S5E11 – Working From Home: What We’ve Learned – “If I spend one more hour in this room, I will lose my mind”

In This Episode:

Void and Beej are here with hard earned tips and tricks for working from home.  We’ve done this off and on for years at this point so we wanted to let everyone know some of the things we’ve figured out that a lot of you are dealing with for the first time.

Separate Work Space From Home Space

If you don’t have enough room for that… then you need a “work mode” and “home mode” for your setup.

Void has always had a work desk and a home desk in different areas of the house. His home desk has his gaming PC while the work desk is only set up for a laptop with work stuff on it.

Beej does, this, too. He has both a laptop and a desktop and finds that when he needs to really work, he can get on the laptop to be less distracted from stuff than on the gaming pc. The Macbook is set up solely for work, while the gaming PC can be used for both.

When You’re Done, Be Done

No one is watching you as closely as you think they are. Bosses included. You have to work and hit your deadlines, but when your day is supposed to be over, then truly disconnect and let it be over.

If you have a Do Not Disturb function (Slack does, for instance), use it. Some jobs might not have this luxury, but if you do, set a time for DND mode and abide by it.

Beej, for instance, stops working around 5pm but keeps Slack on DND past 7pm. That way, communication can still happen and handled when necessary, but it’s on his terms. After 7pm, it can wait until 8am.

Take Breaks From Your Workspace

In the office, this happens organically through a lot of interruptions, casual chats, trips to the water cooler, and things like that. It won’t happen as much at home. Things will distract you, yes, but they won’t be “breaks” as often.

We’ve found that these are the best ways to disconnect for us. But yours might be different. That’s okay. Just make sure you’re taking breaks and disconnecting from work at regular intervals.

  • 15-minute walk around the block, house, yard
  • Play a video game for half an hour
  • Take an actual hour break for lunch and make yourself some home-cooked food
  • Beej suggests In The Floor Time with your pets. It really brightens the day.

Communication is the Most Important Skill for Remote Work

You need to stay in contact with your co-workers and supervisors. But it doesn’t have to be constant. If you’re responding to people in an hour or less, you’re typically doing just fine. Emails can even wait longer because most people don’t check them constantly.

Don’t be afraid of phone calls. Casual chats can’t happen so sometimes it’s a lot easier to get on the phone instead of sending 15 emails back and forth.

Video chats actually do help, too. One-on-one calls with supervisors or employees with video make you feel much less alone.

Talk to Other Humans. Regularly.

No matter what kind of communication it is, make sure you’re talking to other human beings regularly. Your pets are great listeners, but they aren’t the best conversationalists. Other people help stimulate us and make us feel connected.

So talk to them.

Talk in your work Slack. Not just work Slack, though. We highly recommend having Slack groups that you’re a part of. Join our Slack server at https://slack.geektogeekmedia.com. We have an awesome community there, and we’re all in this together.

Same for Discord (https://discord.geektogeekmedia.com) and Twitter (@geektogeekcast or #GeekToGeek). These are lifelines. Use them.

Working From Home Can Help Form New Habits

Void started intermittent fasting when he was working from home because he had complete control of his schedule.

Maybe you can start eating much healthier much easier when you can make food in your own kitchen for every meal.

It’s easier to sneak exercise into your routine when you have more control over your schedule. Instead of a full lunch break, maybe take that hour at the end of the day and go for a run or to the gym.

Working from home gives you a lot more flexibility than being in an office. We highly suggest you take advantage of that and get yourself a better quality of life.

G2G Smashfest: Coronavirus Edition!

G2G Smash Fest! We’ll be playing Super Smash Bros Ultimate using the “For Fun” rules. More info and signups can be found here: https://challonge.com/tournaments/signup/kYhyntPMWU

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Void and Beej

Void and Beej

Void and Beej, bringing you the Geek to Geek Podcast since 2016. @professorbeej and @grnmushroom on Twitter, and every other place podcasts are sold. Or whatever.

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