8 Quick Tips on Working From Home
Tactics in the Coronavirus times and beyond
Life adjustment to Covid19 may feel overwhelming but for many, working from home is now a practical reality and one that may be around for a while. However, this change does not have to add to the overall anxiety.
Having worked from home for more than a decade, I have learnt a few things that are quite relevant for today’s home-office dynamic. Hope they help.
Tip #1: Pick a Corner
Your workstation (computer and desk) should not be in the way of a ‘high traffic’ zone. Rooms that are in the corner of the house and workstations in the corner of those rooms are least disrupted from family members or pets walking about and random accidents caused by cleaning or cluttering.
Tip #2: Have at least 3 Primary Communication Apps
While Skype may have been the de facto communication app for me over the last decade, I have often had to resort to Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Facebook Messenger, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), FaceTime, Slack, Zoom, Houseparty, Discord, etc., depending upon the situation. Each platform takes a bit of getting used to, especially when the communication goes beyond just voice and video and enters screen sharing, file sharing and general team coordination. Making sure your desktop, laptop and phone is optimized for at least 3 most often used communication apps, goes a long way in saving time and energy when at meeting time, one app is crashing, one or more team members can’t login, the app is not finding your audio input, screen shares are causing screen freezes and Murphy’s Law is in full effect!
Tip #3: Invest in Fast Internet
In a household of 4 or 5 with everyone accessing Internet pretty much during all waking hours, it is imperative that your home’s broadband speed is optimized for all family members. Skype calls, especially during which video is on and desktop is being shared can get choppy quickly. Add to this your three kids who are all taking online classes at the same time and its no wonder everyone is frustrated from kids to colleagues to clients.
Tip #4: Invest in Noise-Cancelling Headphones
You love your family, yes, but you need to go to your ‘nice, happy, place’ once or twice a day. Whether you want to read a book or listen to music while slowly pacing around your room, you should be able to block out the decibels for some ‘me-time.’ I have found high-end noise-cancelling headphones to be a better investment than high-end chairs. You can creatively customize a medium quality chair to a comfortable one but can’t do much with low quality headphones.
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