How to Keep Productive – What Can You Do To Prepare to Work From Home?

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies are considering work from home options to facilitate social-distancing and keep their workforce healthy. With that being the case self-isolation has become all too real. If you are currently working from home – that comes a different set of challenges – keeping productive while being at home.

We wanted to give you a few tips with what we have found helpful for keeping focused and productive.

1. Have a Dedicated Workspace – This will help you and those around you if you have the expectation of when you are there you are working.

2. Keep Your Normal Work Routine – If your workday began with scheduling out your day, keep that in place even though you are at home. Structure your day as you would in the office.

3. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks – In order to keep your brain engaged, you have to take regular breaks. Try going for a quick walk, calling a friend, do something away from your computer or workspace.

4. Dress Like You Are at Work – If you dress the part you feel the part.

These can help with productivity but what about some practical tips of things you can do to make it possible to work from home as it’s not as simple as sending your employees home, firing up personal laptops and getting back to work. Here are a few suggestions of things you need to have lined up in order to successfully deploy your remote workforce.

1. Secure Remote Access: Employees should not have open access to everything on their work systems from their personal computers. This keeps company data protected. In order to be productive through this pandemic, however, employers will need to provide a secure connection utilizing VPN or remote access software. These solutions will mirror the employee’s work desktop without housing all of the data on the individual’s personal system, allowing them to seamlessly continue work.

2. File Sharing Capabilities: While people will be working in isolation, they must still be able to collaborate. File sharing/group editing software will be critical to moving forward creative or documentation projects through real-time editing, commenting, and versioning. Software like Dropbox for Business, Microsoft Teams/Sharepoint or Google Documents fills this need securely.

3. Video Conferencing: Meetings must go on while people work remotely; however, voice-only leaves much to be desired in terms of tone and context. We highly recommend putting in place video conferencing options. You can implement something as simple as Google Duo/FaceTime, or something more feature intensive, like Zoom or GoTo Meeting.

4. Messaging Software: You can’t just spin your chair around to talk to your co-worker when working remote, yet it’s not efficient to always pick up the phone. We recommend implementing a messaging software like Microsoft Teams to open communication channels and allow employees to continue to interact quickly and accurately. You can set up one-on-one conversations or set up channels to facilitate team communication.

While we do not know what the future holds at this point, more and more offices are closing and working remotely. While it may make sense to keep your employees on-site for now, we believe it’s important to have a plan should you need to close your physical offices. Getting these 4 pieces of the puzzle in line will prepare you to take your workforce remotely. For assistance implementing these things, contact us.