Eleven Basic Steps to Ensure Working Remotely Works for You

We know working remotely is not always easy.  That’s why we are here to help with some basic steps to maintain productivity and help you adjust to the new environment.  

 1.     Test Your Network Speed

If your network is running slow, conduct a network speed test to see what the actual upload and download speeds are. If they are less then you expect, stop streaming services that may have been running and then re-run the speed test to see if you are getting higher speeds when less devices are using your ISP connection.

Although there are a lot of network speed test applications available, the one from Microsoft is very easy to run.  Just click on the URL below to install:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/network-speed-test/9wzdncrfhx52?activetab=pivot:overviewtab

2.     Use Online Collaboration Tools

Online collaboration tools provide voice, data (screen sharing) and video.  Although your end-user experience will vary depending upon your bandwidth, Microsoft Teams just released improvements to voice quality and the ability to work on less stable internet connections.  Larger urban areas have a variety of options for internet service and the various bandwidth options ranging from as low as 18 mbs up to fiber giga bit connections for residential customers. All of these speeds will support traffic needed for online collaboration.

3.     Don’t Skimp on Security

If your workplace has VPN service, enable this to establish a secure tunnel between your home device and your workplace. Any internet traffic will receive the same protection services that you would if you were in the office.

4.     Turn off Streaming Services

Optimize your home network for the best experience. You likely have family members home using video streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon. Depending on your bandwidth, you may need to limit other home users when online meetings occur. If your online conference is slow or pauses intermittently you may want to:

o   Turn off your video

o   Ask family members to limit streaming movies and TV

o   Increasing your bandwidth by contacting your internet provider

5.     Create a Daily Routine

Create a workday environment for yourself.  If you normally eat breakfast, grab coffee and read the news before you leave for work, continue to keep your routine.  This includes dressing for work and working normal business hours.

6.     Continue to Interact with Colleagues

Rather through email or instant messaging tools, chat daily with your colleagues just like if you were in the office.  Continue to develop working relationships not only within your company but with groups outside of your company.

7.     Designate a Home Office Space

Preferably this is a separate room or at least a designated working area with limited distractions.  Separating business and personal space can also help put you in a better mindset for getting work done. Use wired connections to directly plug your work PC into your router or modem.  This is more secure and will perform better than most home wireless networks.  Also, set your home network to give priority to your wired connections to ensure your work traffic will not be slowed down or interfered with by other home network activity.

8.     Take Regular Breaks

Just like working in an office, get up and take a short walk or stretch for a few minutes to avoid becoming too sedentary.  If needed, set a timer for every hour or so to get up.

9.     Communicate with Your Manager

Be sure both you and your manager have clear expectations on your daily work and agreed upon progress.  Hold regular meetings with your manager.  These can be a short email at the end of the day or a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss accomplishments.

10.   Ensure Your Technology Supports You

Your PC, wireless network, modem, cell phone and collaboration tools are all key components for seamlessly working from home.  If your company does not offer a help desk to ensure you are using the best technology to support remote work, there are articles on the internet and YouTube videos to assist through technical issues.  In addition, do not use your work PC for personal email or entertainment purposes to ensure your PC stays operational and protected.  If your PC goes down, you might not be able to work.

11.  Buy a Surge Protector

Use a surge protector for any work equipment, including laptops, screens and printers. This is especially important since it may be difficult for your company to immediate replace damaged equipment.

If you have any questions on how technology can assist with the move to working remotely, contact Dewpoint at https://www.dewpoint.com/contact/ for help.

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