Working from Home

Jake Bourne

Alarm goes off, 8:55 am; you've got an all-hands on in five minutes. Three years ago, this was a recipe for your second warning, but today, most have the luxury of whipping out the laptop, claiming your camera is broken and listening in softly as you try to recall what happened after the third shot last night.

Remote working has been a liberation globally from the shackles of a desk job, but any salvation comes at a price. The Venn diagram of work and life looks more like stacked pancakes as our own homes become a melting pot of zoom meetings, dedicated workspaces and #homeoffice trends. So, using Between Collective's 5 steps to success, we will properly equip you with the weapons tools to fight for your healthy balance.

Tip #1: Be heard

Single-person households, you can skip forward. Let's talk about the elephant in the room for the rest of us. Outrageously, other people live in your house. And with more audacity, apparently, they have 'important' calls as well? Well, this just isn't going to do. The most obvious option is to move out and find your own place, but if this is restrictive due to financial, marital or paternal reasons, read on, we've got a plan.

Talk with your other members in the house on battlelines, where everyone should conduct day to day work, areas for important meetings, and take the call away from the desk. Sharing when and where conflicts might arise (before they arise is also a good idea ). Oh, and if you've got the money, please, please, please, buy some noise-cancelling headphones.

Tip #2: Get it done

Historically, downtime during work hours was an elongated bathroom break or a deep dive into an Instagram feed. Now, you have a couch and Netflix. Sick. As head-honcho around these parts, there is an overused phrase, "it doesn't matter when you work, as long as the job is done". I want to place a small change on this, "it doesn't matter when you work, as long as anyone can see the job is being done". As a part of a team, more often than not, your work affects others. To ensure you're not that 'guy' who people question whether or not they're delivering and ruins it for the rest of us as the world decides if the remote thing works. Be transparent. Use cloud software, time management tools and group comms. We use ClickUp / slack hybrid for our team's comms, allowing everyone to take a nap during the day while still being part of the group.

Tip #3: Routine

Chaos breeds creativity, but it also breeds chaos. If you're like me, you love standing in the eye of the storm as requests, deadlines, and alterations fly in from all different areas. However, if this is a nightmare dressed like a daydream, building some routine will be good for you. Make sure you've got time booked in our day for checking emails, doing timesheets, updating your to-do list, and deep work

Tip #4: Get Movin

"Get yo ass up and hurr' up, uh" - Ice Cube. Finer words have never been spoken and will forever be a mantra that influences my life. But, padding on writing aside. This one is straightforward, get some exercise in your day. Go for a walk, invest in a switch ring fit, buy the big exercise balls and keep convincing people that it's comfortable (it's not, stop lying to yourself).

Tip #5: IRL

Sometimes, it's essential to break the work-from-home policy and go somewhere else. Trust me, this isn't a trap to now commute daily to the office, but having catch-ups in person either at HQ (there’s still no zoom substitute for overheard conversations) or on the more neutral ground of a coffee shop, will help you build deeper connections, ideate creatively, and verify your colleagues' heights. This can even lead to social interactions and potentially friendships with your squad. Just remember to wear clean clothes and limit the conversations about your pet to three photos and two videos.

Wrap up:

We're on the verge of a revolution on what 'working' looks like, and if you want to keep it, we're all going to have to compromise. Both in your personal life, your household, and your professional network. What works for you might not work for others. Be aware, don't be a dick, and be present. Half the job is showing up, whatever this looks like today.

Some other thoughts