WFH Tips From Netgain
  • Adam Riches

WFH Tips From Netgain

We thought we'd take a break from our usual programming to talk about something top of mind for businesses today: working from home. Because of the nature of cloud software, we're fortunate to be able to offer our employees flexible work options, like the ability to work from home. In fact, the majority of our employees work from home full-time. We decided to interview some of these employees so they can share best practices on working from home for those of us who may be new to this.



Q: How do you stay focused while you're working from home?

A: Planning. When you work from home, you really have to hold yourself accountable to get work done. In our case, we're building a business so, it’s even more challenging as you have to also motivate yourself to think about the business and innovate.

I try and plan out my month with high level tasks, then segment those into deliverables by target weeks, then drive my day to day planning from there. Every morning I get up early and write out all the tasks I need to complete for the day so that I have a plan for what I need to do. I also keep a tight schedule so that I have some structure.


Q: What distracts you most? How do you get back on track?

A: Working from home has a ton of benefits. One of those, in particular, is being around your spouse, dogs, kids, etc. more often. However, I find this is what distracts me the most! I thinks it’s important, if available, to have a dedicated space to your work that can be closed off. I find isolating myself to refocus really works.


Q: Do you have any productivity tricks?

A: Apple Reminders, Trello, Blocking time to do tasks in outlook, good old fashioned pen and paper. Out of sight, out of mind is very real. Having reminders and putting it in front of me helps me stay on task and not forget things.


Q: How do you maintain communication with coworkers during the day?

A: Slack and Zoom


Q: How often do you go to the kitchen/open the refrigerator in a day?

A: I plead the 5th


Q: What advice would you give employees who are new to working from home?

A: I try to express the importance of having a dedicated work space and planning. I also often encourage folks to get out and work. You’re remote so be remote. Switching it up and hitting a coffee shop or a bar with wifi can really help keep you motivated and focused.


Q: Any other tips & tricks?

A: Putting mat in your home office is a game changer.



Q: How do you stay focused while you're working from home?

A: Popping in headphones helps me get in the zone when I can’t focus or I need to drown out noise.

Q: What distracts you most? How do you get back on track?

A: If there’s anything around the house that needs to be done, like cleaning, laundry, or dishes that can be a source of distraction. I like to get household stuff done in the morning before I get started, so I can work without having anything weighing on me.


Q: Do you have any productivity tricks?

A: I like to timebox work items with an artificial deadline. Having a goal to shoot for increases the urgency mentally, even if the task itself can wait. Also, if I’m having trouble getting going, I like to start with the simplest task first. Normally, that gets the ball rolling on other things as well.

Q: How do you maintain communication with coworkers during the day?

A: Having daily or weekly touchpoints booked to the calendar is key for me. As a developer, this keeps me in contact with my team, while still allowing me to work uninterrupted throughout the rest of the day.

Q: How often do you go to the kitchen/open the refrigerator in a day?

A: 3? My office is upstairs as far away from the kitchen as possible, so that definitely helps.

Q: What advice would you give employees who are new to working from home?

A: The main advice I’ve heard from others is to get dressed for work as you normally would and find a dedicated office area to work in. I don’t follow either of these guidelines, so the best advice I can give to others is to experiment with different things. Everyone is different, so keep trying new things until you find out what works for you.

Q: Any other tips & tricks?

A: Coffee helps. Also good co-workers! Both human and canine!




Q: How do you stay focused while you're working from home?

A: I've been a remote worker since 2001. I've created work habits and use 'to-do' lists.  Kind of weird, but I like to have CNBC on in the kitchen so I hear some background, business-like white-noise.

Q: What are the benefits of working from home?

A: 1. No commute.  Some weeks the only reason to move my truck is to get the garbage cans out. 2. A healthier option.  I drink more water and eat out less often. 3. Private bathroom. 4. Spend less on work clothes. 5. Neighbors will figure out you are always home and wonder what you do.

Q: Do you have any productivity tricks?

A: For me, it's all about my 'to-do' list.  I keep an electronic task list and find satisfaction in crossing things off.  I have my own natural speed to work.  Find your natural work cadence and you will produce your best output.  Trying too hard can sabotage productivity. 

Q: How do you maintain communication with coworkers during the day?

A: Through socializing with my colleagues before and after conference calls or during routine phone calls during the day.

Q: How often do you go to the kitchen/open the refrigerator in a day?

A: Frequently for ice water.  I'm particular with the ice I use.  Is that another weird thing about me?

Q: What advice would you give employees who are new to working from home?

A: Don't cross-contaminate your work and play life.


Schedule.  Have a plan to start and end work at certain times.  This way, you don't stress about all the stuff you have to do for work during your play time, and vice versa.  Seems like work is hard to turn off sometimes, but do your best to maintain time-based boundaries.


Location.  Have a place to focus on work.  This too relates to boundaries; physical boundaries.  I can't spend a little work time in my home office, some work time outside on the deck, and then some work time on the couch.  It doesn't work for me.  Perhaps my body has been conditioned to automatically fall asleep when I sit on the deck or on a couch.  Whatever the reason, I have to place physical boundaries on my where I work from home.

Q: Any other tips & tricks?

A: Keep a clean email 'Inbox' and 'Sent Items'.  A lot of items on my 'to-do' list come from emails that need to be followed up on. Keep a clean office, or at least the appearance of a clean office.  Remember: the area behind your conference call video is important.



Netgain is an application developer focused on creating solutions that address complex finance and accounting challenges. Netgain products are focused on simplifying, standardizing, and automating solutions with a focus on controls and auditability.


For information on automating lease, asset & debt accounting, schedule a conversation with one of our CPAs.


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