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brurberg.dev

Just another remote app developer

30.09.2019

Working remotely: Part 1

The first of september this year, my girlfriend and I moved. We bought a house in the town of Oppdal, and moved there from Tønsberg. Tønsberg hosts the main offices for EcoOnline, the company I work for, and you might have guessed it: They don’t have any offices in Oppdal😅 Or, as a matter of fact, they have one small 9m2 cell in a building there now. This is my office. It is in a building with more offices, mostly for remote workers or locals with small businesses. And now, I am one of those remote workers.

I’ve been a remote worker for about a month now, and already I have some experiences I’d like to share. This could be useful information for other fresh remote workers, and for people working with remote resources.

I know other people have talked about this, but I feel it’s still very valid. Communication, one simple thing humans do every day is actually the hardest. I feel the thing that makes this hard is that you can’t just drop by someone on the way to the coffee machine. I have to relay on tools like slack, teams, iMessage and email. And I have to change it up to where I think the receiver is most likely to see my message, and respond to it.

Another thing that is a thing to look out for is: Remember to take break! this week has been quite hectic for me. I arrive at the office at 0700 in the morning and I start working around 15 minutes after that. The next time I look at the watch its 1300 and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. Remember to watch the time and take breaks. This came more naturally for me when working at the office with my colleagues. We have a ping-pong table, you have the office banter and more distractions. This might not be good for productivity, but it helps you to take breaks 😅

Also to help with the break part. If you are like me, when you solve a problem you just kind of forget that if you find yourself stuck on another problem an hour later. And you feel like you can’t take a break now because you «haven’t done anything today!». I just forget about those 10 other things I’ve done trough out the day. So to battle this, I’m using a journal. When I solve an issue, fix a bug finish a section in a course; I jot it down into the bullet-list for the day. I create a new list for each day, and this really helps! If I feel like I haven’t done anything, I just take a glance at my list and I can quickly remind myself of the other things I’ve done.

Lastly; Should you work remotely? Well, I can’t really answer that, but you can! You know with yourself if you can work alone. I know I can, I show up at the office at 0700 and leave somewhere between 15–1600. I do have the self discipline to get work done without anyone «watching» me. If you’re not sure about yourself, I guess you could try to work from home a couple of days and see what you can get done.

At last… I promise this time. As mentioned I do work in an office. I think this is very different from working from home. I have to get up in the moring, get dressed and get to the office, and when I leave the office I leave the work at the office. I’ve talked to people working from home, and this is a hard part for them. They don’t have to get dressed in the morning and work is so close to your personal life. It’s easier to work for longer into the evening on a problem since work is home, and home is work. With having an actual office, I have created a sort of barrier between work and free time.

I think this will be a multipart series, and if so this will be part 1.