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How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Remote Employee

Tips from our CEO on making the most of an office-free lifestyle

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 66% of companies now allowing remote work and 16% operating completely office-free. RebelMouse is one of those fully remote companies, and over the years we've mastered how to stay close to each other despite being spread across more than a dozen countries. We believe working remotely is good for both our personal lives and our productivity. Read more about this here.

Still, working free from the shackles of an office environment doesn't mean every day is a dance party in your pajamas from 9 to 5. Working from home comes with its own set of challenges just like any other job.


Our team recently found the article What Most Remote Companies Don't Tell You About Remote Work, which summarizes the pitfalls that come with having no "real" place to work. For digital nomads, the travel-and-work lifestyle can bring on feelings of isolation and depression. For employees who choose to stay home most of the time, the lack of social activity can also cause similar anxieties and feelings of listlessness.

Additionally, no office structure or set routine perpetuates skewed perceptions about productivity. Many times, remote employees end up working longer hours and burning out more quickly than traditional office workers. As the article points out, "There's a sense of personal responsibility to get 'enough' done that can lead people to keep themselves working long past the point of optimal productivity."

Whatever mental challenges remote work yields, there are some routines you can work into your schedule to ensure you're getting the same work-life balance that "normal" employees strive to achieve. Our founder and CEO Andrea Breanna, who let go of RebelMouse's office in 2017, has some tips for combatting remote-work fatigue.

Take a Walk: It sounds so simple, but when you get in the routine of not leaving one spot, sometimes taking a walk seems like a big task. The hardest part is just getting out the door. Make it a point to get outside for a 30-minute walk once or twice a day as a brain break. Head to a coffee shop or a place you like to visit to reward yourself for finishing a project or task before you start the next one. You'll be surprised how much better you feel when you get back.

Group Exercise: Moving your body in various forms is a healthy and natural way to reduce any feelings of anxiety or situational depression. Whether it's yoga, spinning, dance, or something else that gets you away from a screen, participating in an activity as a group brings a sense of community that you may miss from an office environment.

Structure Your Day: The beauty of having no office is that you can create a routine that works best for you. Identify the times of day you're most productive, and prioritize those hours for work. Be sure to set a time where you can unplug from email and tasks to truly unwind. A great way to make sure you step away from your computer is to schedule an afternoon exercise class or activity that will mark the end of your work day. Once the activity is over, let it serve as your own personal signal that it's time to decompress.

Abundant Thinking: At RebelMouse, we try to practice abundant thinking. Read more about what this means here. In short, workers often adopt a scarcity-driven mindset, fueled by the idea that there isn't enough time. A change of perspective can help reverse this world view. Abundant thinking can increase productivity and help you better understand the vast opportunities and achievements waiting for you. Here are some examples of the differences between a scarcity mindset and an abundant-thinking mindset:

Chart from "The Remarkable Advantage of Abundant Thinking."

It's important to remember that there is no correct way to to work remotely. However, taking a proactive approach to preventing some of the mental ruts that can come with remote work will create more space for all of the wonderful benefits of an office-free lifestyle. Whether you are a digital nomad in a new location every few days, or working at home to have the freedom to pick up your children from school, it still comes down to finding the right balance of working from home and living from home.

Do you have your own tips on making the most out of working from home? Send us a note at hello@rebelmouse.com!

Publishers No Longer Have to Submit Their Site to Google News

Google's Publisher Center creates new opportunities for audience growth

Just before the start of the next decade, Google announced an important change to its Google News offering with the launch of Google Publisher Center. The new interface merges Google News Producer and Google News Publisher into one to streamline the partnership process for publishers.

Overall, the change should make it easier for publishers to manage their Google News settings, including updating themes, directing URLs to section pages, and configuring user permissions. Read the full list of features here.

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Inside RebelMouse’s Quality Assurance Operations

How We've Perfected Stress-Free Publishing

At RebelMouse, we like to refer to our enterprise publishing platform as "lean tech." Most publishers have a natural inclination to start doubling down on teams of developers who try to build unique experiences to help stand out above the noise. But they should actually be doing the opposite: Lean tech is the preferred way to cut through content saturation. By allowing RebelMouse to obsess over your product, content producers, editors, managers, and everyone in between can focus on creating quality content and taking advantage of opportunities to leverage distributive publishing strategies that create real revenue growth.

One of the major reasons we're able to maintain a lean tech environment is thanks to our approach to quality assurance (QA). We make updates to our platform daily to ensure our clients always have access to the most robust, high-performing, and secure version of our platform. Behind the scenes, this means having a solid QA structure that's efficient, creates less bugs, and catches the ones that do pop up before they go live. It's a system of checks and balances that's hard and costly to replicate on a custom CMS. Here's a glimpse into how it works.

Our Tech Stack Toolbox

  • Cucumber
  • Java
  • Junit
  • Maven
  • Selenium WebDriver
  • TeamCity
  • Zalenium (Selenium Grid)

Our Checks and Balances Workflow

Automated Regression Testing Cycle

The Lifecycle of a Product Update

When an update is first made to RebelMouse, TeamCity immediately triggers the start of automated tests to review integrity.

TeamCity Build

TeamCity Agent

The tests run in parallel on TeamCity's Build Agent. Next, Zalenium creates docker containers with browsers that matches the count of parallel threads. An Allure report is then generated from the test results, which shows the state of the application after the update.

Allure Report Pass

If a test doesn't complete successfully, the testing framework receives a video with a failed test and attaches it to the Allure report.

Allure Report Issue

Based on the report analysis, a QA specialist will create a "bug" ticket in our product management software to address the issue if needed. Then, information about the bug is immediately sent to the project manager and we begin the process of correcting the problem.

The media powerhouses we power can publish with confidence knowing that any product issues that arise are met with a tried-and-true process to fix the problem with little-to-no disturbance to their workflow. If you have any questions about this process, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

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