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19-03-2020 by Andrew Parrott
Due to the coronavirus pandemic most people will now find themselves working from home
For some it might be the first time they have worked remotely and this can take some getting used to.
Whilst larger companies might already be set up to allow staff to work from home, for smaller businesses this might be the first time they have tried it.
Amongst other things they will need to consider the security aspects of employees connecting remotely to their servers, how accessible the necessary company data is and how any workflows are followed to ensure there is no duplication of tasks or things aren't forgotten or missed.
Another consideration is broadband speed and reliability at the employees' home. This could be more of a problem if they have partners and children who are also at home.
Below are a few ideas that may be helpful:
Dedicated Space - Whilst you can work on your laptop in bed or slouched on the sofa, this will not be the most comfortable postion for long periods and can do serious damage to your body in the longer term. A desk and chair is a must and if this can be in a dedicated space then all the better. If you have no alternative but to work in the kitchen or lounge then try to minimise distraction by asking other family members to leave you alone whilst you are working.
Mobile Broadband - If the landline broadband is slow or unreliable try a mobile provider. Three offer a reasonably priced unlimited data package which includes a router. In many rural areas you will get faster speeds than your current broadband (as long as you can position the router to get a signal) and the service is reliable. Remember that it is the 3G (or preferrably 4G) signal that is the key here so even if your mobile phone might not get a good voice signal you may still have an adequate 3G or 4G signal.
Communication with colleagues - Part of the challenge of working from home is getting used to the feeling of isolation but nowadays it is easy to keep in touch with colleagues. Apps like WhatsApp and Signal allow you to make voice and video calls via your mobile phone and you can use your interent connection to make calls so you don't have to eat up valuable mobile data. If you need group chats then look at Microsoft Teams - which you might already have anyway as part of an Office 365 subscription. There is also Skype which is an alternative to Teams and Zoom which seems to be the most popular one at the moment.