At Flant, everyone works remotely. Someone before coming to us already had such an experience, while someone is only trying to set foot on this unique and incomparable path.
We decided to discard the topics about which we have repeatedly written here on Habré, and tell how we “cook” it, or rather, our distributed employees. And to do this without focusing on all kinds of technical details such as collaboration software.
So, the employees in our company work from various cities and even countries. The difference in time zones can reach 8 hours! For convenience, we took a single reference point - the MSK time zone - and entered the required hours of presence on the network for interaction with colleagues and clients, from 11 to 18 hours (the rest of the time “floats” at will).
There are some restrictions that depend on the position and are imposed on these hours of presence. For example, a manager is in almost constant contact with a client and usually bears more responsibility for his accessibility. Nevertheless, it is quite normal to go for a walk or move to another place - you just need to inform your colleagues about this and prevent unexpected situations.
Now, about the most common problems that our employees have when switching to a remote work format, and some of the solutions that have been tried.
Remote work is the same work as in the office. Ideally, it should be organized in such a way that contact with colleagues is maintained - as if you are all in one place.
The first problem that one may encounter is the lack of a clear separation between work and home / leisure
. Physically, everything is within the same space, and the brain does not very well understand the difference in states. Sharing this can be important. And my colleagues came across this:
Igor Tsupko, director for the unknown:
“At one time, some rituals helped me deceive my brain, helping to tune in to work or rest. Every morning I dressed in an office suit (well, or how I would like to look in the office), which was my work clothes. And at the end of the working day I went out and did a couple of circles, as if I were going home ... "
Summing up these rituals with the experience of others, we can say that the following approaches helped colleagues:
- Separation of gadgets into "work" and "home". In the "home" should not be any mention of work!
- Complete separation of the work area and the rest area (“I work at the table, I rest - with the laptop on the couch”).
- Walk after work. Allows the brain to reboot, tune in to rest. And breathe fresh air (is it fresh?), Ventilate. This is best done every day ... and the heart will thank you!
- Work exclusively in a work suit: you’re relaxing in underpants and a T-shirt, and at work - well, at least sports pants or slippers. Even the process of changing clothes itself can favorably affect a change in state (switching work ← → rest).
- Clear separation of working hours and rest hours. Understanding that when you don’t work, you relax, when you relax, you don’t work.
Cooking at homeThe family should be prepared
for this no less. Do not be surprised if there is a misunderstanding or even rejection of the fact that you are at home and working. Worse, friction can be both the first time and continue permanently.
If you decide to work from home, you should discuss this situation with your loved ones explicitly.
Oleg Glushchenko, engineer on duty:
“I discussed with my family that when I’m at work, I’m not there, even if I’m around. I, like, a cactus: you can watch, touch - no. As soon as the shift ends, I came home from work. ”
You may need to say this repeatedly. But this is the key to successful work at home in such a way as to eliminate external irritating / distracting factors.
Overcoming the critical situation: “Yes, when can you write / call / come to visit !? You’re all the time at work! ”- a calendar (classic paper or more advanced from Google, etc.) can help, where all friends and relatives will see the daily schedule and know when to spend time.
An interesting situation is when remotely working and home. In this case, it will not be superfluous to create your own daily routine, to delimit the workspace
, to spell out the degree of employment and the attitude to each other's work. So that there would be no misunderstanding or any offense due to the fact that suddenly it was required to “stay at work”, or sudden appearance in the “meeting room” at the time of an important meeting.
If it’s not at all possible to agree, you can work not at home, but from coworking
, a library, a cafe or even the office of friends (and even former colleagues).
Children may not be able to agree. Patience and closed doors for moments of important work will help.
Beloved wife, mother-in-law, mother or grandmother will try to feed. This is cool, but it is important to remember a sense of proportion ... If you cook yourself (a) - why not simplify the dishes? This will affect the cooking time, the price, and on the whole it can turn out to be much better than stereotypes and expectations: suddenly, instead of cutlets, you can cook steak or chicken breast much faster, and vegetable stew from ready-made sets of quick-frozen vegetables? .. Or, if possible in the place of residence, try the cooking set delivery service: they seriously save time and, more importantly, concentration. And if suddenly within walking distance there was a decent establishment with business lunches - this is also an option that is also interesting for the accompanying airing process.
