Remote work: 10 advices from DataArt leaders Yulia and Mykhailo Zavileiski
Today, many people work remotely. Many of them feel fine with it. But there are people who find it hard to get used to the WFH (work from home) mode. Communication needs more effort, productivity may go down due to the stress, and there is always something distracting from work.
But if you follow the right approach then any process may get better and make life easier. Yulia and Mykhailo Zavileiski probably have the biggest and longest experience in DataArt in working from home — they have moved from many cities and countries, and there were no offices in many of them. We are to share what they advise on a comfortable WFH.
Communication via video
We perfectly understand how unusual and weird it may seem at first. But you quickly get used to it, since seeing a person, its reaction, and having an opportunity to complete the meaning of words with facial expressions is priceless. Such communication makes perception more normal, and prevents deformation in understanding.
Control zone behind your back
When working from home, check the zone behind your back that may appear during video call. For example, it is better to close doors, make your bed, and take dirty dishes out of frame.
Be fully dressed
Many people associate working from home as an opportunity to walk in pajamas all day long. And even colleagues say that they faced situations when a client or a partner occasionally turned on camera and appeared in a robe. A person could even stand up all of a sudden to demonstrate that they have only the upper part of their body dressed properly.
Switch off the microphone and notifications
Switching off the microphone is advice that works if you do not plan on doing a speech. And switching off notifications is advice if you are to show your screen. It is especially important to hide all the private notifications you do not want to be seen by anyone.
No parallel tasks
While being on the call with several participants, turn on your camera and forget about multitasking. Do not write in a parallel chat — show some respect to interlocutors. People love attention and willingly talk if they are sure that you listen to them.
Check your sound
Check your garniture. There is nothing better than an interlocutor that you can perfectly see and hear. If someone is struggling with their sound tell them so your collegue have an opportunity to make everything better the next time.
Find time for chit-chatting
It is obvious that people who work in distributed teams from different cities are not able to get acquainted with each other the way their colleagues that work shoulder to shoulder may. But you can offset it by gathering not only for work occasions. For example, from time to time you can share funny and instructive stories, show pets on camera, and congratulate someone on their birthday.
Write down everything in your calendar — be your own manager. By doing it:
- find some time to plan your complex tasks;
- define key steps, milestones;
- check efforts and duration, spread your time.
Then you have to make sure that you follow your calendar tasks. Make sure your calendar is filled for over 80% of the time. It creates smart pressure to stay disciplined and prevents from being over relaxed. Besides, it is worth adding lunch, coffee breaks etc to the calendar.
If you lack communication with colleagues during lunch or coffee break, share a couple of words in group chats. Try to talk not only about work, even if it is a small talk without synchronization. It really helps not to feel lonely.
Do not forget to enjoy
Enjoy the WFH process — do not try to emulate an office at home. Wear comfortable clothes (and do not forget about the point above), do sports at the exact time when you were going to work or from work earlier. Enjoy organizing everything smart — you have every opportunity to reach that goal.