Recently I took a role change and moved companies. There were a lot of reasons why I decided to do this, but the most important and most obvious reason was that as a front-end engineer I really needed to be challenged.
More recently I’ve taken on an amazing opportunity with We Are Hunted and I’ve already been able to do a significant amount of work on their main site fixing a whole variety of bugs, and I am also working on a super top secret project, which I am super excited about.
Also, I am working from my home in Sydney, via remote to Brisbane…
There are some key challenges that working from home presents which effect most people, but for myself and probably most engineers, there are a bunch of different problems. I am going to go through each one I’ve noticed and some hacks I’ve implemented to get around them and try not to drive myself crazy.
- It’s never quitting time
One of the biggest perils of working at home is that you can work all night. In fact, living where you work or working where you live often tends to blur the line between these two activities.Calendar reminders have been crucial in this. Not to start work and to stop work, but rather to ensure you are living. I’ve set reminders to remind me to eat, remind me to get out and exercise, remind me to pour some wine and chill out, remind me to engage with hobbies and remind me to call friends.
This might seem juevenile to some, but when you do your first 20 hour day you will thank me.
- Breaks and inspiration
The hardest part about not working in the office is the lack of people to bounce ideas off, share problems with and generally just chat to. I’ve solved this in two ways.The first is to know other people who are working from home and have them on your Skype list. Chatting throughout the day and having a 2-minute phone call can often be the only thing you need to break it up and make your day feel a bit more normal.
The second solution is using an application called Time Out (Workrave on Linux) to make sure you take microbreaks and actually get away from your desk. A few small 15 second breaks and a larger 10 minute break every few hours makes all the difference.
- Your body will turn to shit
If you’re going to work from home you need to schedule exercise. You need a gym membership, maybe a running partner and you need to get the hell out of your office. Don’t be that guy who nobody saw for 6 months and now you way 250kgs.Also, get a standing desk if you really want to add some energy to your finish.