As you know, a neighbor man is a thunderstorm to the whole stairwell. Repair can begin at any time and last forever ...
If you live in a new building, then you can prepare for the next few years of work to the accompaniment of punchers, hammers, saws and other joys of the housewarming.
There are several options:
Often the situation is solved technically
- Tolerate when the repair is over. Well, really!
- Solve technically.
- Change the place of residence (in the case of a rented apartment, this can be double-checked) or temporarily use an alternative place of work. Otherwise ... see the first two paragraphs.
. Modern headsets and noise reduction systems (for example, there was an article on Habré about using PulseAudio for these purposes)
eliminates most extraneous noise, so this will no longer be a (strong) hindrance when communicating with colleagues or clients.
Although it must be admitted that this is not always possible:
Maria Goluntsova, Account Manager:
“There was a case when people made repairs, and the eternal background noise interfered with customer service. Solved by installing noise-canceling prog and technology. But once I even had to change a rented apartment. ”
In addition to repairs, there are children, lovers of karaoke in the dead of night, pets and the like. Here you will need to look for solutions that will be convenient for everyone
. For example, I remember such a good article
on the topic of neighbors, where the problem is shown from different perspectives, and in particular, legal norms are affected.
Finally, since it is decided to work from home, the likelihood of interaction with neighbors increases. And therefore, if you smile and greet you at a meeting, it is possible that this is the path to mutual understanding and respect.
So: you are ready (a), the family and even the neighbors seem to be ready for the fact that you will work remotely. What's next?
Here comes the fun part: how is it possible to work so that it is comfortable and harmonious, there are no unforeseen situations? ..
In our case, the company provides all employees with modern hardware and, in order to compensate for any lagging behind current trends, it is stuffed with RAM to the eyeballs and an encrypted SSD is installed (security first!). In the event of a breakdown of any components, we restore operability literally at the click of a finger.
Around this iron, a certain culture of working with it has formed, which includes both technical requirements for the OS, its configuration, and security requirements, including:
- A hardware-encrypted drive whose password is known only to the current owner. Its receipt is more like a small detective, but without chases and shootings.
- Ubuntu LTS. No holivarov. This is the standard. Ideally, the main distribution, and other official editions supported by the developers are also allowed. Third-party repositories are also limited.
- Software encrypted home directory.
- No third-party users and remote connection services.
- No software experiments. I want to play with incomprehensible software - virtualization / containerization technologies to help.
- Screen lock after 5 minutes of inactivity.
To some extent, these requirements help to avoid situations related to the loss of the device or attempts to crack it, or other compromise. (Which, however, does not abolish the strong recommendation to use the second authentication factor wherever possible.)
They also allow you to not turn the work device into an entertainment center and a trash can, where work files are adjacent to the remnants of dev / sdk packets that then we tried to compile conditional Linux 0.01 from the source (and nothing worked).
In addition to the laptop comes a headset, which is guaranteed to be compatible with software and hardware. It is important to hear a person well, and that a person hear without any extraneous sounds of the external environment or hardware distortions. In general, all this is so that the interlocutor hears as if you are communicating live. This is conducive to more productive work, and not to "finish quickly so as not to hear this hiss in the speakers!".
All other equipment can be added due to your habits or needs.
Pavel Kudelin, engineer:
“I bought two Dell 24 monitors” ... A wireless keyboard with a mouse is purely so that the laptop is on the table. ”
Among our employees, the following configuration was popular: laptop + docking station, and two monitors, a wireless mouse and keyboard are connected to the docking station
. The laptop is cleaned in a drawer or used as a third monitor.
Good communication is essential for work. And since there is practically no good connection (any provider will fail sooner or later), you need at least two high-speed communication channels
. Usually we practice a combination of a wired provider and a mobile one.
Internet speed is checked, for example, using the speedtest script
. In practice, it was noted that for communication in a video conference (mainly we work with Google Meet), communication should be no worse than HSPA +. Otherwise, visible and audible problems begin that do not allow a meeting to be held fully.
Vadim Sabynich, project manager:
“I spend all summer in the country. To get the maximum autonomous system in the form of a laptop, I bought a built-in 3G modem on Avito. I did not dare to take LTE without trying on, since the price difference was almost 4 times. As it turned out, the speed of HSPA + is quite enough for meet'ov. If they turn off the electricity, I notice only when they turn it back on. "
So what can be a workplace? In a discussion that broke out on this subject in the corporate Slack bolt channel, both cabinet supporters and those who quickly get bored of working in one place suddenly appeared.
