Working remotely: I need tips to set a good space without much space!

Happy Saturday!!! :blue_heart:

How is everyone today? Hope your week was great :blush:

So, I am very close to negotiating my very first Jr. Web Developer job! YEY!!!:partying_face::partying_face::partying_face:
And it will be remote.

That being said, I live with my in-laws and usually, I code from the kitchen table :sweat_smile:
I am afraid that doing it full-time won’t be the best for my body, so I would like to ask for any tips or products you recommend to make the remote life easier and better :smiley:

Thank you :sunflower::sunflower::sunflower:

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I’ve been working remotely more or less for 8 years. There are lots and lots and lots of things to cover, but the most important are:

  • Clearly define your working hours and take consistent breaks. When your work day is done, stop working. This sets clearly defined boundaries not only for your coworkers but for your family/friends, as well. It also reinforces the example for your colleagues so that they can do the same.
  • Posture and ergonomics: this can cripple your ability to work, and I’ve had problems over the years. Invest in a keyboard and a mouse that help prevent RSI. Your shoulders, arms, and tendons can also be impacted by bad posture (in an office, you might get up to go to lunch, take a walk with a coworker, but at home you might just get in the zone and go). I LOVE adjustable sit/stand desks. This is what I use: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/skarsta-desk-sit-stand-white-s89324812/. It’s honestly the most durable and affordable that I could research (it’s a hand crank, so don’t have to plug it in). Also, a mat to stand on: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V3TO9EK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1.
  • Post-it notes or another way to keep track of ad hoc daily tasks like laundry, mow the lawn, call the accountant, whatever. For things I want to do every day, I use everyday.app so that I can consistently tick off things I want to do every day (exercise, meditation, learning something, etc).
  • … I have to run, but there are a thousand more little tips and tricks that work for me. Constantly re-evaluate what is working for you and what is not working and ask your partner’s opinion every now and then.

You got this.

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Pachi, everything said Robert above is extremely good advice. I will add just three things that helped me working remotely from home in the last 10+ years.

  1. Start your day meditating. There are a lot of flavors and techniques to do it. Find the best suited to you. It will help you to think clearly despite the communicational noise and the stress.
  2. Do physical work out 3 to 5 times per week.
  3. Putting an activity that you won’t be able to neglect at the very end of your workday helped me to stop working. e.g. this test is not passing, just 5 more minutes… that turn into hours above your already done workday. Just put a daily appointment in your calendar to do something you ought to do no matter what.

Keep us posted about your journey! Good luck!

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@pachicodes congratulations on your first role! :tada:

Really great advice from everyone here, I completely agree :smiley: (@robertwpearce I have the same IKEA desk :slight_smile:).

I also started my first junior dev role 8 months ago, it’s remote too. Aside for being disciplined with time (and to actually stop working - Fabricio I totally agree that scheduling an activity helps! :+1:), for me, the biggest thing was learning how to work productively in a team and how to communicate.

With remote work written communication is much more important, so one concrete advice I can give you is to sprinkle everything you write with emojis :smiley: (which I think you ace already anyway). Also: Ask for help when you’re stuck or demotivated. Don’t compare yourself to more senior devs! Forgive yourself for mistakes. And, most importantly, enjoy the journey! :smile:

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Good question about sitting all day. I’ve been working freelance from home since about 2002. About 4 years in I started having trouble with a muscle called the Psoas. It got really tight from the sitting posture and caused tons of residual pain.

As of 2006 my wife and I have been working at a variety of standup environments throughout our home. We typically stand about 80% of the time we are developing. Here’s some of our setup:

Offices:

  • We bought Ikea tables without legs. This allowed us to get something unique for our work environment. We added the legs secondarily. We got the biggest table tops we could find.
  • Ikea also sells adjustable legs that attach to any of their table tops.
  • On top of each table we have ikea monitor stands. These bump the monitor up a ton and allow for a space for each of our laptops to fit under

Throughout the home:

We use an AirDesk (https://airdesks.com/). This allows for an adjustable screen wherever you need it. We use this with our laptops and Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad. It migrates around the house or out to the backyard. Typically we have it at our elliptical so we can work while jogging.

Non-posture recommendation:

I have a 2 year old and consult on the phone throughout the day. I couldn’t do it without my Headset. I use a Jabra Engage 75 headset that blocks out all noise around me for the person I’m speaking to. It blocks out dogs barking, people talking, kids crying. It’s incredible.

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Ryan Florence has some great tips in this thread:

I would look into a standing desk. Try one out before you purchase one as they can be kind of expensive and some people don’t like it as much as sitting. I find that mixing up my day with standing/sitting really helps me.

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