180 Tips for Remote Working

Best practices and tips for working remotely.

Communicate regularly and openly to help remove blockers and demonstrate genuine investment (and belief in!) each team members' potential and success. Understand, acknowledge and address the anxieties inherent in bein...

For managers, empowering team members in a remote work environment can be challenging. With our current state of remote work sophistication, the best we can do is make sure people are able to identify when things feel...

The challenges in team coordination described by Metcalfe's law are magnified for distributed teams as people work different hours and lack more of the serendipitous collaboration that happens in an office. For this r...

All hard conversations happen face to face (in person or Zoom). Never email, text or Slack.

Encourage questions and especially don’t look down on someone who doesn’t get it right away or understand what the next moves are. Then, immediately go after that to follow up with the team or update whatever tool you...

Who is responsible for X should be obvious to everyone. When it's not clear, you end up having more meetings, calls, emails, and conversations than you should. This is a recipe for disaster.

Being able to communicate well through writing.

Slack should not be considered synchronous, and in moments of conflict should not be used. Defaulting to a higher fidelity environment is crucial. Get on the phone or video if possible.

Document more. Use asynchronous collaboration tools whenever possible (e.g. Jira, not Slack). Be respectful of other people's time. Solve things by yourself but if stuck for more than 15 mins then ask for help.

You need to have more 1-1s and ad hoc calls then usual. Processes for sharing more in writing, like roadmaps, meetings reports, updates. Regular cadence of offline meetings at least once per quarter. Also - immediate ...

Use virtual whiteboards, and virtual sticky notes to collaborate visually with team members.

Slack emojis and giphy gifs are my best tip. They bring the human factor that could lack if you didn't have these small ways to express yourself.

Splitting the day in deep and shallow work. I usually spend my mornings doing deep work, and I spend the rest of the day doing shallow work.

Use the flexibility of remote work for good, not evil. Good: Getting up for a sunrise hike. Taking your dog for an afternoon walk. Getting out of the house for lunch. Scheduling time for networking. Traveling while wo...

Change it up all the time. New locations. New chairs. New routines. Don’t get stuck in the same old thing all the time.

Pay attention to your habits and design your day around your peak productivity.

Schedule an “Outbox Day.” Working remote is convenient and productive, but it can be difficult to grow and maintain your professional network. I schedule one day per month where I focus solely on proactively sending e...

Be hyper-aware when and why you are productive. Surrender to your natural rhythm. Earlier in my career, I was most productive in the night hours. I just accepted it and shifted my entire daily routine. Nowadays, with ...

Create an environment in your remote office that makes you smile each time you step in.

A space different than 'home' even if you work from home. Gotta be able to turn it off.

You need to have a dedicated home/remote office space. You should stick to a schedule and get up/get ready each day and go to your home/remote office. You need to stay focused and not let the distractions of home hurt...

Make sure you get out of the house and work in a coffee shop or something like that at least 2 days a week.

Leave the house and work in a public place like a coffee shop, at least a few hours per day. It is very easy to get into the mind space of home when you are there, which includes both positive and negative emotions (b...

Rent a co-work 2-3 times a week. Don't work alone if you can help it. Leave the house so you don't get caught up doing chores around the house.

There are two types of people. Those who are 3x more effective than in a busy office – and there are those who quickly become isolated or distracted working from home. Be careful hiring middle managers from big compan...

The best types of remote candidates are strong communicators and proactive self-starters who care about delivering quality work. They know how they work best and don’t need a hovering manager to tell them otherwise. T...

1) Pair Programming is undervalued in engineering hiring processes. Engineering interviews only get you so far given cultural and education differences. Work together with people for 1 hour and you will see if they wi...

When hiring, we look for self-motivated people that can stick to a routine. People fail when working remote if they don't form a daily routine centered around work. They need to get up and get dressed just as if they ...

Biggest thing to vet for is the impetus for why someone wants to "go remote". People normally fall within two buckets: 1) Wanting to do less/little work, 2) Wanting to live a more dynamic/flexible life enabling them t...

Everyone wants to work remotely, but not everyone should work remotely. It’s the job of the hiring manager to sniff out who would be a great remote teammate and who just wants to travel the world while working remote....

Always use video in conference calls. People tune out when it's an audio-only call.

