How to work from home

John Biggs
4 min readMar 6, 2020
All the glamor of an office without the bad coffee.

I’ve been working from home for twenty years. At this point in my career I actually like going into an office once in a while, if only for the free snacks, but I would never commute nor would I go in if I didn’t have an absolute need, like a video shoot or something that required my physical presence.

Working from home isn’t for everybody, but it may soon be. Given the vagaries of real estate, the growing failure of office startups, and the general post-millennial attitude that a job is a lifestyle, you’ll probably be sitting at home sooner than you think. Plus, there are mass plagues that will kill you if you get on the train.

So we’ll stay home. But staying home is hard.

So how did I survive?

Here are few tips I’ve learned over the years.

Make a place for yourself — You need a place where you can go in your home. You cannot work from home on your dining room table or from bed. Never post up on the couch. Working from home isn’t a vacation, it’s work. If you don’t have any space in your home then go to a cafe that is lax about their loitering privileges or even head out to the library.

The bottom line is that you need a spot that is your own, disconnected from family, pets, and distractions. Don’t do anything in this space you wouldn’t do at work. Don’t turn on the TV, don’t blast heavy metal. Put yourself in the same mental state you’d be in your office.

Don’t be this guy. Sit at a desk.

Use tools — Use Slack. Use Trello. Write your own scripts to notify folks what you’re working on. I’ve connected to multiple services using the Slack API in order to post news to special rooms so everyone knows what’s breaking. Further, I like to create alerts based on market movements. These things help share knowledge with everyone. In the office days you could shout out “Wow, look at what happened.”…