Here at PieSync, although we're not 100% remote-first as a company, we're pretty good at working from home.
Some members of our team have worked remotely some or all of the last few years while traveling or living away from our HQ in Ghent.
But over the last month, like plenty of other companies, we've all transitioned into working from home full-time.
While work hasn't changed all that much for some of our frequent remote workers, it's a whole new world for others.
So how are we navigating the new reality of being a remote team right now?
Here's some of the advice from the PieSync team, as shared by both seasoned pros and newcomers to working remotely.
Our team's main takeaways for successful work from home: having a routine, creating a productive home office, using tech to your advantage, staying happy and healthy, and connecting with others. Here's their remote work wisdom in more detail...
Having a routine
- Schedule in some breaks throughout the day as you would in the office, walking around or grabbing coffee with a colleague. — Alexis, Sales at HubSpot
- Decide for yourself what time you are going to start, stop and even have your breaks. — Sarah, Partner Success
- Have an affirmative start and end to your day: get dressed for work like you normally would, then at the end of the day leave the home office behind completely. — Matt, Product at HubSpot
- Figure out your working style. You might decide it's best to group all meetings together on specific days and leave large open blocks for focus on others. — Henry, Marketing at HubSpot
- Have a routine, but listen to your energy levels. Take a break if you're tired or do some exercise if you're feeling restless. Your routine doesn't have to be set in stone. — Lucy, Marketing
Create a schedule with the people you live with. I work in the AM, watch kids (aged two and four) in the PM, and my husband does the opposite. — Gayle, Go-to-Market at HubSpot
Creating a productive home office
- Keep a separate office space at home where it's "all work." You can then leave this behind at the end of the day. — Asad, Marketing
- Make your desk a place you enjoy working. Can you add plants, a good light, pictures or even a candle to make it the best space to spend your work hours? — Lucy, Marketing
- Avoid going straight from your bed to your desk in the morning. Take some time to get fresh air or some exercise before getting started with work. — Jonas, Customer Support
- Music! Noisli is a great app for mixing your favorite sounds together, like coffee shop background noise, white noise, or birdsong. — Lucy, Marketing
Using technology to your advantage during WFH
- Keep your Slack status updated with what you're up to to keep your team in the loop and let them know if you're available (e.g. Lunch, AFK, Available, Writing, Focus Mode, etc.) — Luna, Marketing
- Use RescueTime to keep track of how much time you spend on work and non-work. You can also use their "Focus Time" feature to auto block distracting websites. — Asad, Marketing
- Turn on Slack's "Do not disturb" feature to prevent notifications during meetings or when needing to focus on something. — Asad, Marketing
- It’s good to turn off Slack/email notifications after a certain time to avoid getting pulled into work after hours. I also have these notifications disabled on my phone at all times, which saves me a lot of anxiety and drastically reduces the amount of times I check my emails and Slack messages. That’s good for my productivity too. — Luna, Marketing
WFH is not going to be motivating if you just stare at your laptop screen hunched forward and on an unstable wifi connection. I make sure I am on a wired connection and use an external larger display. — Frans, Sales Engineering
Staying happy & healthy
- Keep in mind that eight hours at a desk doesn't mean you're working for all of those hours. Sometimes with less time, you do more work with a lot more focus. — Asad, Marketing
- Get out of the house at least once a day, even if it's for a walk around the block. — Alexis, Sales at HubSpot
- Don't forget to eat! Don't forget to take your breaks! Don't forget to stop working when your shift is done! — Joey, Customer Support at HubSpot
- Avoid burning out. Take breaks or quick naps during the day if needed. — Asad, Marketing
- To stay connected with others and feel happy, I often listen to music together with friends who are also working from home. We look for a nice playlist or a festival set from our favorite artists and let it play simultaneously in the background while we’re at work. Every now and then we say a few words via chat. It’s a fun way to share the same vibe with your friends or colleagues, even when you can’t be together. — Tycho, Customer Support
- Work out in the AM. I'm doing a Peloton challenge with other HubSpotters, which keeps me accountable. — Gayle, Go-to-Market at HubSpot
Be kind to yourself - sometimes you just have lower energy in the afternoons. Read your own body, take the break, take a walk, do some jumping jacks, and then come back when you feel like you're at your best to get stuff done. — Liana, Engineering at HubSpot
Connecting with others
- Overcommunicate. It's much easier for messages to get lost in translation when you're working remotely, so don't expect subtle hints to be interpreted. Even if it can seem excessive, overcommunicating and repeating things will probably makes work a lot easier for you and your remote colleagues. — Lucy, Marketing
- Be honest, transparent and empathetic towards your colleagues and the people around you. — Luna, Marketing
- Have a ten-minute morning check-in with your teammates, just to say hello. — Gayle, Go-to-Market at HubSpot
- Make your remote meetings more fun! In our Zoom meetings at PieSync, a lot of team members have been getting very creative with custom backgrounds.
And finally... take advantage of being remote. Maybe it's taking breaks to clean a room of your house, or maybe you play with your dog more, but find the moments that make being at home more enjoyable. — William, Engineering at HubSpot
What tips have you found for making remote work easier for you? We'd love to hear them, so ping us a tweet!