athat working from home requires extra effort to maintain focus and productivity. This is what happens.
In view of the ever-changing consequences of the proliferation of coronaviruses, also known as COVID-19, last week, we ran a company-wide WFH test. That’s what I learned in those first 24 hours and how it can help you.
Work from home, one day
Wakes up at 7:30 am.
Keeping my morning routine as simple as possible is key to getting my work mentality going. I didn’t have to factor an extra 45 minutes into my arrival, so I put that time into my usual shower, coffee and breakfast routine.
Starts at 9am.
Tip # 1: Have a work center in mind. I have an office where one person is. My husband also works from home, which makes things a little more complicated. So, to this day, he takes it to the office desk and I use the kitchen table. I liked this setup because I had a great view of the backyard bustling with birds and squirrels.
Consider what you need in terms of your setup. My office has an additional computer monitor that I use when I need two full screens at once. Other times, I can get on with my laptop.
Items you need:
Insufficient desk or work space
Monitor, mousepad or other office tools
Whether you want to work from home permanently, or only for a few days, set up your office as a real office. And do so before getting started.
“Find a new normal quickly.”
Andy Hartman, Head of Product at MYMOVE, has experience working in unforeseen domestic situations. “In 2012, I was working in NYC and we were hit by Hurricane Sandy. Our company went into WFH policy for an unknown period.”
His advice? “Find a new normal quickly. Set a new normal for remote processes. Delays make it difficult to operate and our businesses are less efficient.”
Lunch and other distractions, 11:30 am.
Tip # 2: Take a Mindful Break. Schedule regular breaks for yourself and use them appropriately. One benefit of working from home is that some work can be done. But I would advise not getting caught up in home chores. Launching a dishwasher is one thing and deciding to deep clean your bathroom during the break is another.
How to increase your free time:
Take a regular break.
Get out or walk.
Enjoy if you have pets.
Focus more on TV, loud music, etc.
Start doing household chores. If necessary, make a to-do list to deal with after you “go out” for the day.
Stretched at noon, 2:30 pm.
In the middle of the afternoon, I was feeling a little ant. If you are accustomed to working in the office with an open floor plan, being alone is a habit. The good news is that there are ways to combat any temporary cabin fever.
When you’re in a remote meeting, “you’re not afraid to talk,” says Hartman. “Collaboration and feedback are more important to the remote. Be sure to attend meetings, keep a voice, share your views and collaborate externally. “
Tip # 3: Reach out to your colleagues. Whether you use Slack, email, or any other tool to communicate with your team, it’s a good idea to check in daily. The check-in ensures that everyone is in good spirits and connected to each other so as not to get confused during the meeting. You can set up a “hang-out” room for remote “water-cooler” chit-chat through video-conferencing tools like Zoom.
More importantly, Hartman says, “Take care of yourself and your team. Beyond our daily work, we are all a team, everyone is affected differently, and this is important to your peers.”
Getting up at 6 pm and heading home.
The workday ended faster than I thought. After walking home for the past seven years, switching to relaxation mode is great. Since it was a trial run from home, I decided to capture everything needed to make the next remote day even better.
Tip # 4: Know what is important to you You need to be productive, comfortable, efficient and happy. There is tons of WFH advice that you should have on a trendy office and a professional organization. Very good if those things work for you.
But keep in mind your priorities. For example, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to renovate an office. I bought a solid 20 solid wood desk at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and an additional computer monitor from my neighborhood market. I painted the walls, put in the new floor lamp and – Presto! – Proper office for me. Also, I want to take advantage of other places in my house. If I feel distracted at my desk, I work in the kitchen or on the patio table.
Internet speed, security and other considerations
It is important to recognize what speed you need when working from home and this may not be the same for everyone. For example, if you are connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), keep in mind that this will slow down your Internet connection. An average VPN can reduce your speed by 10% -30%. Not sure what speed you are currently getting? To find out, use our speed test tool below.
There are three main factors to consider when choosing Internet speed to work remotely:
Are you connected to a VPN?
Are you connecting more than one computer, or are there more than one person working at home?
Are you uploading large files, participating in video conference calls, or doing other things that require more data and speed capabilities?
Internet security when working from home
Your company may already have strict security features such as a VPN with two-factor authentication. If not, make sure you succeed by checking out these articles about securing your Internet connection.
Learn how to set up vpn
How to create a strong password
Get a more secure home internet connection
Remember, if you work from home and the internet issues are solved by you, then IT is difficult to reach. Do you know what to do if your internet stops working? Do you know how to reset your router or how to reach your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for help when needed? Here is a customer service introduction for the top ISPs in the US.
AT&T Customer Service
CenturyLink customer service
Cox Customer Service
Cross-border customer service
Spectrum customer service
Verizon customer service
Xfinity customer service
My final advice
Since you’re at home, you may feel like you’re going to be super productive. You should not be surprised or discouraged if you have all that is available in the office. There are still eight hours in the workday.
Have you run your WFH trial? If you need a quick check of the Internet in your area, or want to see what your options are, click below.