How to Make the Most of Remote Work

CertiK | Apr 5, 2021

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In March 2020, the working life for many of us changed drastically. Water cooler catch-ups turned into Slack powered instant messages, whilst the weekly meeting was powered by Zoom and the boss didn’t know you’re still wearing your slacks on your lower half.

Echoing the distributed nature of blockchain, the CertiK team have worked from a variety of locations around the world from day one.

Remote working can be, and has been, a huge change for a lot of us. With this in mind, let’s turn to some of the CertiK team to learn their top-tips when it comes to working remotely.

Angelos Interview (Security Engineer at CertiK):

Q: The prospect of working remotely can certainly be alluring. When did you start working remotely and what do you think are the greatest benefits of a remote work environment?

A: I have been working fully remote for the past year. Prior to joining CertiK, I typically spent a day or two working from home..

There’s a tonne of benefits to remote work, here’s some of my favourites:

  • Time efficiency - working from home saves me a lot of time on my typical commute
  • Improved work-life balance - by this, I mean an enhanced ability to manage private life issues since I spend significantly more time at home
  • Customisable workplace! Who doesn’t like to spruce up their private office?

With remote working I can choose where to work from as well as how.

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Q: Working remotely certainly isn’t as easy as opening a laptop and setting up in bed. Please share your best remote working practices. What are your remote working top tips?

A: I think that dedicating a part of one's house as a workspace goes a long way, as you get a similar feeling as going into the office.

My most important tip is to never wake up to your workspace.

Take frequent breaks. It's okay to leave your laptop for 10 minutes to do your laundry!

Make a to do list every morning so that you get the feeling of accomplishment each day.

Make sure to start your day with a morning routine so that you can set the mood for the whole day. Organize the things that you will do during your day, both personal and work-related.

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Q: The current world circumstances have pushed many of us to work from home and, with that, not necessarily develop the healthiest habits for the home office lifestyle.

Please think of a habit or action related to your remote working environment which may not be particularly healthy. If you’ve made a change to remedy this, what was it?

A: Immediately, two things come to my mind. First of all, sitting for long periods is inevitable. A quick trick is to work out at least three days per week. I prefer yoga, hiking and swimming, but one can try any workout that does not stress your back and wrists.

Yet the most significant one is the lack of face to face communication with my colleagues. We (me and my teammates) try to have recurrent meetings where we open our cameras, grab a coffee, and discuss everything that comes to our mind — oh, and create a side-channel to chat about random stuff and events.

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Q: Where are you based (country/city)?

A: I live in Kalamata, which is a city in the southern part of Greece

Kevin (Community & Content CertiK.):

Q: The prospect of working remotely can certainly be alluring. When did you start working remotely and what do you think are the greatest benefits of a remote work environment?

A: I started working remotely in 2017 and I wouldn't change it for the world. I think the greatest benefit is the ability to have an autonomous schedule and work during the hours that you feel most productive.

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Q: Working remotely certainly isn’t as easy as opening a laptop and setting up in bed. Please share your best remote working practices. What are your remote working top tips?

A: For some people drinking coffee can make a big difference and even though I enjoy it, I think it's an unnecessary expensive habit. Instead, I make sure to try to take walks or breathe fresh air and take breaks often as it can be easy to forget to leave the house when you're working from home. I also recommend respecting your colleague's time and using Slack and email to your advantage, not everything has to be a meeting.

Q: The current world circumstances have pushed many of us to work from home and, with that, not necessarily develop the healthiest habits for the home office lifestyle.

Please think of a habit or action related to your remote working environment which may not be particularly healthy. If you’ve made a change to remedy this, what was it?

A: I think something I'm personally trying to improve is my habit of working late hours. It's tricky because that's when I feel very productive but it can also mess up your sleep schedule. I don't think I've remedied it just yet.

Jane Ni (Human Resources at CertiK):

Q: The prospect of working remotely can certainly be alluring. When did you start working remotely and what do you think are the greatest benefits of a remote work environment?

A: I started working from home in July last year. Personally, I see the biggest benefits of working remotely as the shorter commute, flexible schedule and of course, more time with family. With this being said, I do think there are struggles with this remote working mode as well and I find the biggest struggles are unplugging after work and social isolation from colleagues.

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Q: Working remotely certainly isn’t as easy as opening a laptop and setting up in bed. Please share your best remote working practices. What are your remote working top tips?

A: Dress as if I were in the office

A delicious breakfast to start off the day

Comfortable working space

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Q: The current world circumstances have pushed many of us to work from home and, with that, not necessarily develop the healthiest habits for the home office lifestyle. Please think of a habit or action related to your remote working environment which may not be particularly healthy. If you’ve made a change to remedy this, what was it?

A: I find myself sometimes skipping meals when there are lots of items unchecked on my everyday list with the excuse being that it will take too much time to cook a meal (well, that is true sometimes, especially for big meals.) My stomach started to complain after a week or so (sad face here) and I started to look for recipes of quick and healthy meals and tips for meal preparation. There are lots of good recipes and meal prep ideas out there and I do see a big change in my WFH lifestyle especially on those crazy days!

Patricia Interview (media operations and marketing strategy in China)

Q: The prospect of working remotely can certainly be alluring. When did you start working remotely and what do you think are the greatest benefits of a remote work environment?

A: Ever since the outbreak of pandemic, most of my co-workers in CertiK started their remote works. I can still remember that the first time I brought my laptop back home from my office was in February 2020. As a member of an international corporation, remote work is more handy for me than regular and fasten office work. To be more specific, the commuting time of 2 hours or more across the crowded and enormous Beijing is no longer an obstacle. Also, a comfortable sleep till the punch time is beyond comparison with working outside. Of course, sometimes there is also a little bit of exception. It is such a sweet headache to work from home when you have 6 “adorable” cats and they seem to always try to “offer help” on your work. With their “kindness”, my computer keyboard might be dead on the spot one day.

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Q: Working remotely certainly isn’t as easy as opening a laptop and setting up in bed. Please share your best remote working practices. What are your remote working top tips?

A: In fact, for most people, the biggest challenge of their work efficiency when doing remote work may be their casual environments at home. It is a really effective way to let the environment directly affect your work efficiency. Setting several alarms for punch time will also remind you to get a jump start on your work. A fixed working time can also greatly promote our self-discipline, and it would be perfect if it coupled with your previous daily work plan!

As a result of remote work, the once less popular shared documents and all kinds of online meeting apps suddenly occupied the working software use ranking as hegemony. Although the current remote working environment makes communication less convenient than before, the progress of all projects can still be promoted and resolved at each meeting discussion.

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Q:The current world circumstances have pushed many of us to work from home and, with that, not necessarily develop the healthiest habits for the home office lifestyle. Please think of a habit or action related to your remote working environment which may not be particularly healthy. If you’ve made a change to remedy this, what was it?

A: Sitting on the chair all day, the fatigue of my shoulders and neck, as well as the pain on my waist sweep through my body, which makes it hard to persist on previous regular working out under the disorder work break. Now I like to take my laptop out for a walk, sitting on the bench in the Park while enjoying the peace for a whole afternoon. Standing up once in a while, doing some stretching exercises, watering the plants and playing with my cats can also be a great help for releasing pressure.

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Q: Where are you based (country/city)?

A: I am currently based in Beijing, China.

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The transition to a remote working environment has, no doubt, been challenging for many of us. However, and we hope the insight from the CertiK team has helped to highlight these, there are benefits and there are methods and best practices which serve to mitigate the nuisances which a working from home environment can deliver.

With that said, we’re certainly looking forward to in-person team meet ups, water cooler chats, and, of course, blockchain security conferences.

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