Stay at home and be productive! That's the goal for so many of us right now. For those of us still adjusting to working from home, we have good news! There are lots of easy ways to stay connected and productive. The recipe involves a mix of the right technology, intentional communication, and the right mind-set. Here are a few remote work tips to help you stay productive while working from home.
Remote work tip #1: Perform an office network check-up
If your office is temporarily working from home, you may need more resources to support the increase in users logging into the office network from the outside. Check with your IT team to see if you have enough bandwidth and the right firewall. Users can also help by only using the VPN for applications and data only accessible in the office.
What to do about bandwidth at home
Cloud-based applications like Office 365, Zoom, and Salesforce: home internet keeps your users connected to these! Using an ethernet cable can give you a boost. Or ask family members not to watch Netflix so you can get the most bandwidth for your important video calls! However, there are tools for those that cannot sacrifice performance and need VIP treatment for their connection.
Remote work tip #2: Connect to office phones from your computers.
A phone system hosted in the cloud allows your team to stay connected wherever they're located. Using an internet connection, you can make and receive calls as if you were in the office. Even without a desk phone, you can use your computer or mobile phone with a VoIP app (more on VoIP apps here).
What to do about noise at home
It's helpful to use headphones when joining a call from your desktop so you can tune out distractions. However, not all headphones will block noise for the others on the call. Check out this article by Forbes for the best headphones to use while working from home.
Remote work tip #3: Encourage face-to-face communication
Remote work can feel isolating, so look for opportunities for video calls. It's an easy way to make personal connections! When scheduling meetings or checking in with your team, consider using video to make it face-to-face.
What to do about your video setup at home
Lighting your face and raising your camera help you look your best on video. You can also add privacy (or have fun) by changing the background of your video call. Some businesses are using this as an opportunity for branding; some are having fun dialing in from the Millennium Falcon. Instructions for changing background in Microsoft Teams here!
Remote work tip #4: Make it easier for teams to stay engaged.
When your team isn't working from the same place, a cloud-based collaboration tool helps keep users focused. It provides one place for managing your work alongside your team using chat, task management, and file-sharing.
Don't have a collaboration tool?
Many teleconferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom are offering their service for free to help make remote work easier.