Since October, I’ve been a remote employee, working for the The Open Knowledge Foundtion. I was nervous about being a remotee and I talked to a lot of my friends who’re remotees at Mozilla. Shout out to ashish, fox2mike, glob, and Unfocused for helping me out. I also enjoyed reading about people who wrote what their team did, particularly, RelEng at Mozilla, shout out to you guys as well! Also, The Oatmeal was right! Although, ironically, I’ve started to wake up unnaturally early after being a remote employee :P
The biggest fear about working from home were the distractions The most important distraction-killer is a time tracker. We use toggl for timesheeting anyway, and turning off the time tracker when I’m distracted helps. After a few times of doing that, I automatically stop myself when I’m getting distracted. I keep two Firefox profiles, one for work and one for everything else. While I’m working, the non-work profile is closed, so I can’t get distracted. I reward myself with time to look at it when I finish 2 hours of work and take a short break.
Having good communication channels is great since we’re distributed. Every day, our team gets on a stand up call. It’s great to actually hear everyone talk about their and ask for help from the team if they’re stuck. We also have a Campfire chat room and an IRC channel (#okfn on irc.freenode.net); they keep me sane. Seriously. Speaking of sanity, on some days, the Campfire room is just a world of gifs, we’re awesome like that. There’s also the weekly notebook posts to keep track of what folks in other teams do.
Time’s flown by so fast; 10 days ago, I finished a month here! It’s been a fun and busy time!
PS: If you want to work with me at OKFN, we’re hiring for a bunch of positions!