5 Tips for Successfully Working from Home During COVID-19

There’s no denying that the events of the past month have made an immense impact on both our country and the entire world. COVID-19 has forced event cancellations, school closures, and new restrictions on travel and leaving your homes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that these precautions can and will save lives.

In addition to this there has also been a new consideration for remote work, where possible. Not all companies have full-time remote jobs or remote employees. Along with that, a great deal of part-time freelance workers are suffering due to lack of employment. This goes to show the beauty of home based employment and working remotely. 

Although many organization’s allow their employees to work from home they don’t always take the proper precautions. Human error is one of the greatest causes of a data breach and think of all the devices your team will be using from home. 

Having a good remote access plan that protects your company’s network allows you to continue business as usual without worrying about cybersecurity issues. As more companies are sending their employees to work from home, we compiled this list of tips to be successful away from the office.

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Reliable Internet

Nothing is more frustrating than having a spotty Internet connection. Especially when you’re trying to work on a big project through remote access to your work computer. Most Internet packages available today will be fine. 

No system is perfect though and problems may occur. The last thing you want is the inability to finish a project because your internet is going in and out unpredictably. 

However, you might need to curb ancillary access of the Internet, like streaming and gaming, if you’re trying to do something more than upload and download documents. If your Internet seems slow, shut down and restart your router/modem. This can sometimes speed things up for a while.

Good Computer Hygiene 

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You know that “It’s time to update” pop-up that you’ve been avoiding for weeks? It’s imperative that you take the time to update. This is most likely handled automatically by your IT team at the office, but your home system may be woefully behind, curbing your speed, as well as opening up unnecessary security holes. 

We recommend applying security patches as they are released, and keeping your computer up to date. That means, don’t ignore those pesky pop-ups. Updates always take a little while but they are worth it for your safety and efficiency. 

Are you unaware  if there are updates available? You can check in your computer’s control panel. You can also try simply restarting your system. Often, the updates will begin  working immediately.

To maximize effectiveness, watch the number of programs you’re attempting to run and browser windows you have open at any given time. Computers are not great multi-taskers, instead regularly switching between a multitude of processes (the instructions behind your applications) to complete commands. In fact, the number of processors in your system is the maximum number of things your computer can be “working” on at once, so if you’re seeing a drop-off in performance, take a moment to close a few programs not actively in use.

Connect Securely

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In order to protect your business, don’t just install Microsoft Outlook on your personal computer and proceed to work as usual. Instead, connect through remote access software or VPN. This will allow you into your traditional work desktop without risking business data in an open atmosphere. Consult with your IT team to review their plan for remote access as well as enterprise-grade antivirus before beginning remote work.

In some cases, Cloud Managed Services work extremely successfully. Platforms like Office  365 allow for safe remote access and easy collaboration between company members. Your team members can work from home without missing a beat. 

Establish Routine

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When you go into the office, you have a clear routine. You come in, grab a cup of coffee, banter with your co-workers for a few minutes, sit down at your desk, and get to business. While it may be appealing to work in your pajamas, try to maintain as much normalcy as possible. 

Begin your day with a clear starting time and work schedule. Create an office space so that you’re not just piled up on the couch. Plan to get dressed and ready for the day, just like you’re going into the office.

Over-communicate

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You may find yourself feeling isolated pretty quickly when working from home. This is likely because you’re missing out on the short interactions and general banter with your colleagues. We highly recommend setting up a daily touch-base with your team in order to discuss priorities, work through sticking points, and to simply connect with other human beings. 

Don’t be afraid to send more progress emails than normal. Utilize messaging apps liberally, and don’t underestimate the power of a video chat or meeting. If an email exchange is getting too longer (more than three replies back and forth without solving the problem) pick up the phone.

Companies that incorporate work at home jobs, empower employees and allow for a more flexible schedule for your team as well. 

Working from home can be an extremely powerful tool. When done right you can be as productive, if not more so than at the office. Enjoy the opportunity presented by COVID-19 concerns to establish a new work normal, at least for a short period of time.

At The TNS Group we are committed to our clients and their business operations. Times like these are enough to bring any organization down but you have control. Contact us today to learn more about remote access plans.