re: I've Trained Programming Interns For 6+ Years, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST

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re: Hi Jason, I recently started my first remote job!, what advice can you give us to avoid common mistakes newbies make? (and what are those mistakes?...
 

Hi Luis,

Congrats on your job! Here's a few survival tips:

1) Schedule strict work hours, and guard them fiercely. Your employer may set hours for you, or they may give you some autonomy here. In any case, you should have just as much of a well-defined schedule as if you worked in an office.

2) Create a dedicated workspace. Environment has a huge impact on our psychology. You should define a space that is only for remote work, if at all possible. You should never allow yourself to use this space for playing Minecraft, watching Netflix, or hacking on personal projects. This might be a home desk, a corner of a coffee shop, a table in the local library, a spot in a collaborative workspace...just find somewhere that is for work and ONLY work.

3) Set boundaries with co-habitators. Partners, children, roommates, neighbors, and friends need to understand that when you're working, you're effectively not there. Work time is not a time to mow the lawn, wash the dishes, walk the dog, or play Borderlands. Schedule other times to do these things. Let nothing encroach on your work time, unless it would also be acceptable while at the office (such as a medical emergency.)

4) Have a dedicated computing environment. If you can acquire a dedicated work computer, do this. Otherwise, you may want to create a separate user account on your usual machine. As with the physical environment, this helps minimize distractions and improve productivity. There's no temptation to play Minecraft or check Twitter if the icons aren't even there.

5) Shut off distractions. Use browser plugins like Leechblock NG to keep yourself off of distracting websites. Close out of social media on your smartphone. Set your notifications to only be work related. (This is one more advantage for #4.) You may tell yourself "Oh, I can leave Discord open and not get distracted," but you're really just lying to yourself. ;)

6) Find opportunities to interact with your coworkers. Learn how to use all the company's collaboration tools. Take time to set up Slack (or whatever is used) so you can safely leave it open without it sucking up all your attention. Seize on opportunities to collaborate over video chat. Get to know your coworkers. Just because you're remote doesn't mean you need to be disconnected.

7) Invest in your tools. It will be easier to work if you have good tools, so you should splurge a bit on these as your budget allows. Consider investing in a good keyword and mouse. Find comfortable headphones that allow you block out distractions. If you use an online music streaming service, buy a subscription without ads. Purchase a few relevant coding reference books, and keep them on hand. I even have a whiteboard on my home office wall!

By the way, MyNoise.net is worth every penny of its (amazingly affordable) lifetime subscription. It really helps with focus and blocking out distractions.

I hope these help! I'd also recommend looking at my other responses on this thread regarding time management.

 

Thanks for the tips, i'm currently trying to invest in my tools, i never new they were so important until i started working from home, i doesn't even thought about having a comfortable desk chair before!, i will look up for your other responses!

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