So the first week is over – and it’s been amazing.

As a Product Designer for Receiptful, I’ve been tasked with looking after the design and user experience of an upcoming service that helps users manage their receipts, whilst giving marketers the opportunity to include upsells and targeted marketing messages.

Working remotely is a very special privilege and it has allowed me to completely focus on the job at hand, which is vital for a startup business creating software-as-a-service (SaaS).

I thought I would share a few thoughts from the first week of remote working, and how it has affected my career.

Routines

A lot of people think working remotely is sitting around all day in your underwear designing and developing. Whilst I have that amazing option, it’s not for me. I have approached this job just like any other – I still start work at 9am and finish at 5/5.30pm. I get up in the morning, grab a shower and get started with a fresh cup of coffee.

It’s important to make sure your routine is solid when starting a job like this – if you don’t plan your day correctly then you’ll be checking that clock more often than not, and that’s a bad sign.

Just get on with it

I’ve noticed people have one of two reactions when I tell them that I’m working remotely.

  • “That’s amazing, I’d love that”
  • “How will you get things done when you’re at home?”

One of the great things about remote working has been the ability to just get stuff done without distractions. A common misconception is that there are too many distractions in the home – the TV, video games, the fridge…

What I’ve found is that I’m far less distracted at home compared to working in an office. It’s probably helped that I’ve moved my home office to the loft of my house, so I can limit big distractions like TV and gaming by only being surrounded by tools for the job. When my day is underway, I’m not even thinking about watching TV because I’m totally focussed on work.

Freedom

A great advantage of working remotely is the fact that you’re free and allowed to manage your time effectively. Not a morning person? Work from 10-6. Need to go to the dentist? You don’t need to tell anyone.

You replace your concern of actually physically being in work with the knowledge that you do the best work when it suits you. When that’s mixed with good team communication, booking time off becomes a thing of the past and people know what you’re doing because you’ve told them it’s being done.

This is where the trust element comes into play – whatever team you’re working with, it’s important to trust the members of that team to do the work which they have said they would do – not that they’re just sitting there from 9-5 watching “Homes Under The Hammer”.

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