a lower speed internet connection and your family members are streaming and online gaming, you could run into bandwidth problems. Ask for what you need!
We hope that being required to work from home doesn’t last long. But the skills we’re all learning through remote work will be useful in the long run. We hope these tips for working from home are helpful. Stay healthy!