Remote Work Guiding Principles by Hyphen Co.

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March 29, 2020 3 min read
by Nat Korol

While it’s not unusual for members of our team to work remotely, this the first time we’ve all been thrust into this position at the same time for an extended period. To ease the transition, we’ve written up Hyphen’s remote work guiding principles to help ensure we’re all on the same page.

Our approach is straightforward and reflects our core values, with an emphasis on doing things strategically, creatively and with compassion for others. Here goes.

General work from home rules:

  1. Do not roll out of bed and start work. Use the time you typically spend commuting for something impactful for you.
    • Go for a walk or just sit on your patio with a cup of coffee
    • Make yourself a solid breakfast and other meals for the day ahead
    • Read something that interests and inspires you
    • Facetime your parents, family, friends – just say hi and give them an update on how you’re doing
    • Switch it up! It’s your time, do something productive for yourself!
  2. Create a ‘space’ or a designated working area that suits your
    • personality
    • working needs, and
    • boundaries.
  3. Don’t work at home in your PJs. Just don’t. Create a routine of preparing for your day and putting on ‘work’ clothes.
    • This routine will establish the mindset that you are at work. When things become blurry between work and leisure, it will seem like your work day is never ending.
  4. Don’t stay glued to your computer for the full duration of your ‘work from home’ day. Take regular mental breaks, such as:
    • Set a 25 to 35 minute ‘work’ timer, then walk away from your computer and phone
    • Do anything other than staring at any type of screen (TV, computer, phone) like wash dishes or a few yoga poses.

When things become blurry between work and leisure, it will seem like your work day is never ending.


  1. Connect with everyone on the team – especially to just catch up and see how they’re feeling, doing, etc. Share with them your point of view as well.
    • Something simple like ‘How’s it going?’, ‘Do you need anything?’, ‘What have you been up to?’ or ‘How are you finding not seeing anyone?’. A simple 15-minute chat goes a long way and is what makes us human.
  2. Video is our best friend. We don’t care if you don’t wear makeup or if you work in your kitchen. What we do care about is your well-being and seeing how you’re doing.
    • What you look like is a representation of yourself and has an impact on your well-being and your work, so yes, we should see each other’s faces at least once every couple of days.
  3. Open up a little more to one another. This is a challenging time and we need this even if we don’t think so.


  1. Be as responsive as possible to your team within your working hours.
    • If something takes more than a minute to type out or if you’re not getting the clarification, information or details that you’re looking for from someone, call direct or make a video call. Use messaging (Asana or Hangouts) and calls to support.
  2. Timelines are critical for you to feel productive.
    • If you’re looking for approvals, be direct when you need something and please include a buffer. Put ‘URGENT’ or ‘IMPORTANT’ in the subject like, and call.
  3. Communicate.
    • Keep your team in the loop on your daily/weekly priorities and what you’re working on. Just a quick FYI is really helpful.
    • When taking breaks or stepping away, communicate this as well so we don’t bug you!
  4. Understand and respect others’ boundaries and schedules.
    • Do your due diligence. We have access to nearly everyone’s calendars and Asana tasks, so check their availability there first.
  5. Have a proper start and end to your work day. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re working all the time.
  6. Don’t be lazy.

Client communication guidelines:

  1. Our clients are our team. All the guidelines above apply.
  2. Communicate regularly. Just like you’d want to know what’s going on, so do they.

We recognize that this is a new reality for all of us, so we encourage you to speak with us one-on-one if something isn’t quite working for you. Let’s talk through various scenarios and clarify mutual expectations.

Especially during times like this, interconnectedness is vital, and our support for one another will make all the difference in the world.

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