I love working from home, however, it takes a lot of discipline -- and not just for me. My teammates need to be aware that they need to speak a little louder or stand by a camera and I need to stay away from halo during the day :P
Personally, I find it easy to stay in a work mode while I'm at home. Pairing is quite effective remotely. I tend to keep better focus while I'm remoting with a pair than in person.
Meetings are a lot more challenging. Good microphones and video feeds are a must if you are to have any chance of "being" in the meeting. When I first started working from home, I wasn't able to participate in meetings at all, but with help of some additional media equipment, I can go to every meeting in my pajamas :)
If you are working from home, here is some advice:
- Have space dedicated to work. This helps you stay focused and keeps you from working too much. If I setup shop in my den, chances of me working extra hours while my husband plays xbox is dramatically increased.
- Be honest and open about communication limitations. Its better to interrupt if your call drops off or someone is too far from the microphone than miss something.
- Respect your coworkers during meetings and while they're talking. Just because they can't see you surfing the web while they are talking about some deployment doesn't make it okay.
- Take breaks, walk the dog, get some exercise. Believe it or not, its easier to sit on the computer during lunch than in the office. Its just as important to walk around when you are at home. And stay away from the snacks in the kitchen!!
- Get a really good espresso machine.
- Visit the office. Even if you don't have to come in, its good to keep the bonds strong with teammates. If you are too far to come in on a whim, try to work something out with your company that lets you come in not just when you have to, but when you want as well.