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20 March 2020

Work from Home Tips: A Guide of Best Practices from UiPathers

20 March 2020

Work from Home Tips: A Guide of Best Practices from UiPathers

Working from home is something common for some of our colleagues. For others, working completely remote is something new. Both working from home and facing new challenges have been part of our culture since the very beginning.

 

One week ago, all the UiPathers started working from home because of the pandemic. The teams are holding online meetings, project management tools are used a lot more than before and even Daniel and all our leaders hold all-hands from their homes. It’s challenging and new. But in a way, all this situation brought loads of people together. 

If you type covid-19 on our Slack you’ll get quite a few results. Just one of the channels has official updates. All the others are created by UiPathers with the sole goal of helping us stay connected. Activities for kids, podcasts to listen, music playlists or Netflix shows are just some of the things they share.  

 

We are lucky to be part of such a flexible company and to have people who adapt really fast to new contexts, finding ways to make the best out of a situation like the one we’re in at the moment. 

Having this in mind, we asked them to share their experience with working from home, their rituals and some tips that can be easily implemented. Here’s what they said 😊

 

How often did you work from home before the Corona Virus situation? Do you feel this current situation made working from home different in any way for you?

 

I worked from home a couple of hours a day some days. And once every week or every other week I might work a whole day from home. Because I usually only had one or two hours of work to do, I used to just work from the sofa and only used my desk as a proper workspace if it was a whole day. Now, I find that it is hard to work on the sofa, so I really sit at my desk. It feels much better for my back. The most unusual thing is that my partner is also working from home now. So, we must use another room if we both have a call or meeting. I joked that we just need to set up a reservation system, where one of us reserves a meeting room (the guest room or the kitchen) when we need to talk to our colleagues through chat or video conferencing. So yes, it is different. Joyce Thompson Office Manager/Executive Assistant (BeNeLux)

 

For me it's an improvement, as people investing more time and resources in the face to face interaction until now are more determined at this point to make things work remotely. Alina Rudi - Quality Coach (Romania)  

 

Before Corona Virus I worked from home once or twice per month. Yes, working from home is different now. Everyone is there, communication is a bit harder and needs more organizing. Also, I feel that sometimes I work more hours due to breaks (breaks which occur at work, only it feels natural there). Levente Florisca - Software Test Engineer II (Romania)

 

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Few times per month. Yes, in the current situation it feels that it was not a choice, more of protection out of fear, so it brings a different meaning. Choice versus necessity. Laura Moraru - Technical Alliances Manager (Romania)

 

Very rarely. I think last year I stayed for 5 days. Now it’s different because it is enforced. Catalin Olteanu - Certification Lab Manager (Romania)

 

What do you do to be productive while working from home?

 

One technique that I use is to plan and break my day down into mini milestones that I want to achieve.  I then reward myself at each milestone with a coffee, my lunch possibly a snack (healthy if possible) and an on-time finish.  That way I can measure my productivity and ensure I'm focused on output.  It's important to be flexible with your milestones as the day unfolds so that you reprioritize and adjust your plan as needed. Dean Murphy - Senior PreSales Consultant (UK)

 

I still have my phone connected to Slack/Outlook to allow me to be mobile whilst being at home, this helps if the laptop is in a different room. Otherwise Slack, Outlook and Zoom are your best allies, usage has clearly increased. While before you could just stop someone in the corridor at the office and ask them things (vocally) now it's all remote - but I do find this productive. Stefan Vrabie - Customer Success Director (France)

 

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Find stuff for my kids to get themselves busy with. I gave my World of Warcraft account to my son (7), and that made some of my son’s toys available for my daughter (4). But I need to get even more creative soon. Also, I do have a specific “work area”. Cornel Dumitrașcu - RPA Developer Lead (Romania)

 

Whenever I start working, I am fully productive, maybe more than usual as I love what I am doing! The one thing I need to do is be extremely creative to keep my kid busy, then I am all fine! Ioana Gligan - Product Manager (Romania)

 

Right now, I am trying on different schedules. As I am located in Europe, I try to start out the day early (around 6/7 am) with some productive "deep thinking" work, then take care of homework, family, some physical activity, cleaning and then do my phone calls with the US. That way everybody is hopefully taken care of. Tanja Breitling-Zboril - Sr. Manager of Partner & Alliance Management (Germany)


What is your morning routine when you work from home?

