What Can I Do to Improve My Working From Home Experience
A common question that remote workers ponder is, “Things just work at the office, why do I have so many issues working from home?”Remote work has become the new norm for many Toronto area employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Business surveys are also starting to reveal that this may end up being permanent for many.

Statistics Canada found that 25% of Canadian businesses plan to have 10% or more of their workforce continuing to work from home even after the pandemic is over.

But many remote workers find that things aren’t quite as smooth when they’re working from home as when they were at the office. Even with the help of cloud collaboration platforms like Microsoft 365, employees can feel disconnected and out of sync with their team.

If this sounds familiar, we’ve got several tips below to help your teleworking go much more smoothly.

Have a Dedicated Workspace

When you’re not working in the same workspace each day, you can feel disjointed. You may have to get up to find a pen and paper or where you last left your charging cord.

You can feel much more like you’re “at work” if you have a dedicated workspace. This doesn’t have to be an entire room at your home, it can easily be a desk in a corner of a room. Anywhere you have enough space to work productively and that you can work at every day.

Use Collaboration Tools to Stay Connected

Not all offices that have collaboration tools like Teams or Slack, use them effectively. Purposely make policies for checking in with each other during the day and have mini-video conferences to touch base.

Even a 5 to10-minute morning call to confirm what everyone is working on, can remind you that you are part of a team and leave you feeling much less isolated.

Some of the features to use regularly to keep those connections with others are:

  • Status messages (at lunch, available, etc.)
  • Channeled chat communications for easy commenting/questions
  • Video calls (they don’t have to be long or preplanned)
  • Team sharing to share important department-based files and links

Keep a Regular Schedule (& Take Breaks!)

One thing that can help you feel more in the swing of things, just like you did at the office, is to keep a regular schedule. This means to keep the same clock in, clock out, lunch, and break times that you did when you were working in the office.

While you may have a little more flexibility now, which can be good, try to stick to a consistent schedule that’s the norm. This especially means to take your breaks and lunch to recharge.

Many remote workers begin eating lunch at their desk and forgetting about breaks. This can cause burnout and make it feel like you’re overworked, even though you’re doing the same duties you did before.

Secure Your Network

There’s been a major increase in phishing attacks around the world due to the pandemic, and remote workers are one of the targets. Hackers now have the opportunity to gain access to the same corporate data, but through less secure home networks.

You can reduce your risk and ensure you’re not battling ransomware or a network breach by beefing up your home network security.

Some ways to do this include:

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to the internet
  • Put all your work devices on a “guest network,” separate from other home devices
  • Use DNS filtering to protect against malicious websites

Get Regular Physical Activity

When you’re working in an office, you’re typically moving around more than when at home. You may be walking across the street to a café for a mid-morning coffee, going to the conference room for meetings, etc.

When you’re at home, it’s important to be purposeful about infusing some movement into your day so you’re not sitting in the same spot for 8 hours or more.

This could be an after lunch walk around the block, taking a break to dance to a favorite song, or just by standing up and walking around the room every hour or so.

Going from a sedentary lifestyle to taking 10,000 steps per day can lower risk of mortality by 46%.

 Let Friends & Family Know Your Work Hours

When you’re at home, sometimes your friends and family can forget that you’re actually at work, even though you now work from a home office.

Even well-meaning interruptions can throw your entire day off and leave you feeling as if you have to work late into the evening to make up for it.

Just remember that if you were in an office, most likely your family member or friend wouldn’t call to “just talk,” they’d understand you were working.

Remind friends and family of your work hours when they accidentally interrupt you and they’ll get used to waiting to connect until you’re off work.

Keep Home Technology Running Smoothly With Remote Help

Data First Solutions has expert remote technicians that have your back virtually if you have a technology problem. We can log in remotely in minutes to help with a fix and get you back to work.

Contact us today to book a free assessment. Call 416-412-0576 or book your assessment online.