We’re all working remotely these days — some of us because we want to, and some of us because we have to. And this new reality inspired our April poll question: What are your best remote working hacks?

As we had hoped, there were plenty of great responses, and it was nice to see so many of you remote working gurus sharing your experience and wisdom. As Master Yoda advised: “Always pass on what you have learned”.

The Results

Here is the big list of remote working hacks. We hope you find some suggestions that make you more productive, efficient and comfortable as you carry out your day-to-day tasks from home. For simplicity, we’ll organize these in four categories: EXPERIENCE, ENVIRONMENT, EQUIPMENT and ENGAGEMENT:

EXPERIENCE

  • Shower and get dressed every day. Don't roll out of bed in your PJs and start working. Getting dressed will help you feel more human.
  • Wear your favorite full color polos (that aren’t allowed per the in-office dress code). Have a break in the morning with your favorite coffee blend. Enjoy your tea-time with a Star Wars lightsaber mug.
  • Take a normal lunch break, even if you have to force yourself to step away. You need the mental break. If meetings run through lunch then go with the flow, but when they can be put off to a different time slot, take it!
  • Take advantage of the conveniences of working from home by making your own coffee, making a fresh and nutritious lunch, taking breaks, and sitting outside if the weather allows.
  • Try and stick to your work routine as much as possible. If you find yourself working longer or shorter hours than you normally do, it can negatively impact your performance.
  • Remember to drink water.
  • Use a smartwatch (or a browser/desktop app) to get reminders to stand up and stretch (and possibly move around by taking the dog for a walk, getting the mail, etc.).
  • Split the day up into three sections and go out for a walk (with your dog if you have one) between sections.

ENVIRONMENT

  • Check out the “Focus” genre on Spotify for music to help you concentrate in a noisy environment.
  • Listen to a bit of soft music in the background.
  • If you talk to clients, then play some 'Office Noise' in the background.
  • Don't work next to the house furnace — apparently it’s pretty noisy.
  • If possible, work in a separate room where you can close and lock the door. Make sure family members know that you are not available to help with anything or “just talk” — you are working!
  • Work on floor #1, move your spouse to floor #2, and put the kids outside.
  • Put on a romantic film for your wife and favorite online games for kids, and brew some strong coffee.
  • Get rid of your wife/girlfriend; no nagging = way more efficient working! (hahaha, we know you’re just kidding Ron!)

EQUIPMENT

  • Use a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.
  • Find a way to tell your family when you're on a conference call/busy with a task, such as using a Luxafor Flag LED USB Busy Light Indicator.
  • Don't skimp on a strong/reliable internet connection.
  • Always get the most comfortable office chair you can find.
  • A headset for taking calls is a must.
  • A standing desk is great for concentration and keeps the blood flowing.
  • A large monitor or multi-screen set up improves productivity by leaps and bounds.
  • If possible, try and set up your home office similar to your corporate office, so that you can easily simulate the “at work” experience.
  • Set up QoS rules on your router, in order to keep family members from using all of the bandwidth.
  • Set up a headless workstation in the office running RDM (with shared servers added to the RDM SQL DB), then connect to it over VPN with an RDP session. From there, you can directly access everything you need.

ENGAGEMENT

  • Stay in touch with your colleagues using appropriate tools, such as Teams, Slack, email, and the good old-fashioned phone.
  • If you have pets at home, treat them like your new colleagues by having a (one-sided) conversation with them to work through issues. Pets will always encourage you, and sometimes that’s all you need.
  • Don’t ignore your family — remember the “home” part of “home office”.

The Winners Are…

First, you’re ALL winners because you’re Remote Working Jedis. Yoda would be proud of you (“work remotely or do not work remotely — there is no try”).

Now, let’s announce the two lucky poll participants who were randomly selected to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Congratulations Troy Harkness and Jon Tankersley! Please email me at lcadieux@devolutions.net to claim your prize.

New Poll on the Way

Thank you all for participating in the poll, and we hope that you found some helpful tips to make your remote work even more successful. Please stay tuned for the May poll, which is coming very soon!