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5 Tips for Working From Home - Developers Edition

2020 was the year everyone in the world got to experience what feels like the norm to the rest of us - developers!
We all at some point worked from home before the year that shall not be named. Either as part of a remote contract, taking our work home - as usual, or working on a side project. Thus what felt weird to the rest of the world was another Monday to us. For those of you just getting on board with the Work From Home (WFH) thingy, this article is for you.

1. Change your PJs to a work PJs

It is really hard to switch your mind from work mode to relax mode. You might set on the computer for 45 minutes while your brain is still in hibernate mode. What helps is to find a habit to make your mind do the switch - a tic. What I found helpful was to change my PJs to a work PJs that I got ONLY for work. I wake up, make coffee, put on my serious stripe pajamas, and set on my desk. Then BOOM I'm in work mode. Once I stop working I change back to my regular PJs, and my brain stops thinking about work. It is really hard to draw the line between personal life and work-life, especially when working from home. Therefore, you need to find your switch.

2. Have a dedicated space for work ONLY

Not all of us might have the option to have a dedicated space for work, but this is where we need to get creative. If you work in the same area where you eat and chill, it is not easy for your brain to work in that same space. As it does not associate it with being productive. That is why you need a dedicated area for work. Maybe one of your dining table chairs can be dedicated to work, or putting on a cloth on the table when you start working. This will train your brain to associate work with that space/change.

3. Have a two-monitor setup

Trust me this will enhance your productivity - A LOT. As you do not have to constantly switch between windows, you will have for example one for the code and one for Stack Overflow. Even if you are not a fan of dual monitors, at least get one. Most laptops monitors are bad for you, they will break your back and strain your eyes. Development requires a constant focus on the screen for long hours. You need to ensure that what you are looking at is comfortable for you.

4. It might be scary but TALK TO YOUR TEAM

Some of us might be socially anxious or people are not their thing. But it is important to stay in touch with your team. This will give you a sense of belonging, and commitment. Try to use the first 30 minuets of the day (or the last) to go through and organizing your to-do list whilst also checking up on your team members/team lead. Working from home can feel isolating, hence try to reach out to your team as much as you can. This will also give a sense to the team that you are present. Then you or them will not hesitate to reach out in case someone needs help. People are not always charming but talking to someone about an issue that you are stuck with for hours will help your brain to come up with a solution as you are explaining the issue. Check out the rubber duck debugging.

5. Keep track of your mental health

Again, we are at the end of the day social beings. Being away from people - as good as it seems - might fire back. Ensure that you have a clear end of your working day. Have a routine in place and stick to it, structure helps!.
Ensure that you do at least 3 of the following on daily-basis they will help you and increase your productivity:

  • Take a lunch break away from your desk.
  • Go for a walk outside, in nature - graphics are amazing trust me.
  • Dedicate 15 minutes for watching something FUN (short video, TikTok, scrolling through social media, etc.)
  • Stretch
  • Clean your desk
  • Do digital decluttering

Let me know what your tips for WFH, what worked and did not work for you?

Disclaimer: This is based on my personal experience and lessons learned over the years, which may or may not apply to you.

Top comments (2)

khalilalhadidi profile image
Khalil A Ibrahim

Inspirational Lara, thanks for sharing!

laraneedscoffee profile image

Thanks Khalil - appreciate the feedback!

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