Remote work life!

Hi everyone!

Remote work is at the top of everyone’s minds right now (well, maybe not the very top, but it’s up there) and I thought what better way to utilize this awesome community than to ask you all for advice! :pray:

In response to the quickly evolving situation around COVID-19, Unbounce has closed the doors at our Vancouver and Berlin offices and for the first time, everybody is remote. I’ve worked from home before, but not for this amount of time. Some of the things I’d love to hear your thoughts on are:

  1. How do you stay connected with your team and coworkers?
  2. How do you “switch off” at the end of the day?
  3. What tools have made remote work easier for you?
  4. What does your setup look like?
  5. Do you know of any remote games that you can play?
  6. How do you separate work from everything else in your home?

It’s certainly an interesting time, but it’s also an opportunity for us to find new ways to connect with one another. Feel free to share photos of your work setup! :desktop_computer: :house_with_garden:

-Jess

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Great questions, @Jess! What unbelievable times we’re living through. Hope you are all doing well and staying safe out there.

How do you stay connected with your team and coworkers?
Slack, Slack, Slack, and a little bit of email.

How do you “switch off” at the end of the day?
Workouts, Xbox (PUBG), and walking around the block with my wife, @Michelle. And lately, trying to figure out what creative dinners we can come up with based on what we have on hand. :plate_with_cutlery:

What tools have made remote work easier for you?

  • Slack of course for quick communication.
  • Zoom for meetings
  • Asana for project management
  • Loom for short videos (and landing page reviews :wink:)
  • CloudApp for screenshots and annotations
  • Upwork for working with freelancers
  • G Suite for email, files, and calendars
  • Calendly for scheduling meetings
  • Airtable for organizing team knowledge

What does your setup look like?

Do you know of any remote games that you can play?
Yes, it’s called “Did the WiFi just go out or is my laptop being slow?” I play it at least once daily at random times whenever Comcast decides. Fun stuff.

How do you separate work from everything else in your home?
I wish I had a good answer for this, but I don’t. Everything gets all mingled together.

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Hey Nicholas, unbelievable times indeed!

More questions for you :grin:

We’re also using Slack, but I’m finding it a lot more distracting (and active) while everybody is remote. How do you manage your notifications in a way that allows you to stay connected while not letting the little red dot get in the way?

It’s so exciting to see “the other side” of your desk setup. I’m a fan of the organized headphones on the hangers, I may steal that idea.

For good measure, I’m also tossing in a photo of my work setup. I like to this of this as the “before” version, as I’ll hopefully be improving and optimizing it as needed.

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For me personally, I don’t mind getting Slack notifications, because I’m not in enough channels where it has become an issue. But for those who work with larger, more active channels, I know a lot of folks turn off all of their notifications, unless there is a direct mention of their name. Or they just keep all notifications off and make a point of checking Slack a few times a day.

Nice setup by the way! I spy a CTA Conf photo of the group. Good times.

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:wave: Fellow Unbouncer here! Really lucky that Unbounce is set up for us to rapidly transition to WFH with the situation changing daily over here in Vancouver.

In terms of tools, Slack, Zoom, and Miro are lifesavers!

As for games, the Unbounce Marketing team, in particular, are doing daily “Ding Bats” to keep the team engaged. They’re punny images or plays on words. For example, :candle::wind_face:with the hint “song” could be “Candle in the Wind.”

Here’s today’s by @AshleyLuk and I. Let’s see if you can guess it, it’s a toughy :wink:

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Howdy from another Unbouncer! Hope everyone’s staying safe and well! :hugs:

Chiming in to add that—aside from our 'lil Ding Bats—another game we’ve been playing as a company is picture scavenger hunts. The first one to post a picture of themselves with {insert random household object} gets a prize. :camera: (I’m never fast enough, but I still love seeing everyone’s pictures and the inevitable scramble to find the object first!)

Also, it’s been a WIP for me to “switch off” at the end of the day. Without a clear physical separation between work-life and working-from-home life, I’m making more of a conscious effort to create some boundaries for myself and sticking to them. Now, ending a work day means putting my laptop out of sight, out of mind so I’m not tempted to check it after hours. :new_moon_with_face:

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Another Unbouncer here :wave:

Not going to lie - this has been a challenge for me. I’ve worked from home in the past, but on those occasions, I was home alone and generally very productive. However, due to this crisis forcing others to be home as well, I now find myself having to share my home office with someone who has absolutely no respect for boundaries. That someone, of course, is my 2-year-old daughter.

