Working From Home Guidelines

  • Find an area where you will have minimal distractions
    • If you have a home office, this is probably ideal, but make sure family members know you're "at work" and not available for random tasks
    • If you don't have a home office, find an area off the beaten path (bedroom may be a good choice)
    • Think out of the box. A laptop and a chair on the front or back porch may be the quietest spot around
  • Set a schedule. Get up at a regular time; take lunch at a regular time; wrap up when the work day is complete and your tasks are finished
  • Don't sit in one position for more than 30 minutes. At the very least, stand up and stretch or walk around the room. Eye strain is a thing.
  • Let your counterparts and colleagues know when you are "leaving" for lunch AND WHEN YOU ARE BACK.
  • You have several means of communicating (chat, email, text messages, jira updates, etc.). Make a habit of regularly "polling" each means. Otherwise you might miss things.
  • Stay plugged in to your group. It is easy to get immersed in a project and forget to check in or respond. Working from home may require you to be more disciplined in breaking away from immersive tasks to communicate with or respond to others.
  • Never underestimate the value of talking on the phone to someone. It may be old fashioned, but one 10 minute phone call can easily replace 30 minutes of text chat

Teleconference Do's and Don'ts (audio or video)

  • Mute your microphone unless you are actively talking
  • "Mute" or disable video if not absolutely needed (bandwidth reduction)
  • Assume you are always on camera and that you are always audible (even if you think you're muted or video-disabled)
  • Avoid side-conversations if you are physically next to someone. Cross-talk is especially annoying and distracting to remote participants
  • Be careful not to talk over others. Politely wait your turn and if you are talking for more than a minute at a stretch, pause to let others ask questions or seek clarification
  • Avoid tapping pencils, moving papers around, rattling ice, setting coffee cups down on table-tops, tapping on keyboards, and other seemingly innocuous sounds. They are unbelievably loud and annoying to others on the call.
  • If conducting a video teleconference, warn your family members not to wander through; some home-attire may not be safe for work
  • Make notes on what you want to say before the conference starts. Take notes on "action items" during the conference whenever you are asked to work on something. Don't ramble on; be succinct and short. If it is a question that can be worked "offline" then do that.
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