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Tips for Working Remotely

While we have a strong culture for teleworking at Cybernetica, the recent weeks have rendered it a necessity, rather than a choice. In order to make working from home easier in the current situation - where several factors might not be under your control - we have gathered some of the best tips and guidelines from our fellow teleworkers.

Time Management

Time management is possibly the most important factor for the success of remote work. It is easy to fall in the traps of procrastination with constant disruption or focus diversions - entertainment, hobby equipment, family members, pets etc.

  • Try to keep to your schedule and communicate it (better yet, share it in a calendar app your organisation uses). This makes for less interruption and better communication - and causes less frustration to you by offering a clear structure for your day.
  • Communicate your working times to the people you live with and respect theirs. Sometimes it is not possible to avoid someone having to work from public areas - set a clear schedule for using these.
  • Offer privacy priority to the person who has video calls. Create a “do not disturb” sign system, so you would know when it’s okay to reach out.
  • Set clear times for personal time. Allow each person in the home to have at least an hour of uninterrupted time off work during weekdays.
  • If you tend to procrastinate or find time management challenging, try out these techniques:
    a) Pomodoro technique (simple time management method using a timer)
    b) GTD technique (task management method utilising to-do lists)
    c) bullet journaling (task management method utilising a notebook)

Self Care

  • Change clothes for either work or private time. If you like working in your pyjamas, that’s fine - but then change to mark the end of your working day.
  • Monitor your physical activity and try to exercise every day. It is a good idea to use short hourly breaks for some physical activity and to give your eyes rest from the screen.
  • Reach out to your family and friends - be creative in regards to activities that can be done over a video call, or install apps that allow virtual meetings (such as Tabletop Simulator for board games, Fantasy Grounds for tabletop RPGs, or a simple video calling software).
  • Keep your hobbies going! Be sure to find ways to keep enjoying your hobby even if the current situation prevents you from doing it properly. Alternatively, take up a new hobby or learn a new skill.
  • Keep your mind active. Try to learn one new thing every day! There are heaps of learning resources available (Khan Academy, Coursera), and most top universities offer free online courses (Open Yale Courses, MIT Open Courseware).
  • Read! The Gutenberg Project is a vast online library that allows you to enjoy the classics in e-book format for free.

Effective time management and proper self care let you survive and perhaps even enjoy the current circumstances. Just remember to prioritise your tasks, shut down your computer at a designated time, and allow yourself to have enough rest and fun to recharge. Hang in there!

Written by Helena Jõgi, the Head of HR