We will analyze both options in more detail and start with the second.
This category includes people who need enough if not a laptop, then at least a smartphone. They can be in constant motion
or just like to change their place of work: have breakfast in one cafe, dine in another dining room, and after dinner - sit in the park. In the evening, come to visit your parents and work from your favorite chair since childhood.
Anna Sukhanova, HR Director:
“For me, the workplace is associated only with the presence of a laptop, communication and headset. I can’t sit in one place and it starts to seem like a chore to me. There was a time when I worked from home in the morning: it was necessary to conduct a series of interviews, and then I went to a cafe and worked from there. ”
And here is a sound idea. In the book “Remote: an office is not required,” David Friday describes a similar situation in which working in a public place is not distracting, but rather suggests maximum composure based on some embarrassment: “An adult is sitting here watching photos of cats and memes. This is clearly not about me. I sit and work. ” So it is: many want to seem important, business and busy ... Or, for example, in the library you are unlikely to watch funny videos on YouTube: the place itself has something to work on.
In cases where there is a habit (or want to get one) to work in public places, the security requirements increase slightly - for example, the screen lock time from 5 minutes is reduced to the 1st.
In addition, you should pay attention to the convenience not only for yourself, but also for colleagues and / or customers. How can I have a normal online meeting if racing cars roar in the background, music plays loudly or dishes rattle?
Unlike non-bored colleagues, cabinet adherents approach the preparation of the workplace with all care
. This is the location of the desktop, and the desktop itself, and the chair, and the Totoro figure, standing to the right of the monitor stand exactly as it should, and air conditioning ...
Not always everything goes smoothly: even here my colleagues got bumps. Creating a stationary workplace is a whole art! Suddenly it turns out that what you spent some time before is absolutely not suitable for constant work.
First of all, it is necessary to allocate a place under the workspace where they will not interfere. Ideally, this is a separate room.
Evgeny Kosmynin, engineer on duty:
“When I was doing the repair, I didn’t think that I would go away and I would have to work from home. But here I am, and I don’t really want to work in the kitchen. We'll have to do a dedicated workplace - there is free space only on the balcony ... "
Passing place - not the best option for work. It obviously can not be a nursery, nor a corridor, nor a kitchen. Their atmosphere is not conducive to work. These are always places where they make noise, have fun, play, cook, have fun. And even the application of the first paragraph of our text about conversations will not help. We will have to find more peaceful places to work - of course, with the exception of cases of living alone.
After the place is chosen, you may need to review what you have to sit on
. Long sitting suggests that the chair should be as close to this as possible: it will not be replaced by a stool, nor a pillow, nor a sofa, nor a floor.
Andrey Babushkin, engineer:
“You need a table and chair of the correct height and stiffness - otherwise a problem with the back and, especially, the knees. "We need the correct height adjustment of the monitor - otherwise problems with the neck and - hello, migraine!"
A popular preference was the Marcus leather chair, which ergonomically adjusted to fit the body and sought out the love of our engineers. And causes more confidence in reliability, stability than a regular chair.
The process of communication with the client can be extremely dynamic, which leads to the breakdown of ordinary chairs:“The meeting was so intense that the screw got out and the chair fell apart.”
What about the table? It is better to choose a table with an armchair so that it does not happen that a comfortable armchair and a comfortable table are incompatible in height or width.
The table should contain everything that is required for work. The work can be different: if you use office equipment, paper, additional devices such as tablets for drawing or microphones - it is better that all this is located in direct access and does not interfere with each other.
The presence of boxes, shelves or other not entirely clear “improvers”, in my opinion, should not be a decisive factor: usually dust and garbage accumulate there.
But what if the table height is adjusted? This is a great find for those who are either medically contraindicated to sit for a long time (or sit at all), or those who do not like to sit around a table (even in a comfortable chair!) And are ready to make a change in body position. However, you have to pay a tidy sum for the purchase of this (how about DIY?).
Colleagues who use electric tables do not imagine working without this invention. It is also useful to consider the option of arranging the table so that it does not light the camera with light
, for example, from a window or a lamp. Talking with a shadow illuminated by light is somewhat strange and does not lead to a productive conversation.
