Just a few months ago, home office was viewed as a perk that many employees wished to have. But, be careful what you wish for.
Today, in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak, working from home has become a reality for many of the world’s workers in ways that were not expected a few month ago. More and more businesses are urging, and in some cases mandating, employees to work from home in order to put a stop to the escalation of the Coronavirus spread. In some cases, a long period of remote work can become quite a difficult challenge.
There are plenty of reasons why many people like to work in an office, beside their colleagues, in a business environment. We are social beings and we love to interact. Plus, a change in our surroundings can help boost our energy and creativity.
You may find yourself regularly working from home over the coming weeks. If this is your first rodeo in home office, you need to take into consideration a few things:
1. Don’t start downloading sketchy programs
The worst thing you could do right now is to start downloading a bunch of sketchy programs that might have computer viruses and make it so you can’t do any work at all. Fallow the steps your company sends out for home office. It should include what programs you should be using for calls, video conferencing, file sharing or whether you need a VPN to log into your network.
2. Have a backup internet connection
In the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Internet is economy’s secret weapon. On the other hand, as more and more workers and students head home to avoid spreading the novel Coronavirus, the internet connection will be put to the test.
Our recommendation is to always have a backup. Beside your main internet connection, you should have at least another option to access the World Wide Web.
Turn your phone into a Wi-Fi Hotspot. With a few taps, you can turn your smartphone into a source for internet and get your tasks done. One thing to keep in mind, the Hotspot from your phone will use up battery life in addition to data. So be sure to have your phone connected to a power source and a good internet data plan for your phone.
Use a Wi-Fi stick/ dongle. About the same size as a USB storage stick, dongles plug directly into the USB port on the side of your computer and give you access to the internet. It’s easy to use and it’s powered by your computer so you don’t need another charger.
It’s highly important that you try to have a backup plan for your internet connection. Try o use another internet provider for your backup plan, so you will have two options when it comes to your internet connectivity. The chance to have both internet connections going down is small.
3. Be aware of scammers
The Coronavirus scams are already coming thick and fast. Several recent attacks have attempted to leverage the Coronavirus by getting people to click on links in messages or e-mails. With just a simple click you can download malicious malware, which can be used to steal your personal data or freeze your computer. As a result, your work or important company data can fall into the hands of hackers.
How do you turn home work into a productivity boon and a pleasant experience?
Working remotely can feel isolating at times. Besides the technical requirements, you also need to create an environment that will help your productivity in a time of social isolation. Here are some tips that can help you get more comfortable and productive:
1. Have a routine
Even workers who may be used to taking a day or two per week to work from home are facing the prospect of doing so for weeks or even months. So, their usual way of working remotely may need a little more structure now.
The importance of a routine in the context of the Coronavirus social isolation is emphasized by all physiologists.
Set an alarm in the morning and prepare yourself for a normal working day. Shower, dress for a casual work day, brush your hair, get some breakfast and drink your coffee or tea. This will put you in your normal work mindset.
2. Create a home office space
Having a space to work in is crucial for your state of mind. Replicate your office work tech as much as possible. Create a dedicated work area free from distraction and noises, where you can get comfortable enough to work for multiple hours.
Be sure to set up your workstation with all tools you need. Get your noise-cancelling headphones and your comfortable chair and start working
3. Stay in touch with your team
Another important aspect you need to take into consideration is the communication with your colleagues. You are not alone in this crazy new world. Make sure you stay in touch with your team. With all the tools available nowadays, your colleagues are just a click away.
The world is changing and we need to keep the pace. But crisis moments also present opportunity: more sophisticated and flexible use of technology, and a new appreciation for the outdoors and life’s other simple pleasures.