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Working Remotely: Focus on Tim Alby

23rd March 2020
 | Suze Kundu

Tim Alby is a software engineer working with Overleaf, and one of our ‘nomadic’ DS family members! With a passion for travel, Tim is able to work from anywhere in the world. Photos of his ‘office for the day’ are often envy-inducing, but always testament to the potential for remote working and how it can go hand-in-hand with global travel. Here, Tim shares his thoughts on remote working with us.

Working from home comes with a lot of perks; I would know, as I’ve been doing it for years! However, working from the office has its own perks too. I like to try and artificially recreate them, wherever I am calling home:

1. Keep commuting.

So you might not want to spend an hour on the crowded tube getting to the office, but that doesn’t mean you should start working from your bed the minute your alarm goes off. Take some time to wake up and get ready to work: this means dressing up, preparing a nice breakfast or, even better, taking a small walk around the block. This will bring some physical activity to the beginning of your day and help you mentally get into work mode.

The end of the workday is a good time for a quick groceries run or another walk around the block in order to sort your thoughts and be fully relaxed for the rest of the day.

2. Keep going to the ‘water cooler’.

This isn’t a physical thing; however, water cooler conversations are an important part in building relationships with your colleagues. You can take a few minutes at the beginning of calls for informal conversations. It works in written form as well: reach out to people to ask how their day is going; maybe they need help with something, or maybe you can learn something new at the same time.

Company-wide chat rooms area also a good place to share. At Overleaf we have #instagram to share pictures, #chatter for random conversations and #dev-chat for developer-oriented open-ended discussions.

3. Keep moving around.

In a normal day at the office, you would probably be moving around: sitting at your colleague’s desk for a bit, spending some time in a meeting room, or gathering in the kitchen for lunch. At home, all those activities happen at the same place: that same desk, that same chair, that same sitting position.

So, let’s spice things up! While I spend most of my day at my desk, I like to move to the couch when taking some calls, sit at the kitchen table while I keep an eye on my slow-cooking vegetables in the oven, or building a makeshift standup desk to get some extra energy.

Tim at his makeshift standing desk in Peru