As the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic forces more business to close and employees to work from home we wanted to provide some tips on working remotely or from home during the coronavirus.
Shifting to a remote working environment can be more than just finding a space at the kitchen table, downloading a video conferencing program, or staying focused. It’s about allocating more time for productivity, cutting out time that was previously used to commute to your place of business, getting more rest, and increasing focus all while staying healthy and promoting a safer work environment.
Here are a few tips for working from home during the coronavirus:
Get some good headphones
A good pair of headphones can make a huge difference when you have to be on conference calls all day. If you don’t have a pair of headphones ask a family member or think about picking them up next time you have to go out. Having a high-quality headset and microphone will make any calls you have to have much more pleasant.
Use the mute button
When working remote or from home background noise is something you just have to deal with. Whether it’s the dog barking, Amazon dropping off those new headphones you just got, or something else keeping your microphone muted when on a call will really help reduce distraction on a call.
Continue to communicate
When working remotely you may be making lunch, running out to grab the mail or making a cup of coffee. Those are all tasks that take you away from your computer. Just make sure that you set your status, in whatever communication system you are using, to away so that everyone knows you stepped out.
When lounging around the house, sweatpants and an old tshirt are always a preferred outfit for most of us. Working from home during this time may make it especially tempting to stay in your PJs all day and hang on the couch with the laptop. However, if you have to hop on a video call with a client it might be a good idea to dress like you are in the office. We suggest continuing to dress the part for your productivity’s sake, check out this post from Fast & Company on how changing clothes for your work hours can make a big difference. If sweatpants are your normal office dress code then lounge away!
Know your bandwidth
The last thing you want is to hop on a video call and get a “slow connection” warning. Test your video conferencing program before a client meeting by calling a co-worker. Make sure that they can hear and see you clearly. You can also use tools like SpeedTest.net and Fast.com to test your internet speed.
Talk with your company’s IT team before accessing or opening any sensitive or private information at home. Your company may have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection that you will be required to use.
Here are a few tools for working from home during the coronavirus:
Now working from home may seem easy at first, but what about all of the programs you utilize daily in the office that you don’t have access to at home? Here are some that will help you get by:
Communication & Video Conferencing
- Slack - https://slack.com
- Google Hangouts - https://hangouts.google.com
- Zoom - https://zoom.us
- GoToMeeting - https://gotomeeting.com
- Skype - https://skype.com
- Evernote - https://evernote.com
- Google Keep - https://keep.google.com
- Apple Notes - https://icloud.com/notes
- Trello - https://trello.com
- Asana - https://asana.com
- I done this - https://idonethis.com
- ToDoist - https://todoist.com
Productivity and Reporting
- 1Password - https://1password.com
- An electric kettle
- Coffee or Tea
- Filtered water
- Fax Machine/Scanner
- Notebook (if you fancy traditional note-taking rather than online)
- Stable internet connection