Reticulating Splines
If you are only hiring in your local community and you are complaining you have no one to hire, you are creating your own problem based on outdated legacy minded human resource practices. Working remotely is not a privilege, it is the way to get work done effectively, efficiently, and far more respectful of your employees' time. This post is not meant to sell your business on remote work, although we can provide services to help you configure it at the start, we want to highlight employee and business best practices. Consider this our remote ethos. In order for remote work to be successful there are three key areas: hardware, software, and psychology.
Required Reading foryou and your organization!
Your home office environment should be a private space where you can focus, be at peace, and never be the bedroom. Ideally, you have a desk that can be raised for standing and at the correct height for sitting. Fully produces the Jarvis Evolve which is not only aesthetically pleasing, it can have up to three drawers to remove desktop clutter. Stop buying cheap chairs from IKEA, purchase the same make and model chair Google’s Office would supply or better from Design Within Reach. The Herman Miller Embody is worth every penny, but if you think that’s too pricey checkout Autonomous. Whether you are using a laptop or desktop, an APC power backup will save the life of your workstation, especially during storms giving you the time to make sure power-offs happen organically. Don't work in the dark, it is terrible for your eyes you will burn out faster. The LED Tolomeo Desk Lamp from Design Within Reach will illuminate your workspace perfectly without the extra heat generated by traditional lighting. If you love coffee ditch the cheap Mr. Coffee for a Chemex Ottomatic, and pick up an Ember to keep your favorite brew at the right temperature for hours. Pick up a headset that focuses on voice quality inbound and outbound, ideally with a noise-canceling microphone. Optimizing for remote pairing, and conference calls are more important than bass response. Most home office configurations will have multiple headphones optimized for music or voice. The Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset will make you sound like your on NPR and solves the voice problem perfectly. Finally, adorn your walls with art that inspires you to grind for as long as you want each and every day. We are not sponsored or great credit for any of these vendor recommendations. The most important aspect of your remote hardware is that it is an office. That office is tailored to you, what makes you who you are, and it is a place where work takes place.
Since you can't walk over to someone's cubicle cage to say hello, communication platforms like Slack and Zoom are essential. That includes cameras on during meetings so people can interact and feel the presence of the team virtually. Zoom is recommended for video because it is the best at latency and digital quality, and the "Family Feud" view lets you view the entire team at the same time. For blended teams on-site and off-site The Meeting Owl from OWLLabs pairs very well with Zoom and provides 360-degree views and directional cameras for speakers in conference rooms. While Google Office works, it is nowhere near as capable as Microsoft Office. For design software, Adobe's Creative Suite still works the best for photos, PDF documents, and illustrations. Each tech stack will have its requirements for working locally. Ideally, you are running each of the components you are using in production to be sure what you work on locally, has the best chance of working that way on production. If you are not backing up your computer, you should not be working in tech. Backup redundancy is also a very good idea, and can be achieved via ARQ Backup, and Backblaze for example. Make sure all of your hard drives are fully encrypted, and if you intend on working from coffee shops or breweries you will need a solid VPN client like Private Internet Access. Finally, one technique many technologists use is utilizing GitHub to store a copy of their dotfiles in the cloud. This way you can share your settings with others, and if anything happens to your local setup, and or workstation, getting back to normal will be far easier.
Working remotely is not for everyone. It takes discipline and translating socializing face to face interactions with digital-first. This takes practice and will not come easy for every person who tries it. This is why many employers will not risk hiring someone remotely if it's their first time out. Communication skills remotely are by far the most important aspect of remote success. Socialization can be the biggest hurdle to get through, but it's easier than sitting in traffic for over an hour if you practice it. Meetups, hackathons, startup weeks, and Ignite Talks all occur outside the context of the daily grind. Make it a point to attend them, even if you have a family. This is where you will network with other industry leaders, practice the latest trends, and not feel isolated in your home. The best events you can attend are conferences, even if you have to pay out of pocket. Engineers that go to conferences tend to be more experienced, well rounded, especially at business, and have greater access to social capital than those who don't. Many excuses are made for not going, and each with a few exceptions is extremely flawed. Seeing the Great Pyramids up close is not the same as on TV, and the family you build up over time networking in the hallways you will cherish. For those with families, this also takes you outside your comfort zone and allows you to immerse yourself in tech culture. Get up, shower, dress, just like you would for a physical office. As mentioned in the hardware section, you should have a section of your home sectioned off to simulate a dedicated space. One idea you can try is only turning your desk light on when you are working in that space, and only when you are working in that space. These concepts are meant to assist the mind it mapping areas of your home, your social constructs, to match working efficiently with teammates all over the world and not feeling like your entire home is an office building. Finally, the most important piece of remote work is fitness. You have more time now, so stop skipping the gym, and make it a part of your life. The mind and body work together to give you the freedom you wanted, now you have time to make sure they are at peak performance.
Offices are not required!They are a legacy mindset.We can teach you!