And in general, it is advisable to exclude the possibility of getting into the camera any other background that does not correspond to professional activity: an unmade bed, unwashed dishes ... We do not consider the option of turning off the camera in the company, but the conditions vary.
Igor Tsupko, director for the unknown:
“I came to the conclusion that I needed an office. Yes, it’s great to work in a cafe or on the balcony, but often you need several large monitors and another set of familiar devices to work. With the ability to completely immerse / dissolve / focus on the task. "
Based on the theses that my colleagues exchanged, we can summarize the conclusions as follows: the workplace should be convenient not only for themselves, but also for colleagues, to have a job and meet its requirements
After all psychological and technical problems were solved, it turned out that there was still a lot left that hadn’t been paid attention to and what could be corrected or improved.
The probability that you will start working from home after moving to a remote location is extremely high, and from this we can assume that the amount of physical activity will definitely decrease
. In addition, the amount of food consumed can increase (because the refrigerator is so beckoning!).
So that the body does not become loose and white, you can try to compensate for this either by increasing the number of ordinary actions performed:
Oleg Glushchenko, engineer on duty:
“Because the workplace is only 10 meters, you move extremely little. During work, you constantly sit in one place (there is no need to walk with your feet to colleagues). I solved the problem by taking away all the household chores related to the movement, I often walk with my son ... I’ll probably fall off soon and start running. ”
... or physical activity:
Vadim Sabynich, team manager:
“The first few years I went to sports clubs, but in the end it turned out that the time I spend on a round trip is twice as much time as I spend in training. I bought a rope and a couple of pound weights (I always wanted to learn how to use them). Mahi Kettlebell - our everything! ”
But here you can vary the approaches. For example, get bicycles and ride the whole family. Or go hiking / camping: rest, exercise and communication with family - all in one bottle! I'm just sure that in any city there are small forums / groups in social networks / sites with routes for various degrees of training. There you can try to find like-minded people and go out in a crowd.
By the way, various mobile applications with fitness trackers
help to find the notorious like-minded people that you don’t even have to meet in real life. The simpler and more popular the lesson, the more there are those with whom you can compete and achieve your own goals.
In addition, in our company every year all employees with their families gather for a large corporate party. This event takes at least two days and includes not only outdoor recreation, but also various games: from team building to a variety of others (team and not).
From all that has been written, we can conclude: the transition to remote work is in any case a change in lifestyle.
This means that you will need to invest in this time and effort (for example, to acquire new skills) in order to ensure yourself comfort:
- This is a change in the worldview of your loved ones that you still work. But remotely. Not always and not all managed to correctly convey this idea the first time.
- This is a likely change of housing (for the best).
- This is the equipment of their workplace. It can be organized exactly as it will be convenient, which most likely will require certain investments.
- This and the support of the entire workplace in order and performance. Operations like refilling a printer cartridge and replacing a failed hard drive (with subsequent recovery of information from the backup — do backups ?! —or install all the software again) are left to their own shoulders. However, specifically for our employees, this, of course, is not a question at all.
- This and additional investments (temporary and financial) to increase physical activity and changes in nutrition. However, if in the future they show a result that will be pleasant to look at, then why not?
As irrefutable evidence that, working remotely, you can not only work in a suitable company of any kind, but also have excellent physical data: I ’ll tell you about our engineer Oleg Voznesensky
Since a long time he has been fond of various types of outdoor games (be it reconstructive fights, fencing, rugby ...) - so much that he went to competitions in neighboring countries. This did not prevent him from being a very well-fed young man ...
After one of the serious injuries, Oleg decided to replace outdoor games with something sports. The choice fell on the simplest form - running. In 2016, after two months of training, he went through a half marathon (21 km), but another injury - the “runner’s knee” - made adjustments. However, in 2017 there were brevets (team races from 200 km) and cross-country marathons. In 2018 - again a year of running, but with a variety: asphalt for 21 km, trail “regular” for 34, mountain trail for 47.
2019 - trailing ultramarathons (here I already wanted to run!): Trail along the semi-desert for 84 km. And the result was a trail along the Suzdal swamps - 104 km (!)
, For which commemorative signs were received:Be like Oleg!
And through what thorns did you come to arranging your remote workplace? What kind of life hackers do you use to stay beautiful, young, healthy and effective? I'd like to listen and take something into service, share with colleagues.Come work at Flant!
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