COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, is hitting everyone hard.  Millions of people are now working from home for the first time, and unfortunately, it’s not too clear how long this situation is likely to last.  Therefore, remote working is something many people are going to need to take time adjusting to!

Working from home sounds like an ideal scenario.  You get access to all your home comforts and can even work in your pyjamas if your job allows it!  However, you will still have the same deadlines and the same need to stay professional.  What’s more, if you live with a partner or with children, you’re going to all need to be mindful of this new situation!

Therefore – how can you easily prepare for remote working? Let’s take a quick look.

Clear your head and your desk

When working from home, you must have a fixed space and schedule.  Organisation is so important!  Set up your own desk and space away from partners and family.  This might seem harsh or impersonal but think about it this way – everyone benefits from space and time to do their jobs.  There’s a reason why, in your usual office, you will likely have a regimented space.

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Make sure you take plenty of breaks, but don’t get distracted.  Switch off the TV and keep away from apps that distract you on your phone.  If you need a phone for work, fantastic – but don’t pick it up every five minutes to browse Facebook.  Do also make sure you finish work at a time you normally would in an office.  This should go without saying, but it’s easy to let things run over.

Keeping Your Tech and Data Safe

When you move from an office into a remote working position, you may well take home access to a few important pieces of software.  What’s more, you will probably still have access to all the sensitive data you’d be handling on the office floor.  Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial you make sure your IT security and data protection are up to scratch, even if you are working from afar.

For example, do make sure you have access to data backups.  If you are only saving and accessing data locally from your laptop or PC at home, you’re putting a lot of sensitive information at risk.  Ensure you have IT backup to restore sensitive information should anything go wrong and that your computer is suitably encrypted.

Do always update your devices.  Yes, it can get annoying when Windows wants to update halfway through a shift, but these updates are crucial.  Working from home may mean a change to the way your data is backed up. Always ensure that this process is automated, make sure to have some form of security suite in place, and – as you should normally be in any case – be vigilant when it comes to online scams.

If you are using the same PC or device for home and leisure use as well as for work, be extra careful.  Phishing scams that you accidentally trigger through idle browsing might put your job – and stacks of data – at risk.  It’s really not worth being complacent.

Best practice highlights with your technology

Let’s be honest, this remote working isn’t going away overnight. Here are some brief highlight advice to avoid common issues on your computer

*** If you can plug in – Then do it! ***

WiFi is very useful, however, there is nothing more reliable and faster than plugging your device into the router. If you can, then do it. You will get more speed and stability from your device.

*** Shut down your computer at the end of every day***

Unless specifically asked by your IT dept not to do this, shut it down at the end of the day. This is beneficial for several reasons. It will stop you from being tempted to continue working during your downtime! Shutting down regularly can fix temporary system issues (compared to never shutting down). As well as perform updates as part of the reboot.

Your IT dept may want you to leave your device running out of hours some times. This is done to allow them to run maintenance at a time that doesn’t impact you.- Only do this if directed by your IT dept.

*** Don’t ignore those updates***

Schedule in those updates. Don’t jeopardize the security of your device because it was mildly inconvenient!

Try not to kill each other! – Stay Positive!

Remote working is a massive adjustment for you but think about the adjustment it’ll be for everyone else in your home.  Your partner may normally have the house to themselves, as may the kids.  If you’re moving back home to work remotely, you should respect their space as much as they should respect yours.  It’s a big adjustment for everyone involved.

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Kindness is key.  Spend time with your family when you are able to, when your schedule allows.  Do some gardening!  Make sure to finish at a regimented time so that you can give your family your full attention.

Working Remotely in the Long Run

Working remotely is immensely cathartic.  It means that you’ll have more freedom, access to all your favourite things, and you get to see more of your loved ones.  However, it also means you’re going to need to be motivated, organised, and ready to support your business and clients like never before.

What’s more, always make sure you have IT professionals backing you up from afar.  Remote working could pose a massive risk to the data you handle!  Make sure to check in with West View IT for more information on remote IT support – we’ll help keep you secure and ticking over.

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