• Robin Alex Panicker

Try these tips if you are working from home

Almost everyone who are into software and other digitally enabled professions spent last one year working from home. Having enjoyed office hours, I did find it tough initially to work from home during the pandemic induced lockdown, especially because myself and Don used to spend much time doing pair programming. Much of Finotes happened because we both spend quality time together. That situation has changed all of a sudden. I had to adapt, and soon I did.


Here are some of my learnings that helped me much during the last one year. Writing it down as I think this might help someone somewhere who are still confined to his or her home.


1. Start the day early


My experience suggests I write more and better code in early mornings. Now, I cannot claim that to be an universal experience. But give it a try. It might work for most of you.


2. Do short official meetings


Set your official meetings in 15 minutes slots. If much needed go up to 30 minutes. In case any discussion demands more than that, do another one for 15 minutes. Let other participants know this time limit when they receive the meeting invite.


This helps the meeting to be focused on the objectives. If you can't get an outcome from a meeting in 30 minutes, less likely that you will get it ever.


3. Anticipate interruptions


One of the challenges of working from home is that you might be pulled into personal matters during the normal work time. Plan your day in such a way that you can accommodate an hour or two of such interruptions.


4. Drink more water, and less coffee


This is super important. Coffee vending machines in our offices have habitualised frequent coffee intake. While one or two cups a day is good, more than that will end up depriving you of sleep and will create other health problems. Being in the comfort of our homes means we might screw up our biological clock by staying awake when we are supposed to sleep and sleep when we should be awake.


So, drink water instead. Thank me later.


5. Daily chit-chat meetings with colleagues.


While you should restrict official meetings to 15 minutes, do not put any such hard restrictions on chit-chat meetings with colleagues. These meetings are very important to ensure you are not in an intellectual or emotional silo.


6. Daily calls with family and friends.


If you have family with you, spend quality time with them. Else call them daily and speak to them. Call your friends. Just like you need their emotional support, they need yours. It's a great stress buster too.


BTW, we are back in office


Well, these are just my experiences from last one year building Finotes from my home. After all, they say work from home is going to be the new norm for many jobs.


We are back in office now, though it is still not frequent as it used to be. BTW this is Don Peter in deep discussion with self in office last week 😀.



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