Make sure you understand what your work environment will be like, and whether it matches your own working style. In this video, GitLab’s Head of Remote shares his top work-from-home tips with Jack Altman, CEO of Lattice. For a full list of home office optimizations, visit GitLab’s guide to a productive home office. Where you work is as important as what you work on and who you work with. Having a defined space helps usher you into an area of focus. While it is ideal to dedicate a room for work, if that is not possible, you can do something simple like hanging a curtain to block off a place of work.

For example, taking time to go to the gym, hiking with your dog, going to a yoga class, or getting time in nature. Or, block your calendar off so you know when to focus on what and prevent people from scheduling meetings at that time. Except… socializing or doing household chores when you’re supposed to be working is a recipe for reduced productivity, longer hours, and work-induced woes.

Develop a Routine

One must consider the nature of a remote or distributed environment and its unique impact on each person at the company. There should be a dedicated department designed to focus on onboarding employees into the remote work environment and assimilating them organically into the broader company culture. Allow your staff to create spaces for themselves through Zoom groups based on personal and professional interests.

Even with all the benefits, many still have a difficult time adjusting to remote work. To help those struggling with this professional transition, here are some best practices to get back on track and start working again at fullest potential. Working from home can be difficult to adapt to, but with the right planning and tools, many find great success and fulfillment from remote work. There is more benefit to working remotely than simply losing the commute.

Tips for Managers

Show appreciation for achievements big and small, both publicly and privately, so your employees know their work is valued. People want to know that they matter—and this doesn’t change when they work outside the office. But working remotely can make it easy for employee contributions to go unnoticed. By prioritizing culture and approaching engagement, you can better address barriers to remote work and ensure your talent initiatives align with the culture you’re trying to create.

That energy can be difficult to recreate when you begin to work remotely more consistently. The best remote teams are aligned across individual, team, and organizational goals. When employees are aligned, they feel a sense of shared purpose and responsibility and can effectively pull together in one direction—driving performance and engagement.

Plan and organize your tasks

With the added variables that come with working remotely, teams should be more diligent about exchanging feedback. Managers asking for feedback can help the team stay focused on top priorities. Having senior leaders email major announcements is basic, at best. Consider video conferencing, recorded interviews, or having leaders join department or team-level meetings to make it more personal. Make sure your employees have interesting and challenging work to do. When employees are interested in their work, they feel more connected to the team and invested in your organizational success.

How do I stay motivated to work remotely?

  1. Create a working environment at home.
  2. Dress for work.
  3. Organise your day.
  4. Manage your workload.
  5. Check in with your colleagues.
  6. Give yourself breaks.
  7. Reward yourself.

While this may feel like a skippable activity, understanding the values early on enables you to have a strong foundation on which to build. Every decision you make in your role should be guided by values. If you have questions about how values are lived, take time during onboarding to consult with others. Another element to flesh out during an interview is remote communication.

Define a separate physical workspace

No matter how you track your breaks, make sure to take them in their entirety. For example, if you plan for an hour break and return to your desk after only 40 minutes, walk away for another 20. I’ve worked 100% remotely since 2015, with a few years of partial remote work before that.

Tips for Succeeding in Working Remotely


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