Work From Home Tips & Tricks | Share yours!

With many of us in our own, unique work from home situations, we’d like to share a few resources that may help:

Feel free to share what you’ve learned and/or adopted in your workflow!

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Tip:

Low-tech alternative to ^^ that ^^… But it might help someone in similar circumstances. For example, devs who don’t have time to deal with all the security aspects of remote access, or devs who are traveling right now and can’t guarantee access will work at the destination, or for devs who are quarantined without net access etc.

Had a trip coming up… But with all the corona-mania madness, I didn’t want to bring production gear in case of being trapped in places with no security (stuck in quarantine in a rundown hostel etc). So I tried to source a 2nd-hand cheap PC…

I got hold of a refurbished low-spec laptop, normally only good for web-browsing (dual boot Win7 / Ubuntu). But I tried installing UE4.18 on there anyway, along with a couple of projects just to see, and voila it worked. The stability of 4.18 seems to be key here… In one test, I got 7 FPS versus 40+ FPS on a production rig, but it works!

Conclusions:

Hardware is 64-bit, but otherwise specs are way below minimums: I5 / Intel graphics / 8GB Ram / 128GB SSD (of which only 40GB was available). Obviously working with source is out and the editor UX isn’t great (single small screen). But if you can get by working mostly in Blueprints / Level editor / Material editor, then its passable. Cost is a 10th of the price of a production rig, so if anything happens to it - no tears! So if remote access is looking uncertain, maybe a low spec laptop will get you through. Who knew UE4 would even run…

BTW:

  • Did not copy over any DDC, just let UE4 on the laptop recreate it.
  • Did not do a local install to the PC. Just copied the engine folder.
  • Some dependent DLL’s were missing (some Microsoft run-times).
  • Copied over most MSvc*dlls in system32 / wow64 (Sys-Internals).
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For using XGE over VPN:

  • Disable PCH files (this reduces network traffic to a level suitable for home cable internet connections (10-20Mbps upload).
  • Disable remote linking
  • Reduce the number of helper XGE agents as each maintains its own file cache. We found that <3 is the ideal number of agents to participate in a build, which means they need to be beefy. We found 128-224 cores is the ideal number for helper machines.

Make sure to compensate for sitting extended periods of time. Thus, preferably have a working environment which also features a desk where you can stand while working. Go outside from time to time, ideally do some sort of physical activity. Try to eat healthy, general health advisories apply. If you stay in good condition, your endurance, overall fitness, it will reflect to some degree on the outcome of your work. This is especially of importance if you getting older.

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Hey folks.

We’ve written a small plugin to help reduce editor load times whilst working from home. It’s available for free on GitHub. We use the automation system to load maps in the editor, runs Play In Editor for each map, and allows you to run console commands from here.
If you configure it to load the maps you generally use on a day-to-day basis, you should very rarely get hampered by waiting for shaders etc.

The idea is that you schedule to run this after syncing from source control each night, and when you start work in the morning, shaders etc will have already been built.

I wrote a blog post about it here. There are also some other tips for how to precache your ddc.

https://www.studiogobo.com/our-news/…unreal-engine/

We hope that this helps some of you.
/Terry

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Try to get a separate room as your workspace and treat it as an office. Be punctual with your time, it gets little harder in start but once you get familiar you love work from home jobs. You just needs to be Punctual in it

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It is better to organize your workplace not in a kitchen because your fridge is going to disturb you. Besides getting punctual and following a work regime I would recommend getting dressed like you do while working in an office. You shouldn’t feel too relaxed while working from home, so it is definitely not a good idea to work in a lying position.

I work for one of the big car companies as a virtual prototype engineer creating models in NX and rendering them in videos using software like C4D, Maya and Daz Studio. Been working from home since Mar, 2017 well before the lockdown because the company won’t get my a decent work station. My current company work station has a GPU from 2016. Been forced to use my gaming rigs to render stuff. My latest rig has 2 RTX 2080TI’s. Whatever you do, don’t work in your living room on your sofa using a 65" 4K TV as the monitor. The sofa has a big dent in it where I’ve sit 12 to 16 hrs a day and my back is really messed up. And can also say my eyes are really messed up as well because my work routine is basically equivalent to watching TV for 12 to 16 hrs day. Use a desk with a PC monitor that’s not too big. Whenever I get stressed out due to work or the isolation I feel, I take a 5 minute break to watch funny Youtube videos.

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This is very helpful.

Workplace management in general.

  1. Finish the day before you go to work. Don’t work until sleep, but do the dishes and all that, just like a workplace. Clean, tidy up and set the workplace up for the next day.

  2. Finish non-work related things before you begin: Exercise, family stuff, breakfast, cleaning etc.

  3. Respect your breaks and pay attention to when you need a break. Breaks based on the employees personal needs is a workplace with better cognition and stamina == reduced stress, mistakes, conflicts, sick leave and resentment.

  4. Pay attention to how you are by the end of the day. If you can be flexible, you might notice that some days of the week allow for more hours, while other days are more draining. External things we cannot control define that frame.

  5. Look into your time blocks of stamina. I can do 90 minutes and require few minutes to get into flow. After that, I’m melted and need a recharge break. For you it can mean very different timeframes. Respect how distractions ruin both the flow while working and the chances of flow if you distract yourself between flow sessions to avoid being bored.

  6. Batch all that boring practical stuff, like groceries, accounting, family planning etc. - Put a day or some hours aside and just batch everything. This relieves you of stress with these things hanging over you, and gives you a break from work. That break can prevent grinding fatigue and the meaning with your work being drained.

  7. Keep your job in a designated part of your home. Leave the job before you leave the area. Tidy up your workstation and prepare it for the next day. Change clothes, it has a psychological effect of relaxation. Treat this area as if it is geographically unavailable. It’s ok to say no to your boss unless there is an emergency. It’s also ok to say no to your friends and family while you work, unless there is an emergency or you promised something. As for young kids, vague promises give them leverage. Tell them you can do this and that after a certain time has passed, like the afternoon cartoon etc. - if you have no such precise timings, create a routine and then honor these promises at all cost!

#

Don’t think I’m some super achiever, because all these pitfalls is what I do every day :wink: The few times I respect these guidelines, my days go from average to great.

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Very Helpful Tips. Thanks

This may be a helpful hint: Even with VPN, your internet provider can see where you are going, so nothing is 100% safe online. If you are going to be working on a project, use a computer that is 100% offline and use online for resources and teasers, to keep your project outside of the eyes of anything but you and your computer. Being online is great for learning, but not for working.

Find a routine that works for you. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you keep a smile on your face. If you aren’t keeping a smile on your face; change things around. Production of happiness is more important for the soul, than a routine that changes your smile. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you progress, happiness is not a race.

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