Proekspert remote work diary: week 1

Proekspert employees share remote work experiences

Since many people around the world are bringing their work home to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s a chance for us to share and gain insight from each other’s experiences.

Remote work is not new for our employees and has been commonly practiced in Proekspert for many years already. However, remote work in times of a national state of emergency in connection with the coronavirus pandemic differs in nature and brings new challenges, as well as valuable takeaways.

Our employees were asked to answer a series of questions about their current remote work experience. Read below about the reality of bringing work home.

Most helpful adjustment tools for the first week of remote work

Everyone’s experience of remote work is different. It’s totally understandable that during the first week, especially when not used to working remotely while all family members are also at home, your efficiency and the team’s efficiency will drop. However, some will find that working remotely helps boost their efficiency significantly. Here is what helped our employees to effectively adjust to remote work. Perhaps some of these tips will help you too.

I’ve set up a daily routine for me and my kids. For example, my workday starts at exactly 9 a.m. But before I get to my workplace, I go to the kitchen, have a coffee, and chat a few minutes with my husband. It’s just like in the office, except the hubby part 🙂
Also, noise-canceling headphones are the best!

Liis, HR Lead

Having a separate room for working greatly helps. My work laptop always stays in that room.

Oskar, Business Development

It helps to know that everyone else is in the same position, and reading this kind of remote diary is very helpful.

Marko, Software Developer

My coffee maker helps a lot.

Stepan, Software Engineer

I brought my chair and monitor from the office just a night before it all started. Having a proper table is also important.

Mikk, Android/iOS Developer

Take breaks! While working from home, the difference between home and work will begin to fade. But you still need to take lunch breaks and go out into the fresh air! I also think it’s very important, especially now, to have video calls with your colleagues and get some virtual human interaction. We’ve agreed with some colleagues that we’ll still do video calls, even if it’s just chatting via video! Keep up that human interaction that you won’t be getting anymore live from the coffee corner! 😉

Helen, Accountant

Schedule your calls and tasks; make a clear work plan. That’s what brings structure to my day.

Piruza, Business Development

Keep the routine that you had for your usual office days. Make a plan for what you want to accomplish during the day. Stay away from media and social media as much as possible.

Anneli, Process Value Offering

The main challenges of company-wide remote work

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are with working remotely and self-management. Remote work during a pandemic is challenging in its own way and can put you in many unfamiliar situations. Our homes, family sizes, locations, internet connections, and access to digital tools may differ. Communication (with the team and within the company) is the key to keeping a healthy balance. Here are some of the challenges our employees faced during the first week of company-wide remote work. 

The combination of cooking four times a day, homeschooling my daughter, a bad internet connection, and unexpectedly broken digital tools have presented some challenges. I was expecting to have more time, but actually the opposite has happened. However, I’ll carry this insight into the next week and learn from it. We need to be agile and adapt 🙂

Piruza, Business Development

In addition to my full-time role at work, I play many roles at the same time: cook, mom, teacher, and wife.

Liis, HR Lead

Our challenge was finding separate work spaces for me and my wife, because before we had only the kitchen table.

Kaupo, Software Engineer

My young toy poodle requires a great deal of attention and distracts me most while working from home.

Jana, Analyst/PO

Sometimes, it is such a challenge to stay inside when the weather is so inviting and alluring to go outside.

Merily, Software Engineer

Isolation from colleagues, a lack of a commute, and the absence of context switching between work and non-work makes it hard to stay focused and motivated at times.

Stepan, Software Engineer

Over-communicating is a problem. Maybe it’s just an issue in this first week, as people suddenly find themselves isolated and are reaching out to be connected.

Anneli, Process Value Offering

I’m trying to maintain a work-life balance. I’ve started to miss the motivating atmosphere, as well as the people we have in the office. This makes me feel somewhat disconnected at times 🙂 

Oskar, Business Development

Sometimes, I feel like I’m in a bubble. In the office, information about projects and tasks moves naturally. We have daily stand-ups, which give a nice overview, but usually I know most of the things that are going to be said during the stand-up. But now, working remotely, almost everything is new.

Karl, Software Developer

Valuable remote work discoveries

Remote work, even in these forced circumstances, can present its own opportunities. Seek positivity and view it as a chance to do things at home that you normally do not have time, freedom, or motivation for. Let’s see what some of our employees have discovered during this first week of working remotely.

You can sleep longer, no need to wake up early to clean up and drive to the office. I’ve had stand-ups while still in bed!

Marko, Software Developer

Thanks to self-isolation, my friends and I had our first “everyone is at home” remote tabletop roleplaying session in roll20.net, and I must say it was much more comfortable than the previous “one person (me) online, and everyone else physically together in another place” system.

Stepan, Software Engineer

French press coffee does not actually taste too bad.

Mikk, Android/iOS Developer

I found some extra motivation to continue with my home improvements.

Kaupo, Software Engineer

Working from home gives a good opportunity to do some face procedures and take a break to fix the toilet 🙂

Merily, Software Engineer

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