A day in the remote life of a software engineer

The vast majority of people are now being forced into a remote working lifestyle that they may be unprepared for. It can be a big shock with the sudden drop in human contact that you are used to in an office setting. Especially with it being unclear as to how long this will go on for.

I’ve been a mostly remote worker at Made Tech now for around two years and wanted to share some of my routine in the hope that some may find it helpful. Obviously, this is just my personal experience of what has worked for me. Your mileage may/will vary!

The morning

  • Wake up the same time you would if you were commuting into the office
  • It may be tempting to work in your pyjamas… but you’ll feel much better for getting dressed as normal
  • That includes putting your shoes on!
  • Setting some clear work/life boundaries will be more important than ever
  • If possible, work in a different room than you do for day-to-day living
  • Commuting can (sometimes) be that mindful period where you’d normally read a book or listen to music, so why not start the day the same way

Starting for the day

  • It may be tempting to start work early, but try and stick to a daily routine
  • Configure your working hours schedule in Google Calendar
  • You want to still be avoiding burnout, which is an increased risk if you consistently work extra long days just because you’re not commuting
  • There aren’t those water coolers or coffee machines to chat around, but be sure to still take those moments! Setup some remote-friendly non-work related chats
  • Work is often intense and your mind needs mini-breaks during the day to subconsciously process ideas and thoughts

Remote toolkit

When it comes to remote tooling, Made Tech has come up with a bunch of favourite tools:

  • Trello we use all the time planning but it’s also great for interactive meetings where you’d normally use post-its
  • Google Hangouts for video conferencing, screen sharing or those remote water cooler chats
  • Tuple for remote two-way pairing (for those who remember how great Screen Hero was!)
  • Slack for all of your chat needs
  • Spotify for collaborative remote office playlists

Lunch

  • Take your lunch break the same time each day
  • Setup a recurring daily calendar event
  • It’s a good opportunity to take the dog for a walk, or just yourself around the block for some fresh air
  • Weather permitting, eat lunch outside and soak up the vitamin D if there’s any going

Wrapping up for the day

  • Finish work at the same time
  • Use that regular commute time to pack away your work things for the day into a bag, or away in a drawer
  • Cooking is a great way to unwind! Experiment! And use that time to unwind and shift from work to relaxing mode
  • If you don’t feel like cooking tonight, as the restaurant sector will be one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, try to support local businesses by using delivery apps to order in
  • Under normal circumstances, I’d try and go for a run or the gym at this point – though it’s not clear whether the gym is safe to do currently

Stay strong, support each other

Just like every organisation in the UK, we’re having to embrace remote working more than we ever have before during this pandemic. We feel our teams are remote-ready and remote-experienced but we’re monitoring the situation on a daily basis to ensure we can help them as much as possible. For our customers who are making the move to remote now, we are also offering any advice and support we can.

One thing that hasn’t changed though is we’re still actively hiring. Interview routines have had to adapt, with video-calls replacing some stages where we would have invited candidates in for a face-to-face meeting. But we’re still looking for the best talent to join our high-growth company and have a number of open roles in London, Manchester and Bristol.

About the Author
David Winter
Senior Technology Adviser at Made Tech. Code, coffee, cake and Eurovision. In no particular order.
avatar

We are hiring! Find out more about a career at Made Tech.

Download a preview of our new book

Legacy technology is one of the biggest threats to public sector organisations. Whether you’ve started your journey already or don’t know where to begin, this book has been written to guide you to define and implement the right approach for your organisation.

Get your preview copy now