Round Table: Tools, Tips, and Products for Remote Work

While HQ has an HQ in Ogden, Utah, we've been a hybrid work-in-office or work-from-home team since the beginning. Like many companies, the 2020 pandemic really pushed us toward remote work, and our team is more distributed than ever. While we love when we can work together in person, remote work is something we're always looking to improve. And let's be honest — there are tradeoffs to be made and real challenges to overcome. Our team has been working this way for over a decade, so we polled the group for their recommendations.


We've come a long way since using Google Chat, Email, and Basecamp as our primary internal communication tools. We now use many of the usual suspects: Slack, Zoom, and Google Meet. Trello is used for task management and Notion for company documentation.

Over the years we've tried countless project management, note-taking, and communication tools. What we've found is that there can be a real tool overload, and keeping things simple is key. Too many tools leads to a lot of time and mental energy on upkeep. At the same time, there's value is always searching for new ways to make our job more efficient. We try to strike a balance between always experimenting, but not over-commiting and forcing tools that take too much time.

We also allow flexibility for individual team members to use what works for them. This is especially true for task management, where a lot of autonomy is given to team members to track and organize their workloads. This could be done in Todoist, Apple Notes, or good ol' fashioned pen and paper.

Beyond that, here are a handful of other tools our team recommends:

  • Pomodoro
  • Craft
  • Perplexity
  • FirefliesAI


Managing remote work is different for everyone, and it's fun to see how our team members have figured out work works for them. In their own words:

While thinking about how to phrase an email, or solve a problem, walk around your room / house. Move as much as possible while working. I'm very focused on using music to change my flow states, so find some good playlists or artists that will help you with a variety of tasks / situations.
Try to have a set schedule, trying to follow that schedule so it doesn't consume the time you have for your family or yourself.
For me, I find it helpful to maintain a consistent work schedule. For example I'm workin 9-5, me and Miss Dolly. That's my time to commit (literally). I mute Slack notifications outside my schedule so I can try to maintain separation of work and personal. But also, totally take advantage of the flexibility when it will be beneficial. Go snowboarding in the morning and work a bit later that day, or go get your hair styled, get that car maintenance done, whatever you need to do.
Scheduling time to work or time boxing has kept me on track with my work and constant collaboration with my team has been really helpful for me.
Stay hydrated. I've found this can make or break my ability to think and feel productive. Allow (I'd even say force) yourself to take breaks. I know I feel guilty if I have some time that doesn't feel "productive." Remember that if you worked in an office with a full team, you'd have naturally occurring breaks, whether they were longer walks to the restroom, going to get snacks with coworkers, water cooler chats, etc. Those breaks don't occur naturally when you are alone and/or work just a few feet from your fridge or restroom. Get up, move around, and let your mind go somewhere other than work from time to time. As much as your situation allows, set up your workspace in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to you and you are excited to spend time there.
Treat every day as if you are going to see someone. Wear nice enough clothes to go out and be seen. Go for a daily walk Do calls while walking. As much as I like seeing people face to face, I have found I can be more energized if I talk to someone while walking around. So I do a mixture of face to face calls and calls while on walks.


At HQ, we give home office stipends and believe strongly in creating a calming and productive workspace. What this looks like varies person-to-person, but finding the right products can make a big impact. Here are some ideas from our team:

  • Journey Charging Desk Mat
  • Standing desk (we like Ikea and Uplift)
  • Treadmill
  • Elgato Key Light Air for video call lighting
  • Quality noise-cancelling headphones
  • Logitech 1080px webcam
  • Lamps and good lighting (daytime light bulbs for focus)
  • Plants (our own team member Jordan created this app for water reminders)
  • Apple Studio Display + Magic Keyboard + Magic Trackpad
  • Anti-stress ball
  • Nuphy Air75 keyboard ("Between how it looks, feels, and sounds, I legitimately get excited to type.")
  • Logitech MX Master 3S mouse
  • A comfortable chair

There's certainly no one-size-fits-all approach to optimizing remote work, but hopefully this provided some helpful ideas.

Thanks to Caleb, Giselly, Jordan, Justin, Tucker, and Matt for contributing.