Due to COVID -19 (Coronavirus), many employees and employers are facing a new reality: they have to work remotely and they’re unsure of when they’ll be able to return to the office. Thus, we thought to ourselves, why not ask folks from the Proxify community about 'How can software engineers work from home effectively?' Being experienced freelance developers they can share some tips on remote work. In this post, Oleksiy, who has been working remotely as a developer from his home for the past 3 years, shares his best tips.
For a software engineer, work from home can be a challenge if you do not have a prepared workspace, schedule and, most importantly, mindset for it. The first thing I did when I started working remotely was to create a home office, a place where I had everything I needed for doing my job (a laptop, additional monitor, table, a comfortable chair, and good lighting) and where there was nothing that could interrupt me from doing my work, like, for example, a TV or PlayStation. Ideally, your home office or work station should be a separate room where you can focus on work and nothing else. Personally, I don’t use this place for anything other than working or studying.
I do not like working in silence so I prefer listening to some music or podcasts - I believe that podcasts are especially good because you can surround yourself with people talking almost as if you were in a normal office space and you can also learn something new. Another important thing for software developers that work from home, is to have a daily schedule. And not just having it but making sure you follow it as well :) Of course when working from home programmers' schedule can at times be more flexible. You can use the time you normally use to reach an office for something more useful like morning exercises, but to tell the truth I prefer to have an additional 30 minutes of sleep.
I’m trying to keep my schedule as close to a normal office schedule as possible - starting to work at 10 am, taking lunch at around 3 pm and finishing my work at 7 pm. This allows me to have enough time to focus on work and to also have time for some other activities, family and so on.
What about the tools I’m using? To be honest, I wouldn't say that I'm using anything special or out of the ordinary. All the tools that I use to work from home a software engineer working in the office would use as well (Skype, Slack, code editors, etc). But there are some apps I would recommend for people that spend lots of time in front of their computers. The first app is called Break for eyes, it helps users make pauses in work sessions to let their eyes rest, I also use these pauses to make some simple full-body exercises. Also, I’m trying to keep my Apple Watch activity rings full so when they ask me to stand for some time I’m doing this. Another useful app is called Blink, but you should have an iPhone not older than iPhone X for this. This app allows to make eye exercises and track your progress using the true depth sensor.
So, take my word for it, trying software development work from home is a great idea. It gives you an opportunity to be more flexible and independent. However, you should also make sure you are responsible for organising your workspace and that you have enough self-discipline.