In early 2020 Flux began shifting its office-based operations to being a remote-first organisation. A few months later, all of New Zealand changed to this model as the country went through its first Covid-19 lockdown. Since then, many workplaces have retained an element of working from home, whether they are now completely remote, or following a hybrid model.
Now that Flux is more than two years into its remote-first style of working, we asked the experts - our own people - for their top tips on making our way of working work best for them.
1. Start your day with a ‘commute’
It’s awesome having an office with zero commute, but for me I like to demarcate my workday by going for a walk after doing my usual morning routine and before starting work. It helps me get my brain into ‘work mode’.
Martin - Lead Developer
2. Use your extra morning time
Because I don't have to commute, I can wake up at the same time and get up to an hour of leisure time to start my day. I usually take this time to wander through our garden and do small chores.
Doing a bit of weeding or raking isn’t just a way to keep up with tasks that would otherwise pile up on the weekend; it is also a way to make my mind idle with a repetitive task in a natural environment.
If instead I were to arrive at the office, or even my desk at home, and get straight to work or read the news, my brain would be overloaded before I’d even started work. This way I am calm and I have completed a task or two before I start my work day!
Hercules - Data Director
3. Don’t underestimate the power of exercise
I missed the daily exercise I got from my morning commute. Replacing this with something else can be a big energy barrier to overcome. Get to know your local biking/running/walking trails. Find a pool.
Get on the bike or go for a run ANY time of day. Don’t leave it until the end of the day. Prioritise it over your work - you don’t have to be available all the time.
Stig - Product Implementation Director
4. Mix up your meetings
Me and some of my People and Practice mates occasionally join our regular stand-up meetings on our phones, and even make it a ‘walking stand-up’ around our neighbourhood (dog optional!), as during the colder months it can be a bit too dark and chilly for a pre-work walk.
Kate - People Lead
5. Feed your brain
Having an entire kitchen at your disposal means that you can really enhance your lunches - and it allows you to take a break while you focus on making something to eat. I always make sure I have healthy salad ingredients in the house so I can create a nutritious salad around lunch time.
Nic - CEO
6. Make the communication happen
Something I hear from non-Fluxsters is ‘but you miss out on all the informal conversations’. While that can be true, it’s not insurmountable. My team has been great at starting ad-hoc meetings whenever there is something they want to talk through or collaborate on.
Graham - Senior Software Developer & Team Lead
7. Have the right tools for your job
The tools you use for your work are key. Even if you cannot be in the same office as your team, that doesn’t mean you can’t use programs that make collaboration possible. Learn to love things like online whiteboards, and documents and sheets that allow for multiple people to work on at the same time.
To top it off, find a fantastic online meeting tool that works for what your team needs to achieve.
Sean - Associate Market Development Director
8. Listen to your body
Pay attention to fatigue and rest without guilt. In an office setting, your workmates may have noticed if you were fading and told you to rest or go home. As humans we can be very good at ignoring our own signals to stop and rest.
When I talk to my team I am very open with them about how I am feeling and I encourage them to do the same.
Leslie - Rails Developer
9. Be firm on when you are not working and stick to it
The proliferation of apps for working are fantastic, but it can mean you are dipping into work outside of work hours.
Jump into the app settings and change them so any work-related notifications you receive are paused on weekends and outside of your work hours.
Kate - Content Marketing Specialist
10. Don’t underestimate the power of connection
Our final tip is one that many of our Fluxters value and champion. Flux is a remote-first organisation, which is why it is even more important to create opportunities for connecting in person.
Flux organises a camp twice each year so we can come together and celebrate our achievements with each other. Our teams make the effort where they can to connect in their own ways. We also have groups of people who live in the same areas that organise their own regular coffee catch ups or Friday drinks.