With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way that many people work day-to-day, an influx of employees across the world will be working from remote locations in the next few weeks. Despite many of us at Bottle Rocket working from home in the coming days, we aim to maintain the collaboration and innovation that our office fosters. During our first-ever remote edition of State of the Rocket, the monthly meeting where the entire company comes together to discuss recent happenings across the organization, we discussed tips and tricks for effectively telecommuting. A fellow Rocketeer, Ryan Gant, has been working remotely for several years and shared some of his findings for maximizing your time at home.


1. DESIGNATE A SEPARATE WORKSPACE.

Making sure you have a separate workspace allows your brain to differentiate when it is time to work and when it is time to relax. Having a desk with a monitor, trackpad and your laptop can help motivate you to focus on work and complete the tasks at hand. Mirroring the desk set up you traditionally have at work will allow you to continue working seamlessly while at home. Don’t start your day immediately rolling out of bed and jumping online. Have a cup of coffee, take a morning walk or meditate to start your day off right; don’t just hop straight online. Think of this time as your morning commute without the stress.


2. MAKE SURE YOUR TECHNOLOGY CAN KEEP UP.

Modern technology has allowed us to be available from anywhere however; when working remotely, it is important that you have a network and a system that can keep up. For issues such as slow bandwidth, try shutting down other applications that might be using additional data. Ensuring that your Wi-Fi and VPN connections are working correctly will limit disruptions while working remotely.


3. INVEST IN MATERIALS THAT HELP YOU WORK.

A large part of how we work at Bottle Rocket includes whiteboards. These cover almost every wall of the office and allow for collaboration and ideation. Investing in something as simple as a small whiteboard can help to encourage creativity. Discovering and investing in what helps you work best can help to bridge the gap between the office and home.


4. REDUCE DISTRACTIONS.

Working from home has its fair share of distractions while kids and family are at home as well. Simple steps like making applications full screen allow you to fully focus on the task at hand. Using headphones and external microphones will allow you to listen and communicate with your team without outside distractions. Distractions happen whether in the office or working remotely, but minimizing these will lead to a more focused and successful working environment.  


5. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE.

Effective communication is key to a successful remote working experience. Using tools such as Zoom, Slack, Jira, Confluence and many more allow our Rocketeers to continually communicate with their teams and clients. Communicating with your team not only allows for clear expectations for workload, it also allows teams to interact socially so no one feels isolated while working from home. Many applications such as Zoom have mobile applications that allow you to join meetings via your phone or tablet. Utilizing features like webcams allow for teams to see facial expressions and tones, ensuring clear communication.

During this unprecedented time, the health and safety of our clients and teammates remains foremost. Through working remotely, Bottle Rocket remains dedicated to providing exceptional experiences to all of its users.