“All or nothing” rule: either everybody is together in one room or nobody is together and dials in separately from their computer or phone.

Turn your camera on and be present when you're meeting with people. Try to make time for rapport-building even when you're just meeting remotely.

Never be late to meetings.

"If one person is remote, everyone is remote." We never have meetings where some people are in a conference room and others are remote. The power dynamics on this are terrible, and the people who are remote are not on...

We hold bi-weekly “water cooler" meetings on Zoom. Anyone can join, no agenda, just say hi. We often use it to commiserate over expense reports. All the normal “good management” rules apply: never cancel weekly 1:1s, ...

Be proactive about syncing with remote team members, especially as a manager. Syncing over a video call is much better than phone, Slack, or email for developing, growing relationships.

Meet up in person with your company and team a few times per year.

Be proactive about getting to know your teammates and talking about more than work.

A fully remote setup requires a more intentional approach around work relationships. Create a strategy and form habits that allow for teams to connect on a personal level. At InVision, we start many team meetings with...

Schedule 'water cooler' time to connect as humans, first thing every week. We talk about our weekends. We also get together once a year for a retreat weekend and hang out/eat/play, only connect around work for one hou...

Pay attention to staying connected. For example, we have an optional Being Humans meeting for 30 minutes before our weekly all hands -- we divide into 4 person breakouts with random, silly, fun, or insightful topics t...

Have a strong social calendar depending on your introversion/extraversion needs. Participate in social Slack communities. Make sure your workspace has sunlight :)

Get out of the house frequently. Spend time around other people when you can.

Being remote might mean that you don't have work friends to share that after-work drink with. Find other remote workers to build your own in-person community. Co-working spaces, meetups, and Slack groups are great pla...

Keep a regular social calendar. I play poker with the guys twice a month and I do a happy hour with friends once a month. You need to get out and interact.

Remote work can sometimes be lonely. Make social contact and personal interactions a priority in your life, whether that is a regular meal with friends, a day a week in a co-work office, industry meetups or networking...

To combat loneliness: Join and participate in both online and offline communities related to your industry. (And don’t just network, make friends.) Host co-working events at your home. Place a dog bed or cat tree (or ...

Time block your day so that you have boundaries around your work.

Create a space that's for work only. The most important thing, except for doing the work, is being able to leave it behind.

Create firm boundaries for when you work and when you are away from work. Having our personal devices as our offices means it can be hard to step away. I recommend turning off notifications on your phone, keeping your...

Have a special pair of "work shoes" that help literally and figuratively signify when you're working and when you are not to help with boundaries.

Set boundaries. Work is always a few steps away and it is too easy to get sucked back in and lose anything resembling work-life balance. Possibly use two different laptops, keeping the work laptop in an "office" space...

Having a completely different room/area that is a designated 'work zone' that you know if (a) you are in it, then you are 100% committed to working and (b) if you are outside it, then you switch off completely and do ...

Have a daily routine you stick to. Build rituals. Workout. Enjoy flexibility.

Create an environment that fosters your and the team’s success. Get as much sleep as is best for you. Eat meals that keep you energized - you won’t have coworkers or an office to keep you awake after a cheeseburger (m...

Make time during the day for your health and mental well being. Yoga, running, meditation, lifting, etc. These activities are not taking away from your work, they are actually improving your ability to excel at your w...

Take care of yourself. Drink lots of water. Take regular breaks. Actually take a lunch break. If you aren’t feeling well, get away from the computer. Don’t try to work through it. Have a fully blocked off “untouchable...

Physical activity is probably my favorite remote tip. I try to go swimming 2-3 times per week. Being outside (in the sun), doing something active does wonders for my mental and emotional state (not to mention the good...

I used to work very long hours (up to 10 or 12 a day), but eventually, I burnt out. I realized that being a workaholic didn’t actually let me accomplish more than the average person working the standard 8-hour day. I ...

Stay in constant communication with your team and your manager about what you are working on.

When working remotely it's easy for other team members to assume you're not around because of low visibility. So find ways to show you're present, be prompt when someone asks you questions. Even if you're busy with so...

Be proactive about your work and communication. It's too easy for people in an office to think "out of sight, out of mind." Prevent that out of the gate by setting up remote coffees, creating clear meeting agendas, be...