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*(or measures to prevent self-destruction)

As the plot thickens, so does remote work! Without noticing, you find yourself in the same place of those three gunslingers competing for a fortune: fighting battles not to become lazy or spend too much time in the same place by yourself, elaborating strategies to prevent your own craziness or get in trouble.

THE UGLY
Treat the place you work as the office. I mean, your mind must be set to work, so create the right atmosphere. For example, my table is large enough to have a laptop for work and a desktop for entertainment; both use the same monitor but different keyboards and mouse’s, even different operative systems. If you don’t have that space at home you can check in a co working place, it’s an alternative.

Create a routine and set schedules. Yes, for many of you this sounds boring and old school, but you’ll thank me later! It can be simple things like getting a coffee mug mid-morning or afternoon, take yourself out for lunch at least once a week, or go out after work to unwind and relax, so you can start fresh the next day.

Please, pretty please: workout! Since you don’t commute, why not use that extra time to exercise? Joining a gym or do some trekking for 1 hour it’s enough to get your body moving! This was one of my greatest mistakes in the beginning and now I got some extra weight. Even if you have healthy eating habits you need to move.

Don’t become a cave man. Shave. Make yourself comfortable but don’t wear pyjamas! Don’t be alone all day. You can’t go out for lunch or grab a drink after work with your co-workers, but you can go to a café or a bookstore and chat with someone about other things than work. Cultivate your interests!

Overwork is over-rated. For most of us that work remotely, there’s always this latent pressure that because nobody watches us work, they don’t know if we are actually doing it! If the company you work for allows you to work from home it’s because they trust you’ll deliver. So, trust yourself! Do not overwork unless it’s necessary, otherwise you’ll not be able keep up a normal working pace and expectations will be defrauded.

Take all opportunities to communicate. Even if the task you have in hands is not directly related with another of your colleagues’, it’s in your interest to know what’s going on in your project, share problems and ideas with your team, even more because you’re not by their side. At Polarising we have special groups and use all sorts of channels and agile methodologies to communicate, after all, we are specialized teams!

So, as you can see, nothing is black and white. Just be grateful for the opportunity. When you work from home you can have a better control of your time, focus without distractions and enjoy more your free time.

Tiago Simões
Polarising Consultant