Lindsey Bieda

Working Remotely

I've been working remotely for more than a year now. There's a lot of pitfalls that people warn you about when you start working remotely, mostly loneliness and feeling isolated, however, I never felt that. We have standup daily so I get to see everyone's lovely faces in a hangout, and I work pairing to work on code is encouraged (by the way, my remote pairing setup is wemux with a google hangout for communication).

When I first started, jumping into an existing codebase, pairing was the best way to get me acquainted with the code. However, I noticed fairly quickly that since I'm a highly introverted person pairing remotely for long hours left me completely exhausted. Though, I found as I continued to pair the less this exhaustion hit me. One of the biggest things I found helpful was being able to take breaks to grab a cup of tea and quickly recharge.

Remote pairing can be hard as an introvert
Remote pairing can be hard as an introvert

I also recently found that the division of spaces was extremely important for me to divide my work life for my personal life. I work on code in my free time in addition to work. My work computer remains my work computer and I never work on personal code on it and same for my personal computer. I even don't have any of my personal email accounts on my work computer and similarly for work I don't have it on my personal computer. However, I do have all accounts on my phone.

I don't install personal related things on my work computer and I even work in a separate space than where I tend to work with my personal computers. Some people like working in coffee shops, I prefer to stay at home but keep to my office. I'll occasionally move around when I need a change of scenery, but I find keeping a space work related help my brain snap into work mode.

Even though I'm remote and my hours can be more flexible I still try to keep to precise work hours. While I sometimes vary within that, because I can when life stuff comes up, it's still important to me to remain consistent and have a schedule with it.

Though, one of the most hilarious things I've discovered when working remotely is how much I've grown to love leggings. Pants are annoying and uncomfortable, especially if you are like me and sit cross-legged on top of your computer chair. Comfortable clothes are one of my favorite aspects of working remotely and my main advice is to embrace that.