How have I stayed connected with my team and coworkers?
Having an open “zoom café” has been great - it’s nice to hop on and socialize with whoever happens to be on. I think these virtual collision spaces have really helped morale during this sudden shift. I’ve got a virtual lunch date with coworkers scheduled for tomorrow also :slight_smile:

How do I switch off at the end of the day?
This has been challenging because, without daycare, I have to switch between working and being a parent throughout the day. As a people manager, it’s been a balancing act of engaging with my reports and engaging with my child. For me, “the end of the day” is really where I can begin doing other work. It’s a WIP to figure out what time I should switch off and begin a wind-down ritual for the night (she said as she wrote this at 10 pm).

What tools have made remote work easier for me?
Definitely Slack and Zoom. I’m also considering investing in a Google Home after I ran into a little hiccup today - my aforementioned new officemate had a meltdown of epic proportions that caused me to be AFK and I missed the desktop notifications for a meeting I was meant to join. The Google Home would help with louder notifications that would be harder to miss.

What does my setup look like?
Well, right now it looks like a mix between an obstacle course and a bomb scene.

Remote games to play
Mario Kart if anyone has a Nintendo Switch! Or Jackbox. Also really love the game @JenChin32 and @AshleyLuk introduced here - I was stumped all day!

How do I separate work from everything else in my home?
Currently, I don’t. Keeping an eye out for tips (hopefully from other parents too in this situation) in this thread and elsewhere!

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  • How do you stay connected with your team and coworkers?
    Zoom- quick chats and checkup with teammates and managers
    Miro Board- Make sure we collaborate on projects
    Google Docs- Sync actions always make me feel like I am not alone

  • How do you “switch off” at the end of the day?
    There is nor hard “off” switch as always keep an eye on slack for any emergencies, but I’ve set my slack to make myself unavailable at the end of my shift and I also let my team know I’m heading out. I have a wonderful manager who will force me to go and rest and enjoy my family if they see me online or commenting on slack posts.

My days are a bit longer than what I do in the office, usually 1-2 hours extra of work, but I usually use that time throughout the day to do small breaks and play with my little girls (in hopes of tiring them out).

  • What tools have made remote work easier for you?
    Spotify- Music is always #1
    Google Calendar- Keeps me on point with to-do’s
    Monday Board- For projects that require longer daily tasks and are dependent on other’s time
    Zoom & Slack- communication

  • What does your setup look like?


    Retrofitted my daughter’s room as a temporary office :rofl:. It feels like my college dorm room but with more toys and pink around it!

  • Do you know of any remote games that you can play?
    I’ve been playing Fifa with a couple of buddies.
    Mario Kart is an essential one

  • How do you separate work from everything else in your home?
    I don’t! My place is pretty small so it’s a bit hard to do. In addition, having 2 girls who believe their daddy is home and available to play with them at any time! Having my laptop in the same place I sleep at the moment makes it hard for me to disconnect as well.
    One thing I try to do is to leave my place when my day is over and spend some time outside in our backyard without my phone or any other piece of technology.

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Hi folks! Another Unbouncer here :wave:

This has been an interesting time for me because I went full-time remote for Unbounce starting at the end of January this year. So while I haven’t been remote too long, it’s actually been a nice shift to have the entire company get to be “like me” for a while. I’m also on the same time zone as Vancouver so different time zones hasn’t been an issue for me. Phew!

In terms of the questions above, here are my thoughts:
How do you stay connected with your team and coworkers?
We have an ongoing “watercooler” Zoom chat for the marketing team that we can pop in and out of as we please. This feels very reminiscent of popping into the office kitchen and just chatting with folks (and it’s always a surprise who’s in there). Additionally, I am very liberal with chatting on Slack and adding gifs and youtube videos to keep banter and jokes going. It helps maintain normalcy and connection and inside jokes!

How do you “switch off” at the end of the day?
I quit all my work applications at the end of the day and close my “work” Google Chrome tabs completely. I have separate accounts on Chrome for personal and work life and that really helps my brain separate what’s work time and what’s not. I also make sure to only work in a space that’s for work (I know this is impossible for some people who live in small spaces, however) and I leave that space at the end of the day and don’t go back in there until the following work morning.

What tools have made remote work easier for you?
Digital: Holopod, Krisp, Slack, Zoom
Hardware: Airpods (freedom of movement on a call is life-changing for me), a monitor, a laptop stand, a wireless mouse

What does your setup look like?
I share an in-home office with my husband who also works remote full-time outside of our current state of the world. Here’s our combined set up:

Do you know of any remote games that you can play?
Others have probably mentioned this before but Jackbox TV is my favourite!

How do you separate work from everything else in your home?
As I mentioned above, having a separate physical space is really the big one for me. I do occasionally take a meeting at the kitchen table or living room if my husband and I have meetings at the same time. But leaving my office behind at the end of the day is a great mental shift to signal work is over.

Happy to answer any remote questions you guys might have as well! Good luck with this challenging time. :slight_smile:

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