How to Work Effectively From Home
Whether you’re working remotely one or a few days per week, or full-time, it’s important to ensure that you are set up to be productive. This includes having a designated work space with the right technology that allows you to work securely and productively from home while minimizing potential disruptions. Here are some strategies and tips to be successful as a remote worker.
Know the ground rules
Does your employer require a nine-to-five schedule, or is there flexibility? Which technology tools might you need and does your employer provide and support them? Do they have options available such as RingCentral, Microsoft Office 365 teams, or zoom for group chats, video meetings, and document collaboration? Do they provide remote access through VPN, Remote Desktop, or some other method? It's important that your employer spells out the ground rules and ensures you have the appropriate equipment, such as a laptop, printer, WIFI, and instructions for secure remote login including two-factor authentication.
Before it becomes and emergency, be sure to do trial runs and work out any problems that might impede your work. by testing ahead of time you will know that you are prepared when the time comes for that snow storm, sick kid, or currently a global Pandemic.
Minimize distractions and setup a functional work space
Not everyone has a designated home office, but it's critical to have a private, quiet, comfortable space for you to work. If you can, separate your work area from your personal spaces and use it just for work, not for other activities. If you have a barking dog lawnmower, constant traffic, or a jack-hammering worker outside your window, consider investing in noise-cancelling headphones, such as Apple's AirPod Pros or simply moving your space to a quieter location. If the kids are home and you're without childcare (say, during the summer or a natural emergency), see if you and your spouse (or a neighbor in a similar situation) can take turns with care—which may mean you have to talk to your manager about working evening hours.
Get the internet speed you need
If you have kids, their Face Timing, Netflix watching, Virtual classrooms, online gaming, or video streaming habits may slow your internet connection and download speeds. Moving as close as you can to your Wi-Fi router can help (devices that are distant tend to draw on bandwidth), or you can consider switching to wired Ethernet. You'll likely need an adapter since many of today's thin laptops don't have Ethernet ports, plus an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to your router.
Also if you have not spoken to your Internet Service provider in years, you are likely on an old plan and can upgrade to modern speeds with little to no additional cost. Give them a shout and ask. They may even provide you with a new more modern WIFI Router.
Phone calls and virtual meetings
If your job involves making long distance and/or international calls, RingCentral and Microsoft Teams both let you call over the Internet to any number across the globe on the cheap. And if you and the person you're calling are on the same service, the call will be free. In addition, our RingCental Ip phone systems will allow your office phone to be portable. Simply take it from your desk to your home and plug in to your internet router and It will work just like you were at the office. You can also use the Ring central app as a soft phone and simply plug a headset with microphone into your computer and make calls that way. Both RingCentral and Microsoft Office 365 teams will allow you to join and or host Video conferences too.
Plan extra social interactions
Some folks love the thought of working in solitude, but even the most introverted among us can start feeling a little claustrophobic after a few weeks at home, alone, staring at the same project for long hours. It can get lonely. Be ready for that and try to schedule some way to connect-with-the-outside-world at times, maybe schedule an in person or virtual lunch (even if you take it at 3 PM). Maybe a video chat with a friend, or family member. During this time of the Pandemic phone calls and video chats are your best options to maintain connections and social distancing at the same time. Use face time or any of the apps we've discussed above. There are many options out there to stay connected.