My Remote Working Setup
The days just fly by, don't they? Especially when you spend them in the little bubble of 30 degrees weather, yoga classes and raw food that is Ubud. Life here is simple. I usually fill my days with reading and writing at different coffee shops, practicing yoga and occasionally hang out with people at the hostel. I have also joined in on the exhausting sport that is "Walking around the whole town trying to find an ATM that will give me money", with limited success for days. (But this morning I actually found one that worked! BII Maybank on Jl. Raya Ubud, I love you. I might have clapped my hands and done a little dance in the ATM booth.)
I've also been working for two whole weeks now. So far it's going well, better than I expected, and I wanted to share the basic setup we have. In case anyone is curious.
1. Meeting o'clock
Every Monday at 9.30 Swedish time (which is 15.30 for me), I log on to Skype for a sit-down with my manager or a colleague. The agenda holds only one item: What is Sanna doing this week? Part touching base, part making sure I have a balanced workload.
On Fridays I also join in on our weekly Comprend meetings via a private Periscope stream, which make me feel like I’m right there. Except for the fact that I might be wearing a bikini. (Casual Friday, Bali style.)
2. You know where to find me
In Swedish time, I’m generally working from 08.00 to 12.00. My colleagues knows I'm available for meetings, calls or email during these hours, even though I might work slightly different times when I need to focus.
3. Hey, don't forget me
One challenge when not sitting at the office is that you miss the small talk. People can’t swing by your desk and you can’t catch up on the latest by the coffee machine.
To make up for this I try to be as active as possible in our channels. I keep an eye on incoming tasks in our planning tool and hang out on Yammer everyday. Posting and commenting whenever relevant.
4. Creating my own office
As most of us who has ever freelanced or worked from home knows, after a while you probably need a dedicated space to work from. Sitting in the couch in your pyjamas will get old pretty quick.
For me, that currently means a café or Hubud. I’m a regular at Kafe and sometimes, I have to admit, I also hang out at Starbucks. Their aircon and Iced Lemon Tea is what keeps me sane certain humid days.
5. Flexibility is key
After all, I am on the other side of the world, still being part of an office where most people are actually on site. Sometimes I need to change my hours to join in on a late call. And sometimes my colleagues need to deal with me being on a really crappy internet connection. Flexibility is needed from both sides for it to work.
I have a local SIM card to not be depended on random wi-fi connections, but even though it mostly works really well, it's simply not like in Sweden. (But hey, I get to wear shorts in October, so not complaining here.)
If you have any tips on working remotely, feel free to share them. I also recommend this post on Asana with some good advice on the same theme if you are curious to read more.