Top 10 Remote Work Tips From Redis Labs Employees

While the last few months have been full of excitement here at Redis—including our first fully virtual RedisConf in May and the announcement of a new funding round in August—needless to say, having the entire team work remotely has been a big adjustment for many staffers. 

That’s why for the premiere issue of Rediscover Magazine, we asked leaders at top tech companies to share their lessons learned on managing remote workers. And it’s why Ofer Bengal, CEO and Co-Founder of Redis, wrote about rediscovering the benefits of collaboration in the age of COVID-19. But of course the story doesn’t end there. Many companies, including Redis, won’t be fully back in the office until at least 2021—if then. So we decided to poll Redis employees on their must-have remote-work tools and insights. Here are their top 10 tips:

1. Invest in your office equipment

At the office, all Redis employees had adjustable desks and most had extra screens. Consider investing in these amenities when you’re building out your home office space to help with productivity and comfort. A few extra tools you might consider:

  • AirPods or other wireless headphones to ease switching between multiple devices on endless Zoom calls.
  • An external mechanical keyboard, which are usually more customizable, faster, more precise, and easier to type on than your laptop keyboard (we like the Das Keyboard Model S and Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard (GMMK)).
  • A paper notebook to jot down meeting notes and to-do items (Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks are great at repelling water spills).
  • Extra chargers for all your devices—you can never have too many!

2. Make sure you know your tools well

We primarily use Zoom for meetings at Redis, but it’s worth understanding how Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, and Webex work too (you never know when you’ll have a meeting with a customer or provider who uses a different platform).  

3. Take care of your eyes

Whether you’re working at home or in the office, your eyes are glued to screens for most of the day. To reduce eye strain, every hour, lift your eyes away from your monitor and look into the distance for at least 30 seconds. Additionally, if you find yourself having trouble sleeping and/or experiencing migraines, invest in a pair of blue-light blocking glasses. And when you can, try to avoid using your phone outside of work hours.

4. Take some time to meditate and walk outside

Five minutes of meditation (especially in sunlight) is an easy way to give yourself a mental reset (check out meditation apps Calm or Headspace to get started). If you can, take a walk outside at least once a day, even if you have only a few minutes.

5. Make time every day to talk to colleagues about something non-work related

Remote work reduces our opportunities to bump into coworkers (especially those from other departments) at the coffee machine or at happy hour. Building strong relationships with coworkers is one of the most important parts of creating effective teams, so make sure to ask people what they’re doing outside of work, too!

6. Quick syncs help everyone stay on the same page

Whether daily or weekly, short “stand-up” syncs are a great way to stay in touch. That’s always been true for remote team members, and now applies to everyone. (Ironically, those previously remote workers might not be feeling as left out as they did before COVID-19.)

7. Take an actual break for lunch

Schedule a lunch break or other needed personal time on your calendar to avoid being co-opted by work. Try to avoid eating your meals at your desk, too.

8. Try to work only in a designated area of your house

Create a designated “work area” and try not to work outside of it (so you can enjoy the rest of your home for what it is, a home!). That can also help create a mental boundary between work and life. That being said, you might get sick of the same office environment—so feel free to consciously choose to work for a bit on the living room sofa when you need to change things up a bit. Similarly, try to set consistent start and stop times for your work day, so you’re not always on the clock. 

9. On the other hand, try working in another region

One perk of working from home: no more commute! Many of our Mountain View, Calif., employees have taken advantage of the office-less lifestyle and are working all over the U.S. now, including New England, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. If you like to be out in the world, try spending some time on an extended stay in a city or other location you’ve always wanted to visit for a change of scenery.

10. Pet a dog and/or a kitty

Our furry friends can make long days at home just a little sweeter.

Do you have some must-have tech tools and techniques you’ve been relying on to make it through coronavirus quarantines? Share them with us on Twitter @Redis with the hashtag #RedisWFH!

Cover image via Grovemade on Unsplash