Remote Research

First time doing research remotely? Follow the steps below to get started.

Tips for Remote Research in Summer 2020

  1. Organize your workspace
    1. Try to set aside a physical space where you can work.  
    2. Keeping a work/life balance may seem tricky while doing remote work, but it can help to work away from leisure spaces like your bedroom.
    3. Pick a space where you’re comfortable, have little distractions, and can transform into your own space.
  2. Stick to a routine
    1. When creating your work schedule, pick a time that works for you and stick to it.  If you’re not a morning person, dedicate your afternoon to working instead!
    2. Sticking to a routine can provide some normalcy in place of physically going to a lab to work.  It will also help you get into a “work” mindset, so you can focus on your project.
  3. Manage your stress
    1. If you’re constantly asking yourself “Am I doing enough”, take time to acknowledge the work you completed.  
    2. It’s okay to take breaks during your work hours. 
  4. Communicate with your PI
    1. Make sure you’re keeping in contact with your PI and lab group.  
    2. Your PI is a great resource to talk to if you’re having issues transitioning to remote work, having difficulties accessing needed software, or need more guidance on your project.
  5. Sharing progress
    1. Establish multiple means of communication with your peers, collaborators and faculty you’re working with.
    2. This will also be helpful in the case that your team is working in different time zones.
  6. Time management
    1. Try the Pomodoro technique to stay focused and ease stress.
      1. The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called “Pomodoros”) that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes. With time it can even help improve your attention span and concentration.
      2. How to practice this technique:
        1. Choose a task to be accomplished.
        2. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
        3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
        4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
        5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break
  7. Additional resources
    1. Collaboration
      1. Asana: useful to assign tasks to people and see the progress your team is making on projects
      2. Dropbox: used to share files
      3. Overleaf: online LaTeX editor used for collaboration
      4. Slack: tool to use to communicate with your team.
    2. Internet access
      1. Comcast: offering free internet for 60 days; plans can be as low as $9.95/month after
      2. Spectrum: offering free internet for 60 days; installation fees will also be waived
      3. WiFi Free Spot: listing of locations that offer free WiFi