IT support small business Technology work from home

Working from home? Or returning to the office?

The past couple of months have seen many people adjusting to work from home. Presently, the rules are ever changing, and the big question emerging is should bosses encourage staff to return to the workplace, or can they allow their staff to work from home for the foreseeable future?  Obviously, it still may not be possible for everyone to work at a central location, or we may now see a shift in split working between home and office.

What do you need to continue to work from home?

Being able to work effectively often requires a defined workspace normally a desk and a suitable chair.  Up to now, you may have been getting by with a laptop on your dining table or being settled in the comfy armchair.  Going forwards you may want to invest in a better home working set up such as a good desk, supportive chair, and a better solution for your IT and telephone equipment.  E.g. working with a laptop can be difficult for long periods of the day, most laptops will allow you to connect a screen and keyboard/mouse to improve your posture and prevent eyestrain and headaches.

Keep distractions at a minimum by scheduling those household tasks outside of working hours.  It is easy to get side-tracked by the 101 things that still need doing on a daily basis, or if there are other people within your household not working.  Sometimes the simplest thing will be to close the door.

Structuring your day into two-hour slots when working from home can help focus your concentration towards a particular goal.  Keep to a schedule, just as you would if you were in your office.  You’ll soon find yourself settling into a new routine that gets the most out of working from home.

Don’t forget to take a break.  Spending more time at home often means that you may not leave your house regularly.  Presently, exercise rules have been relaxed slightly so make the most of being able to go outside for fresh air, whether it’s for exercise, a walk, taking the kids out or walking the dog.  This can clear your head, making you refreshed for getting back to work.

Communicate as much as you need to.  Ensure that you are not feeling cut off from everyone else by keeping in regular contact not only with your managers, but also with your colleagues.  Check-in with different people once in a while and make sure that no-one is feeling left out or isolated.

Returning to the office?

As more staff return to the office, everyone must adapt to keep to the social distancing measures we have been following.  It may mean that some staff will be on different shifts, or work from home for a few days of the week.  Each office will no doubt follow government guidelines, as well as introduce their own, but don’t forget we can all help things along by acting responsibly and using common sense where possible.

Most of us use the phone constantly so make it a habit to sanitise your office phone when you have been away from your desk for any length of time, as well as on a regular basis.

Do you use your own keyboard and mouse?  Now is a good time to get into the habit of regularly cleaning your office equipment, even if you are the only one using it.

Think if you need to print a document, if you need a signed contract, consider if you can use the e-signature pdf, this can be viewed and signed digitally on most devices.  If you do have to use other equipment, then ensure that you are cleaning it before and after use.

Many businesses will still have to use Teams or Zoom to hold staff & client meetings and we are likely to see the technology behind these tools develop further.  

My thoughts

It has been an interesting few weeks to see how businesses have quickly adapted and restructured to allow working from home where possible.  For some, change has been slight, but for others there have been huge changes, however everyone appears to have adapted well.

For IT 4 Offices, this has almost always been our way of life.  I have been home office based for the last 20 years and it works so incredibly well.  So to see companies now embrace working from home, and realise how important and beneficial the right IT set up can be, is a pleasure.

Whether you are continuing to work from home, or you are returning to the office, we will be here to help.  From looking at a suitable working set up for home, to resetting a password which you have not used for months.  From deciding if you can easily split your staff between home and office or replacing an old PC which has been off to too long and just won’t start.

Should you need assistance with your home setup or would like to know more about any of the ways we can help please call our team on 0333 332 6600