Today I will l put aside all things technology to talk about something that has become a utopia for some and a daily reality for others: work from home. And by technology I refer to other articles I’ve written (if you’re interested in cybersecurity and haven’t read them yet, make sure you do!) You can find them here:
During the 15 years I have been working for Santander, I have been able to enjoyed working from home in numerous occasions. Flexiworking is a HR policy that gathers iniciatives regarding “new ways of working”, among them work from home, flex fridays and flexible hours.
What about me? Can I work from home?
It depends on the kind of work you have, but if you’re related with the TIC, you only need a computer with internet connection to develop your job; so technically, yes, you can.
According to John Hagel from Silicon Valley, in the future, most of the jobs we currently have will disappear and work from home will become the new tendency. A good example of that is the enterprise Live apps, that has no employees in their offices.
6 essential tools to work from home
There are many collaborative tools that make teleworking easier: JIRA, Trello, Mendix, TargetProcess, Rally, Business version of Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Sharepoint, Dropbox and a long etcetera. Dress up because they will see you through the webcam 🙂
Let’s see them in detail:
It’s a Microsoft Office 365 collaborative tool that allows multiple functions within the same tool:
FOR: Usability and multiple functions in the same tool.
AGAINST: Planner tool isn’t enough. In my case, I prefer JIRA for these functions.
This tool allows to plan jobs jointly with several users, you can assign tasks, set the diverse status that they can go through, from an initial status of “To Do” to a final one “Done”. It allows to generate reports by default or set according to the information you may need to report. You have at your disposal many supplements that allow you to integrate with the source code repository (Bamboo), or what’s even better, Continuous Integration from a commit until display.
FOR: allows to make Continuous Integration (from a commit until the server display).
AGAINST: setting the tool for your particular needs is quite expensive.
Trello is simpler than JIRA, it has an interface with a good UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) though it lacks plugins for the Continuous Integration. If what you look for is a task planner that allows you to assign such to several users in a simple way, this is your tool.
FOR: UX, simple and intuitive. Plus, it is a free tool.
AGAINST: does not enable Continuous Integration.
This is the best one if you’re working with Agile methodology projects. A couple of years ago I used it for a couple of projects I managed, and it was also quite strong back then regarding all things related with planning your Sprints, with your Backlog, User Stories, Features, etc… we were 14 in that team, (if you’re familiar with Agile, you’d think 14 is a huge number). The Agile world is fascinating, so the next posts will be about my experience with Agile within the enterprise and education environments.
FOR: easy to set and adapted for Agile methodology.
AGAINST: does not enable Continuous Integration (at least when I used it).
Image from Target process’ web page.
Who isn’t familiar with Skype though? The business version is… basically the same but there you will have as contacts all of your work colleagues. It allows you to get in touch with them immediately, be that via chat, text, voice or video.
Zoom is a videoconference tool that, like Skype, integrates audio, video, conferences, meetings, chat, etc. It’s easy to use, scalable and useful to invite people from outside the enterprise.
FOR: remote video meetings.
AGAINST: sometimes lacks desktop sharing with users.
How shall I organize myself?
What I advise you to do is the following: get ready as if you were heading to the office that particular day. Did you plan to shave and to wear those chinos and shirt to work today? Then do it. Did you plan on waking up at 7am? Do it too.
That is, just emulate what you would have done had you gone into the office. Look for a comfortable place to work, don’t sit on the sofa, nor in the kitchen table. Take a comfortable chair and if you have daylight, better. I normally go to the attic, which is designed to function as an office, and I have all means I’d have in the office too.
These are the 6 key tips I want to give you from my personal experience:
- Organize your week in advance to know which days you will be working from home.
- Make sure you have good internet connection and the VPN activated to connect to all internal services.
- Use collaborative tools to share files quickly.
- Make sure you have an isolated room in your house so that no one can bother or interrupt you whilst working.
- Settle a schedule to follow.
- Enjoy! You have avoided 1 or 2 hours of public transportation that day and you have not polluted either 🙂