Work from Home Tips

Maybe you’re a veteran when it comes to working from home, or maybe you’ve newly started to work from home, either way, you probably could use some tips for helping you get the most out of working from home.  To help you, we’ve done the research and compiled our list of the best tips for working from home! 

1. Get Dressed

“Don’t underestimate the power of putting on clothes suitable for public viewing. It makes you feel human [and] confident and helps draw the line between being at work and being at home,” says Heather Yurovsky, Muse career coach and the founder of Shatter & Shine.

2. Designate a Workspace

Entering into your workspace each day will act as a queue for your mind that you’re starting work, and then will also be that queue to help you switch off your mind from work as your leave your workspace.  If you need to work in a space that you use after work hours (like a dining room) be sure to pack up your work each evening to make the end of your day decisive.  And no matter where your workspace is, make sure you have a good chair, good lighting (with natural light if possible) and a few decorations to help you really enjoy your space.

3. Keep Defined Working Hours

“The biggest difference between working from home and working in the office is that you are in charge of your environment and have to treat yourself like an employee,” say Heather Yurovsky, Muse career coach and the founder of Shatter & Shine. This means holding yourself accountable, but also recognizing when enough is enough, just as a good manager might. “If you feel yourself extending your work hours because you aren’t doing anything in the evening…tell yourself it’s time to put work away, recharge, and start tomorrow with a fresh mind. The work will be there in the morning.”

4. Overcommunicate

Working remotely requires you to overcommunicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Overcommunicating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write an essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself at times.  Even if it feels like an irrelevant update, still communicate it, more is more in this scenario. 

5. Socialize with Colleagues

Loneliness and disconnect are common challenges with remote working.  Be sure to use any communication tools offered through your company, like instant messaging, to occasionally chat about common interests with your colleagues, much as you would if you were in person.  If this isn’t an available tool for you, look for other ways you can connect with colleagues such as joining a conference call a little early to chat with other attendees before the meeting starts, or take the lead on creating a reoccurring “virtual watercooler” meeting where you send an open invitation to any colleagues to join in on short 15-minutes or so casual discussions.

6. Take regular breaks

If you work from home, it can be easy to work too long without stopping. Not only does working non-stop make you feel drained, but it also takes a physical toll and could cause muscle and joint problems. Pausing throughout the day boosts energy, focus and motivation, which then allows us to be more productive. It’s recommended to take a 5 to 7-minute break every hour.  When taking a break, focus on an activity that allows you to disconnect from your computer mentally and physically. Take a short walk, stretch, go to the kitchen and make a healthy snack, or spend some time with your pet.

We hope this article has given you some new ideas on making the best of your work from home environment.  If you’d like some more information on workspace tools to help you work more comfortably while at home, reach out to one of our product experts who would be happy to help give you advice for your specific environment.

Tips for Ensuring your Home Office is Safe & Secure!

Working from home doesn’t mean you need to abandon the security safeguards put in place as there would be in a corporate office environment.  In addition to making sure your work-from-home setup is comfortable and efficient, don’t forget to also ensure you are following these best practices for a secure home office. 

1. Implement multifactor authentication

The benefit of laptops is that they are portable, allowing you to work from anywhere.  However this also increases the risk that your laptop can be lost or stolen.  Creating a multifactor authentication provides additional barriers for any hackers to try and access your device. Speak to your IT department about getting this setup for all your work devices.

2. Use strong passwords

Connecting your work computer to your private home network can increase the risk of leaked data. Prevent hackers from accessing your information by making it as difficult as possible to guess your password.  Consider using a password manager that generates strong passwords for you, using a less predictable series of lower and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters.

3. Follow company policies to the letter

Your employer likely has clear policies for accessing the company network outside the office. Those guidelines and rules should always be followed. Also be sure to report any suspicious behavior to IT immediately, and continuously run any updates pushed through for your operating systems and antivirus/malware software.

4. Keep your physical workspace secure

It’s equally important to make sure that your home office is physically secure, much like it would be if you were in a corporate office environment.  In addition to expensive equipment, you could have documents containing sensitive information that should also be protected.  Consider options for locking up equipment and documents within your home, like locking cabinets, or even installing a home security system.  

5. Don’t allow family members to use your work devices

Gavin Silver, director of operations at Blue Fountain Media, reminds remote workers that the computer they do their work on is for employee use only – it’s not the family computer.

“Treat your work-issued laptop, mobile device and sensitive data as if you were sitting in a physical office location,” Hay added. “This will help you continuously associate your actions with a security-first and data-aware mentality in mind. For example, in a physical office location … your child [couldn’t] use your work-issued mobile device for games or movies. If you think of your laptop and mobile devices as work-only assets, it makes it far easier to control access to sensitive data and remain data-aware.”

If you’re looking for more tips or product solutions for ensuring a safe & secure home office environment, we can help!  Contact us and one of our product specialists would be happy to discuss your specific needs.