Since working from home as of March 2020 there has been a whirlwind of emotion and adjustments to our workdays and personal lives. Here are a few things I have found that help me be successful remote working.
A Quiet Place
The majority of the time I can handle the dogs running around or the neighbours mowing their lawn at 10:30 on a Tuesday, but there are times when you need to concentrate. My recommendation is to invest in a pair of headphones and a low tempo playlist. If you can’t concentrate with music then earbuds can help with blocking out the background noise as well.
A World of our Own
The worst part about working on the dining table is having to clear away your work equipment to replace with table mats when it’s time to eat. If you’re anything like me then you like a place for everything and everything in its place. You’ve spent ages making your office desk just right. Head set goes there, laptop goes over there, screens are the perfect height and oh yes, your coffee mug that’s within reach, but not too close to risk a spill over your keyboard. If this is you, I found investing in a small (pop-up) table where you can leave your equipment out and come back to just the way you left it can make your mornings that little bit more stress free.
Tell My Wi-Fi Love Her
They say “You never truly know someone until the Wi-Fi goes down”. A poor Wi-Fi signal can be detrimental to the workday, especially if you’re in an important meeting with that client you’ve been waiting 6 months to speak to. Personally, I invested in Unifi Wireless Access points, they are business grade equipment that can easily manage the load of a home network and have an extended reach compared to the router your ISP supplied when you had the broadband installed. You can have the fastest broadband line in the world but, if you have poor Wi-Fi, you’re wasting money.
A VPN is not Always the Answer
Working from home has had its added complications such as accessing those programs that are hosted in the office environment. Some applications are too complex or resource heavy to work over a VPN and you can find their performance can be slow and unresponsive. Our solution to this is to invest in a remote desktop or app server. These can either be hosted in your office or with a third party. This creates a shared desktop space that remote workers can access from anywhere to access company programs or documents. This can make accessing that local version of Sage a lot smoother.
Let’s Talk About VoIP, Baby
Keeping a good communication with your team is the key to remote working. If you’re not visible or contactable your team and your customers will take it as, you’re not working. There have been hundreds of web meeting and communication apps boom since the pandemic most of which have fallen by the wayside after they were found to be unsecure or flaky, remember House Party? Our company invested in a VoIP phone system a long time ago (3CX) for use in the office. Little did we know, that this would be the key to our remote working success. Built-in Web Conferencing, Instant Messaging, Reporting, Monitoring, Mobile Apps and of course voice calls, 3CX has been the key to our success. If you’re not already using VoIP, it’s time to change. Not all VoIP providers are made equal, so check what comes as standard and what is an add-on. 3CX also integrates with Microsoft Teams which is a bonus if you already have a 365 package. See our ‘hosted phone systems‘ blog for more information.
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times since the beginning of the pandemic. “Get out, go for a walk”. It’s true, time away from your screen helps you focus and can make you more productive and more importantly, happier and healthier. Even if it’s just to stand in the garden for five minutes or if it’s raining, stand by the window. A little break goes a long way.
Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?
This may sound a little bias but, invest in tech support. Speaking as the guy on the other end of the phone, an outsourced IT department could save you time and money. Do you know how to troubleshoot your home Wi-Fi? How long would it take to get through to your provider? Our IT Support desk has been extremely busy over the last 2 years. Not only do you have the day to day troubleshooting of documents that didn’t save, you now have the added home printer, network bandwidth and VPN issues. How much is your time worth?
These are just a few things that helped me whilst working remotely, hopefully they can help you too.
If you are unsure or have any further questions about the points in this article, contact us at email@example.com and we will be more than happy to advise.