The third and final part of our talk with Joe Howard, a Head of WP Buffs, was devoted to the topics that everyone is highly interested in these days. We covered both the struggles and the great parts of remote work, dealing with stress and running a family business. Joe also shared his secrets of efficient time management, and what tools he uses to organize his workflow.
Have a blast reading!
Alexandra Payne: On one of your blog posts, you mentioned that you work remotely for now. I’ve heard that people love working from home - it’s so much freedom; it enhances productivity and motivation. But there are also certain drawbacks. What difficulties have you faced when working remotely?
Joe Howard: Working remotely definitely means taking more responsibility for your time and having more advanced time management skills. Separating your work and personal life is essential. If you have a team of people, don’t forget to stay in touch with them. Organize online meetings and personal meetings as often as you and your team are comfortable, and have a regular chat to keep synchronized.
Alexandra Payne: It may be tricky to preserve understanding and trust in the relationship with your significant other while one of you is working remotely and the other one is having a full-time job at the office. How do you cope with combining family life and work?
Joe Howard: What I say is that for keeping your relationship warm and friendly, always have an open and honest conversation. Share with your partner how your day went, what you accomplished and what you would have done better. I wrote an entire article devoted to this topic. You may go and check it out on wpbuffs.com; it’s still there!
Alexandra Payne: What are your life hacks for better productivity?
Joe Howard: I use the Pomodoro technique; it helps me on some days when I feel like I need to organize my workflow that way. But anyway, I’d advise developing that type of mindset that will not let you waste your precious time and force you to use it productively.
Going to the gym in the morning also helps a lot. It lets you stay energetic and pumped up until the end of the day. I am also a huge fan of tea.
What else? I believe that some positive emotions and vibes sent back and forth with your team will refresh your thoughts and let you have a bit of a rest.
Alexandra Payne: What mobile or desktop apps do you use to enhance productivity?
Joe Howard: When I work, I turn the airplane mode on my phone on. I also use a Chrome extension that blocks Facebook newsfeed and organize my emails with Boomerang. Boomerang has an option that allows you to pause your mailbag, so you can get to see your emails only a set number of times per day. I have been doubtful at first, but later I realized that any of the emails I get do not require an immediate answer. This little change helped me to stop getting distracted continuously by email notifications popping up.
Alexandra Payne: What’s your opinion on running a business with a spouse?
Joe Howard: I think that it’s a great idea. Tons of people prove that it can be successful and run smoothly. My wife was and still is an immense help in running the company. Even though she works at another company now, I think it’ll be great if she joins WP Buffs as a part of the team.