Work from Home

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I've spent the last 10 years working from the comfort and convenience of my home office. 6 of those years have been fcused on building a 100% completely distributed team for egghead.io.

To add to the equation we also home educate our 5 kids and my home office has never had doors. 😂

I do not recommend the no door office for folks that are just starting out or haven't put significant points in their ignoring skill!

A running joke for working from home is the idea of "pants optional" but one of the things that has kept me productive over the past decade is:

Get up, shower, and get dressed as you would normally.

Dress comfortably, but personal hygiene and getting ready for work are both important. You'll be taking video calls and chatting with coworkers and being in work mode will make this easier to accept.

Embrace video chat as much as you can.

This one was particularly hard for me. I fought it for a long time, but over the last couple of years technology has improved and the overall experience is better. To enhance it I am using a dSLR as a webcam, but good lighting and being dressed and ready for the workday are the first steps.

I take care of the background in my video calls as well. I don't want to subject my coworkers to my messy bedroom or other "scene" in my house, so I have a designated space for taking video calls where the lighting is good and the background is either neutral or interesting.

One "trick" to video chats for me has been looking at the camera to "make eye contact" which took some getting used to but makes the experience more direct and human for all participants. It's obvious over video when you are distracted or trying to multi-task, so try your best to stay engaged.

Use the mute button.

You can mute your audio, and probably should mute your audio when you aren't actively speaking. Most conferencing apps have a shortcut for this. Learn the shortcut! For Zoom cmd-shift-a mutes audio and cmd-shift-v mutes your video. Both of these are acceptable to use!

Use a headset

Seriously, it doesn't have to be fancy. I often just use one Airpod, but you need to have some sort of headset with a microphone.

There isn't much worse than hearing the echo of your own voice coming through your speakers because somebody in the meeting can't be bothered to use a headset.

Modern software tries its level best to help alleviate this problem but as a professional you should use a headset.