The remote dev’s life advice to the newly-isolated sales rep

In these surreal times, it is the often-solitary software developer who is mentoring the extroverted sales rep on how to live.

A sales rep stuck home alone is a fish out of water. Social contact is the water they swim in daily. But now, the advice they need on how to live a sane and happy life comes from an unlikely source: the remote developer they meet over Zoom, with glimpses of their cats sleeping nearby among the cozy trappings of their home office.

Scrive’s sales reps stand out for the wealth of technical expertise they bring to solving their customers’ challenges. They’re also social animals by nature, not unusual in a revenue organisation. Now suddenly they’ve had to do something against their nature: self-isolate in order to keep our business going.

To face this strange challenge, they have a wealth of wisdom right from within Scrive: the distributed developers who design, build and maintain our services. Scrive’s engineering team has been working remotely since our inception 10 years ago. Working in isolation is the air they breathe! 

Here’s a sampling of the devs’ life advice for their newly-isolated colleagues in Sales:

Get started right

Working from home means you need an adequate home office environment so you’ll be able to remain productive. Therefore you should set up a proper workstation as soon as possible. 

– Jonathan, Back-end Developer (8 years working remote)

How not to fall into the pyjama/sweats trap

One of my methods is changing to work clothes when I am working. There are also sleeping clothes, not-working clothes, and work-out clothes. 

– Byazit, Integrations Developer

Create a mental separation

My approach to working from home is to have a mental separation between “now I’m working” vs “now I’m not working”. And when I am working, I don’t start doing some random things at home. I ask myself whether I need a 5-minute break now or later, but I need to ask myself first. And when I’m not working, it means I don’t approach my laptop and “just answer an email” .

– Daria, Back-end Developer

Fake it til you make it

Faking an office routine helps me, starting at 9:00 am after breakfast, shower and walk. I follow the hours. Usually 9:00 am – 5:00 pm is work, with a break for a walk/meal/funny cat video. I leave nothing for later, no “I’ll finish it in the evening”. For me it’s important to separate work hours and free time.” 

– Daria, Quality Assurance

Take breaks

I make sure to set alarms during the day so I don’t get lost in the monitor.

– Fredrik, Service Reliability Engineer

Is it too quiet? Too noisy? 

Daria transforms her home office with A Soft Murmur, one of many online white noise generators. For music, Lead Developer Martin goes for Relax Cafe Music and Henrik (back-end and front-end developer) likes lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to. For those who want to keep it quiet, you might try the Krisp Noise Cancelling App for clearer calls and less background noise.

Comforting cliché

And as clichéd as it is, sharing the occasional photo of your animal companion with colleagues in the Slack channel never hurts. Look for a moment into the face of a pampered furry creature who only wants love and is NOT READING the news!