Last Updated: April 12, 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works with regard to a lot of different people’s work schedules. Luckily, thanks to the abundance of technology within our homes, and the ability to do a bunch of different things remotely, most of us are still able to stay productive while working from home, getting the same amount done (if not more) as if we were in the office.
it’s plausible that remote work will become a new standard as countries try to fight this pandemic, while it seems like taking long to get rid of the quarantine. In light of a likely new status quo, here are some essential tools and practices for working from home to make the change easier for management and for employees.
Self-isolating, and want to continue to work from home? Here are some examples of key technology that you might want to look into, and software that could prove to be essential.
Setting up your home office, and wondering what you might need to get up and running? Here are a few things you might want to consider:
- A decent-enough computer – For answering emails and doing a bit of writing your personal laptop computer might be enough to get you through, but if you need to use some of your more demanding stuff then you might need a more robust computer, too. If you’re going to be working from home for the long-haul, it might be worth requesting from your employer that you take your work PC home.
- Microsoft Office – It might sound like a given, as a suite of pretty ubiquitous programmes, but office programmes such as Word and PowerPoint aren’t a guarantee on new computers, so factor in that cost if you’re on the market for a new rig. There are some free alternatives, however, if you decide you don’t need it, but make sure that the files you’re working on will be compatible with other computers if you’re sending them to colleagues.
Other office equipment – Working completely remotely this might not be a priority, but you should also consider some of the other bits and pieces that you might need to get fully set up in a home office. This could include anything and everything from a decent enough printer, to graphics tablets if you’re a designer. One thing that is often overlooked is a good keyboard and mouse combination, as you can cause yourself unnecessary strain if working for long hours with something cheap.
Tip – If struggling to think of where to start when customising your own home workspace, perhaps think about what your existing workspace looks like at the office, or maybe think about what would help the most in making you feel productive.
Well! Some studies have shown that having a bit of greenery and plants can help to purify the air and allow you to concentrate.
Did you know? With the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequently imposed self-isolation stopping people from leaving their homes, virtual reality technology is offering a little bit of escapism, and an opportunity to visit different spaces remotely. Of course, the uses of this technology are extremely helpful from a social perspective, but they’re also helping businesses to continue to thrive from behind closed doors, too.
One great example of the above-mentioned scenario is in the ‘Virtual Viewings’ offered by RWinvest, a property investment company with many ongoing developments in thriving areas throughout the UK.
With these times presenting an opportunity for some investors looking to put their capital into something stable and potentially fruitful in the long-term, they can view their buy-to-let property through the lens, and get a more realistic, encompassing view of the build than just looking at it on paper as a 2D image.
It’s worth noting also that this technology not only allows for investors to look at an area without leaving their home, but it also allows them to see what a completed building will look like in the future.
Video calling/conferencing software
For those working within a team of people that need to be able to communicate regularly and effectively, competent software for this is essential.
Luckily, the large majority of the available software for conferencing and calling is completely free, and some of it is already pre-installed on your computer. Skype, for example, which you probably will have already heard of or used before, is part of the Windows suite and is integrated into many PCs, tablets and smartphones.
If you’ve got a laptop with a built-in webcam and a stable internet connection, you’ll have all you need to set up and go. Another good example is Google Hangouts, which combines with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to provide quite the fully-fledged package as a free alternative to Microsoft Office.
Tip – Worried about staying in contact with your relatives and loved ones during self-isolation? One great way to meet up regularly is to schedule group video calls through some of the above-described software.
There are even some apps and software that allow you to dynamically change filters mid-conversation, or even play games to pass the time. Facebook Messenger’s built-in chat functionality is a good example of this.
Whether it’s because of a crisis like COVID-19 or merely the evolution of digital marketplaces and global recruiting strategies, it’s amazing to grasp that working remotely doesn’t have to be a hurdle for the employees. With the right technology, tools and techniques combine, you may furnish your employees an ideal place to work, regardless of where they are—and even in a scenario where there’s no office at all.
Technology is what makes work possible, both at your official office or the home-based office. As your workers start working from home, just get in touch with them to ensure that they have all the required tech tools to work remotely.