TAMs Share Their Tips on Productivity in a Distributed Workforce

4.29.2020 | Boyd White, Dave Pavone

Since the novel Coronavirus pandemic, many have found themselves working from home. Things might get back to normal, or they may change forever as a new “normal” with more people working in a distributed workforce for longer periods of time.

Dave has been working from home for 10+ years; I have for about 6. Here are some tips we’ve pulled together that might be helpful for you and your family:

Routines and schedules

Maintain a routine that includes normal hygiene. Set a “start” and “stop” time for each day and know it’s okay to deviate. Make sure you take showers, dress, do your hair, have coffee and breakfast, etc. Anything to help you feel refreshed and confident for your full day ahead.

Consider adding a “commute” walk around the neighborhood (if it’s safe to do so) before and after you start your day.

If possible, add “ask before scheduling” times to your calendar when you have personal obligations.

Use “speedy meetings”: 30-minute events end 5 minutes early and 1-hour events 10 minutes early. This gives you time to get up, stretch and switch to the next topic.

Office or “office”

Set up a real, dedicated workspace in a separate room with a door. It makes it easier to differentiate between work and home. If you live with others, form an agreement on how to prevent disruptions BUT make sure to spend time with them.

Consider the darkness of your room where you work for video calls. Adding proper lighting will let your colleagues see you clearly and keep you alert as well.

Make a nice background for video calls. This means you should probably remove distractions in the background. Some conference tools allow you to add virtual backgrounds which can help, but it’s still a good time to tidy up the space behind you just in case.

Get a good microphone and call yourself from your environment. Test it to make sure there isn’t an echo, feedback, or distracting keyboard noise.

If you can, use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. With more people at home, bandwidth (especially wireless) is at a premium.

Not going crazy / staying healthy

Remember to maintain a balance between your professional and personal life to prevent burnout

Make it a point to get up often. Consider walking around the house at the end of every call as a reminder to get up, stretch and take a few steps.

Drink water. Get an appropriately sized bottle, fill it up each morning and drink it throughout the day. This will also give you a reason to get up and stretch your legs.

Posture. It helps to have a good chair, pad and/or standing desk.

Many subscribe to the 20/20/20 eye rule to prevent eye strain. The idea is that every 20 minutes you should take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away.

Sponsor an event/donate to charity. Someone at Tanium organized a “walk my workday” event. As part of this event, different team members will walk/run each hour over the course of a day to benefit charity.

From all of us at Tanium, stay healthy and keep safe!

For more information, contact us at [email protected], engage with your local Tanium team or get answers to your questions in the Tanium Community with dedicated space to discuss this topic further.