 

I get up later than usual, which is good! 😀 I avoid staying in my pajamas and I try to make the same steps as usual. Drinking my coffee, put some make-up on, etc. Florentina Cojocaru - People Operations Specialist (Romania)

 

I wake-up, I do some gym exercises for like 30 minutes and then I have coffee. After that I make breakfast, I have breakfast and spend some time for myself because I don't need to commute anymore. After that, I start working.  Raluca Ene – RPA Dev (UK)

 

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Wake up - it's needed! Wash face - it's refreshing! Play music - it's energizing! Make coffee - it's needed! Sip coffee - it's refreshing! Walk the dog - it's energizing! Roxana Stratila - Learning Consultant (Romania)

 

I do have a morning routine of my own anyhow - before work - it includes vitamins, meditation, yoga, organizing the workstation (aka desk). After that - I grab the coffee/tea and the tools and I start checking my email, slacks and calendar stuff. Then I look at my day into perspective & use calendar blockers so I can have my mind working gradually and mindfully - not just taking tasks as they come. Raluca Mihaela Ene – Talent Acquistion Partner (Bucharest)


What rituals did you or your team put in place in order to stay connected?

 

We made a channel on Slack with everyone from our Office to keep in touch and we have virtual 'catch up at the coffee machine' meetings on Zoom. Sefer Turan - Head of IT (Netherlands)

 

Have a daily Zoom meeting to share anything, work and no-work related. Laura Moraru - Technical Alliances Manager (Romania)

 

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Daily contact at least on Zoom, even if it’s as short as ‘everything is ok with you’. The scheduled 1:1s are happening more often. We prioritized again the work and started to think about a ‘Not To Do’ list, for the things that really don’t have value anymore, not in this context. We have a team meeting weekly.  Andreea Baciu – VP Global Talent Development (Romania)

 

Using Sococo to create rooms where we can move around and meet and discuss specific topics. Daily stand up meetings of 10 - 15 mins just in case there are questions and issues. Sonia Pintea - Director of Partner Success EMEA (Romania)


What would you recommend to people who don't know how to be productive when working from home? 

 

Put things into your diary with a designated time. If you're working on a bid, put it in your diary for two hours or whatever and stick to your diary. Don't get distracted by random things. If in sales, ask what are the top 3 things you can do each day to close a deal and focus on those things. Try things like LinkedIn more and join groups, write blogs, research and profile. Linda Wales – Sales Manager/Director Public Sector (UK)

 

Take shifts with partners to be able to work, align calendars, to be able at least one of you to attend a meeting. If impossible, relax the atmosphere by bringing the child to the meeting.  Simona Balan - Project Manager Finance Systems and Process Design (Romania)

 

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Make yourself comfortable, use direct technology (Slack, Zoom) rather than email. And ask anything, now more than ever! Alex Tataran - PreSales Technical Consultant (UK)

 

Stay away from any attraction that may affect your work. Plan your own schedule and task to complete on the day- prioritize your job so there is a goal set for yourself that you have a certain goal to accomplished. Queenie Ma - Talent Acquisition Partner (Hong Kong)


What are some of the benefits of working from home that you can already see?

 

No 50 kilometers commute every day. Toma Bogdan Alexandru - Principal Software Engineering Manager (Romania)

People seem to be available more. Not sure if this means they work more hours. But they are clearly a lot more online because you can`t really do much else 😀 Alex Popa - Program Manager (Romania)

 

I was surprised how much time I got back by not having to physically commute to work. I really enjoy the flexibility of working from home. I'm able to eat enjoy lunch and dinner with my family members. Kate McDaniel – Blogs Editor (US)

 

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Waking up one hour later. Being able to cook at home. Most importantly, I don't feel guilty to my dog who has to be alone for almost 10 hours if I were to be in the office. Stella Su - Talent Acquisition Specialist (Singapore)

 

You save a lot on travel time. Most of us work even while commuting, but you reduce that stress and fatigue if you work from home. Tejus Venkatesh – Chief Evangelist (India)


Any other thing you'd like to share?

 

Good coffee machine is a must! Aurélien CRESP – Sales Manager (France)  

 

Be honest to yourself and decide what's best for you. Falko Dautel – Senior PreSales Technical Consultant (Germany)

 

If this is the first time that you work from home, it can be a big adjustment.  Reach out to others that have been doing it for a while for additional tips and best practices! You are NOT alone in this. Lynette Estrada - Global VP of Talent Acquisition (US)

 

Stay home so we can stop staying home. Valentina Ditoiu - Product Compliance Legal Lead (Romania)

 

I thought it was going to be harder, but actually it wasn't so bad.  Discipline and setting expectations are key. Sonia Damian - Talent Acquisition Leader – EMEA (Romania)

 

Being at home all day will happen in the next period and we hope some the tips from the UiPathers help you organize your work and adapt better to the new circumstances. 

 


by Mircea Mocanu

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