Our remote workers share their challenges and tips

Jo White posted in culture June 21, 2019

There are so many great things about remote working - the time saved on the commute, the focus, the flexibility. We covered it all in our ‘How to make remote work’ blog.

We’re familiar with the business challenges people face working remotely around communication, collaboration and forming team relationships but what about the other more personal challenges?

We spoke to our remote workers to find out theirs and how they overcome them.

Snacking

One of the most common challenges when working from home was with snacking. Most of the team tend to reach for the sweet stuff during the day instead of healthy alternatives like crunching on carrots.

“My consumption of cookies has increased dramatically since working remotely. So I make rules about how many cookies I can eat per day.” Joshua, UK Support

If there’s too much temptation in the house and you need a bit more help with self control here’s an interesting solution:

“We have one of these clear plastic lock boxes. I can see the treats in the house but can’t access them - I don’t know the code!” Andrew, Developer, UK

On the flip side, some of the team forget to eat, especially when working across different time zones. Meetings can tend to run through lunch time, so you end up skipping meals.

The best advice was to schedule out a lunch break in your diary so people know when you take lunch. It’s also useful to have healthy meals prepared in advance to eat straight after the meeting.

The team were also more likely to miss meals if they had breakfast too late as the rest of the day gets out of sync. If you have your breakfast before you start your work day, you’ve got more chance of eating at regular intervals.

Falling for fast food

Sometimes the hours can fly past before you realize you’ve not eaten anything at all. Then suddenly you’re ravenous and need something quick. That’s when it’s easy to fall for fast food. This is especially true if you don’t live in the city with lots of nutritious options on your doorstep. Best advice - prepare healthy food you can grab on the go.

“I’m out in the suburbs, so there’s nothing like what’s around the office in terms of grabbing a quick, and might I add, nutritious lunch. So I have to be organized and make sure there is something here so I don’t resort to fast food that isn’t healthy.” Liz, Customer Success, US

Here’s a tasty recipe for fast food that’s full of goodness, Maple Drizzled Pistachio & Avocado Bagel Toast, especially if you drop the maple syrup. But Ollie, our UK Designer said that’s what makes it!

Josef, from our US Support Team has actually found he eats super healthily now he works remotely. He prepares wholesome lunches every day and has never felt so good. Here’s yesterday’s nutritious bowl.

Forgetting to clean your teeth

Talk of all this food highlighted another common challenge - forgetting to brush your teeth. Something so ingrained in our brains to do before we leave the house strangely seems to slip when you work from home. We all admitted to this at some point. Some of us remember just before lunch then decide to leave it until after lunch. It’s only when our partner comes home that we’re reminded again that our teeth are not clean!

Those that remember more consistently follow a morning routine that’s the same as the one they’d have if they worked in an office. Others have turned to an app called Streaks- it helps form good habits!

Cabin fever

Working remotely usually involves being indoors for most of the day. If you have all your supplies in and no meetings you can spend a whole day inside. By day 3 some of us start to get cabin fever so here’s how we stop that happening:

“I think regular video calls completely removed any cabin fever” Dom, Lead Designer, France

“Azul, my dog, forces me to get outside a couple times a day and if I need to, I schedule my lunch so I can run a specific errand.” Liz, Customer Success, US

Human interaction

One of the biggest challenges in the week is with daily social interaction. It’s great working on your own in terms of focus but we all need a bit of human interaction throughout the week. Here’s how the team get their fix:

“I attend Jelly on a Wednesday, it’s full of other remote workers and we all sit around a table in a cafe and work next to each other.” Andrew, Developer, UK

“Every so often I go to a Support Driven Meetup, maybe once a month for remote people and others. I’ve got at least two running social things I do every week too.” Josef, US Support

“During the school year I volunteer in my kids classrooms once a week during my lunch time.” Liz, Customer Success, US

We use Zoom meetings at Capsule and it’s a great way to interact with the team on a daily basis. Having a couple of those meetings a day instead of using Slack has definitely helped the team feel less isolated.

A few other challenges popped up, like our neighbors thinking we just sit at home all day but we didn’t really have a tried and tested answer to that. Most of us just drop it into conversation when we can but it depends on how well you know your neighbors and where you live.

We hope you enjoyed reading about our biggest challenges when remote working and got some useful tips from the team!

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