Working from Home under a Pandemic Top 11 must-haves
Working from home has become a necessity for anyone whose work involves sitting in from of a computer. After this pandemic, employment will be vastly different. If this had happened during the 2008 financial crisis, the technology would have advanced enough. But now we are ready and employers are finding the most workers are working well. If you're under a stay-at-home order, this is a great opportunity to try.
But, the benefits of working from home are obvious. If you're a regular employee: you skip the commute and there are no office distractions for the day. If you're an entrepreneur: reduced overheads, no commuting and a congenial working environment. It takes a bit of planning and work to get the perfect home office, though. And - everyone is different.
Use a VPN. You need a VPN so you can connect your computer to the office and to share and access files.A VPN also keeps a secure and encrypted connection so no eavesdropping happens. This means getting not a consumer level router, but a prosumer level product like the Ubiquiti Edgerouter X.You can continue your consumer router for WIFI but disabling it router functions.Keep the WIFI functionality though. Reliability and confidence if your network is the name of the game when you're working from home.
Separate phones. You need a phone that you can switch off when you stop work. If your employer has a VOIP phone system like FreePBX, you can has them to move your extension home. Or you can use Microsoft Teams or Zoom in order to have group meeting and continue collaboration from home. I use a Plantronics CS60-USB handsfree headset so I can talk and type.
Microsoft 365. If you're not an employee, you're self-employed.That means that you should get Microsoft 365.You will be able to get all the productivity software like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams.
Keep work and home separate. Ideally, you need a separate room or outbuilding for work. It's good to shut the door on work at the end of the day. It also shuts out distractions.
Office stuff. Just because you're not in the office doesn't mean you don't need office stuff. Get a stationery cupboard, a shredder, a filing cabinet and even a water cooler. A good filing system is vital. Have dedicated files and spaces for work documents and stick to them.
Everywhere is your office. I use a local club for interviews and meetings. Starbucks or Cafe Nero are just as good.
Be businesslike. Just because you work from home doesn't mean you have to be amateur about the way you run your business.
Be like a small big business. Much of our work is for large companies and I spend a lot of time thinking about whether there is anything they have that I can replicate.
Trust. Your boss has to trust you, you have to trust your colleagues and most importantly, it's imperative that you trust yourself.
Hours. Try to set regular working hours and stick to them. This also ensures you don't slip into excessive overtime without realizing, which is a big risk when work is always right there.
Get a really good chair. It's not cheap. Whether you ask your boss or save super hard, it should be a priority. Your posture and body are important yet so many home-workers make do with dining room chairs or worse.