Tips for Working Remotely with a Team

Below are some tips that I’ve learned and shared with other software engineers at while working remotely for approximately 1 week out of a month. Have any tips or recommendations, leave them below in a comment!

When working remotely with a team, keep these best practices in mind to maximize your efficiency and contributions.


Prior to Working Remotely:

  1. Make sure to have a good pair of headphones with an inline microphone
  2. Communicate with your team when you will be remote
    1. Send an email with your PTO schedule and your remote work schedule a couple weeks in advance
    2. Resend this email once more a few days before you are remote
      1. Constant reminders are a nice thing to have
  3. Plan the block of hours when you will be working during the day throughout the duration of your Remote Work stint
    1. If in a different timezone, list both your timezone and the time it will be where your main office is located
  4. Know your travel time or away from keyboard time when planning work days
    1. I’ve found that some tasks can best be suited for when you’re away from the Internet – manual testing, writing a small feature, and reading various articles to learn seem to be appropriate
  5. Schedule PTO prior to your trip (if need be)
    1. Be sure this is on the PTO calendar
  6. Set up various security measure on your machine
    1. Create a strong login password (This can be set with 1Password and other password management tools)
    2. Auto-lock your computer after XX amount of inactivity
      1. This will prevent people from getting ahold of proprietary information on the machine
    3. Think about installing 1Password to manage, create, & log into your accounts
    4. If a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is in place, know how to connect to it properly

While Working Remotely:

  1. Ask locals or know where to find stable internet
  2. To find a good coffee shop to work from, ask the front-desk or other people
    1. Make sure there is enough space to sprawl out with power outlets, etc
  3. Constantly stay connected to your team – They should be able to get ahold of you 24/7 if need be
    1. Flowdock/Slack/IRC
    2. GChat
    3. Work Email pushed to phone if you have a sufficient data plan
  4. Know your time difference
  5. Communication
    1. Let people know what you’re working on throughout the day
    2. Make sure to video chat into the daily standup
    3. Let everyone know when you’re online everyday
    4. Learn to set a status on the chat client that your team uses. Flowdock is set with “/status Your status here”
      Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 9.22.14 AM.png
    5. Let your team know when you have PTO a couple days in advance
  6. Don’t get distracted by little tasks around the house or neighborhood
    1. Block time-wasting sites with the Chrome Plugin – StayFocused
  7. Don’t be afraid to step away to grab a cup of coffee or walk around the block
  8. Keep your computer/workspace organized

After Working Remotely:

  1. Change passwords to JIRA, Github, and any other services that you logged into.
  2. Follow up with your team and talk about what went well & what could go better for next time

At the end of the day, working remotely is a privilege and you should be more productive working remote than you are in the office.


Life-Long Learner, Explorer, & Web Developer. Currently a Software Engineer at Jazz.

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