How to work remotely for the first time

The coming weeks may be the first time you’ve ever worked from home. And we know just how hard it can be. Our team has worked remotely since 2016, experiencing many of the same challenges you’re running into now. That’s why we’re sharing some tips and tricks to help make the transition easier. While we (seriously) wish you were working remotely under very different circumstances, Rock City Digital believes that happy, healthy, and productive teams can thrive in a remote work culture and we’re grateful that you’re willing to make the difference in your company.

What’s Important?

1. Communication
The most important thing to working remotely is open communication. It’s easy to become a hermit and not talk to anyone but it is very important to communicate with your team in order to keep your project timelines on track.
2. Accountability
Remote cultures have various ways to implement accountability practices. Some companies like to use time tracking softwares like Harvest so that the boss knows where time is being spent but also to know if someone has too much work or too little work. Some companies do daily call or video check-in with their teams. At Rock City Digital, each person has a Google Doc where they keep up with their to-do list and what was accomplished each day. Each company is going to be different so you have to find out what works for you and your team. 
3. Goals
Setting goals for each person is extremely important. It might be a specific goal or it might be a deadline for each project. As humans, we like to have something to work towards as it gives us a sense of urgency and accomplishment. It also helps each team member to stay on top of their projects so that they are completed on time for your clients. 

Tips for Working From Home


Act like you’re going into the office.

Stick to your regular schedule and keep doing what you’ve been doing before you go into work each morning! Yes, that means following your normal morning routine and getting dressed for work. This will help you get into the right mindset to begin your day.

Have a separate work space.

Setting up a designated work space is very important. It allows you to focus solely on your work without being distracted by everything you could be doing around the house. If you are still distracted, try wearing headphones and playing focus music. You can find focus music on Youtube or Soundcloud.

Don’t forget to take breaks and eat lunch.

It’s easy to continue working without taking any breaks and forgetting to eat. Make sure you put on your calendar a dedicated lunch hour and force yourself to take it! Taking a break to walk outside can not only help you relax for a second but it can also boost your mood.

Go outside!

It’s easy to become a hermit and stay in the same spot all day. Taking a break and walking around outside really has a way of giving you energy. For more of a workout, one of our geeks jump ropes outside as a mid-day mood boost. Spending a few minutes outdoors doesn’t have to involve physical activity, though. Just eating lunch outside can give you a change of scenery and dose of fresh air and sun. Although tempting, try not to look at your phone during these times. Your eyes need a screen break, too!

Keep your work to-do list and your personal to-do list separate

Create a to-do list each day so you have a clear view of what you need to accomplish throughout your workday. If you have a personal to-do list make sure to keep that separate as it could easily distract you from the work you need to accomplish.

Keep the same hours.

If you normally start work at 8am, continue starting work at 8am if at all possible. One thing that could ruin your motivation to work at home is sleeping in and breaking your current work habits.

Trust your team.

Until someone gives you a reason not to trust them, make sure that you are trusting your team. Obviously don’t completely ignore what they are doing and definitely have accountability parameters in place, but make sure you are setting your team up for success and not hounding them every minute of the day.

Be patient.

Not only is managing a team remotely new for you, but working remotely is new for your team as well. It takes some time to get into a workflow, especially in an entirely new environment. Remember to be patient as everyone acclimates to the new structure.
Although this is a very difficult transition for a lot of companies, remember that it’s also a learning opportunity! This is a preview of an evolving workplace and many companies (even in Central Arkansas) already offer part- and full-time remote work opportunities to attract the talents of young professionals, working parents, and others. The lessons you learn today might be massively valuable in shaping future business practices and create new opportunities for your company!


To Help You Get Stuff Done

Project Management
Screenshare & Video Conferencing
More Recommendations
Time Tracking
Last Pass
Password Storage
Focus & Productivity
Google Drive
File Drop & Sharing
Google Docs
Project Collaboration
Google Sheets
Organization & Data
Google Hangouts

Tips from the rcd geeks

We’ve Been Doing the Remote Thing for A While

Daniel Says

“Music is a stimulus and not always helpful. Sometimes music is energizing, sometimes it’s depleting. It might feel weird but it’s okay to work in silence sometimes. If you’re used to coffee shop sounds or office chatter, there are noise generators that can help make your home environment feel more like a workspace.”

Trust Nikki on this one

“Work near a window. It’s so easy to feel isolated in a remote culture and being in a closed-off space can make you feel so reclusive. But natural light can lift moods and is a great way to combat that.”

kristen would know

“Make sure to take breaks like getting up to stretch or take a short walk. Sometimes you may get into the zone with little or no distractions and before you know it you’ve sat in the same position for hours, hunched over the keyboard and now your back hurts and you can’t feel your butt anymore. This can’t just be me, right? ”

Greer is a creature of habit

“Mine is habits. I wake up every morning. Walk Sue. Make my boyfriend coffee and shower. Developing a mindful routine is KEY.”


Take advantage that you’re home now! If you’re not motivated, lay on the couch for a minute, do your errands around the house, even squeeze a workout in! Taking these short mental breaks away from your ‘office’ can put you in a better mindset. You have the freedom to be efficient at your own pace.”


“Have a legit to-do list! I have to-do lists to help me visualize what needs to be done on a daily basis and also to show me that I am actually getting a lot of work done even if it doesn’t feel like it. It’s also just nice to check things off the list. When you work at home you have to be your own motivator and that’s helped me a lot!”

Kelli is staying focused

“My work-from-home tip is to tackle your distractions. If you know that the dishes in the sink, the laundry, or your dogs will hinder you from getting your best work done, schedule time during your day to take care of those things! Allow 15 minutes of chores, 3 times per day. That way, you won’t feel guilty about letting those things eat time in your work day – they’re already accounted for and scheduled in!”

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