10 Productivity Tips for Working from Home

Events like COVID-19 could make remote work necessary for everyone. For those who prefer the office, we’ve compiled these tips to help you keep to your usual, productive routine wherever possible.

 1. It’s Business as Usual…

  • Follow the same routine you would as if you were going into the office.
  • Structure your day around your natural flow of motivation and productivity (for example, are you more productive in the morning or after lunch?)

2. Have a Dedicated Workspace

  • If possible, the workspace should be separate from areas of the home where there may be distractions or that you associate with relaxation.

3. Mirror Your Office Setup

  • Create a home working environment like the one you have at work. If possible, try to recreate the physical setup, including monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and other peripherals you use daily.

4. Stay Connected Through Technology

  • Make sure your home internet service can handle your typical workflows, for example, cloud-based collaboration, data-intensive workloads or large file transfers.
  • Install your organization’s collaboration software and have easy access to training, support materials and contacts for your IT service desk.
  • Use instant messaging and video calling to stay responsive and maintain real, person-to-person communication.

5. Structure your Day Like You’re in the Office

  • Set a schedule and stick to it.
  • Stay off personal social media. Make it harder for yourself to access personal social accounts and sign out if necessary.
  • If you have the option, take advantage of tools like Microsoft Office 365’s MyAnalytics and Focus Time features to book automated “do not disturb” time.

6. Set Realistic Daily Goals

  • Work with your manager or team to set and prioritize daily tasks. Don’t underestimate the time it will take to accomplish a task.
  • Communicate your daily and weekly goals with your manager or team. Sharing these goals helps keep you accountable.

7. Don’t Forget about Snacks, Lunch and Breaks

  • It’s easy to lose track of time. Make sure you include time for regular breaks.

8. Set Clear Boundaries with Family Members

  • Set clear boundaries with family members or others who may be at home during the workday. Just because you are home doesn’t mean you’re available.
  • Establish signals (such as headphones on or closed door) that indicate you are not to be disturbed.

9. Remove Distractions

  • Do your best to remove distractions like the TV, household chores like laundry or anything that threatens to take your mind off work-related tasks.

 10. Set Regular Hours and a Finish Time

  • Set clear start and end times for your workday – and respect them. It’s important to separate work and personal life to avoid burnout.
  • If you are a people leader, consider setting the example for your team by “signing off” for the day.

Don’t let the unpredictable impact your comfort or productivity. Our team of experts and product specialists are on hand to help you select, deploy adopt, secure and manage an end-to-end solution to support your users in any event.

Connect with an expert.

 

 

When Remote Work is Much More Than a Perk

For some, the opportunity to work from a location other than the core office is a perk.  

But remote work is much more than that: It’s a critical aspect of business continuity planning. When going into the office or traveling for work aren’t possible or safe, the ability to connect and collaborate easily and without interruption is essential to sustain day-to-day operations.  

The recent office closures and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are just one example of events outside our control with the potential for serious business impact. Health concerns, weather events, strikes, service shutdowns and many other scenarios may enter the picture without warning to disrupt business activity.  

Is your organization equipped to maintain business-as-usual when external circumstances are anything but?  

Many of our collaboration provider partners have already responded to the current situation by extending their premium offeringto organizations in need.  

While we cannot predict how any given situation will unfold, we are ready to help you implement the solutions you need to ensure you can keep things up and running when workers can’t come to work.  Here are three key considerations for integrating collaboration tools into your business continuity strategy.  

Maintaining Face-to-Face Communication 

Between better collaboration and team participation to faster decision-making by internal teams and external customers, there is no substitute for face-to-face communication. No email or instant messaging platform will fully replace the business value of meaningful collaboration.  

In the event your organization cannot access core office spaces in the medium or long-term, a videoconferencing solution that provides seamless calling and meetings helps preserve that valuable person-to-person connection.  

To maintain face-to-face communication, your strategy should consider: 

  • All-in-One Collaboration Platform: a collaboration suite that consolidates in-person meetings and other functions like real-time document collaboration, messaging and project tracking into one secure platform helps to simplify teamwork across locations.   
  • Meetings, Calling and Messaging: selecting a collaboration suite that offers a frictionless video calling and meeting experience is key. Many users are accustomed to easy-to-use consumer applications and expect a similar experience with those they use at work.  
  • Training & Facilities: making sure users are equipped and ready to use video meetings is another key factor in business continuity. This requires making sure users have continuous access to the tools, facilities and training they need to conduct meetings from any location. 

 

Staying Connected and Collaborating   

Your business continuity plan likely includes measures to restore data backups and minimize downtime for critical infrastructure.  

Maintaining high availability for business-critical systems is important. But no organization can survive without continuous communication. As such, it’s also imperative to consider the people who will drive and carry out business-critical decisions.  

In a situation where employees can’t access each other for in-person communication, the connectivity of email and collaboration solutions is even more important.  

To ensure continued connectivity, your plan should consider:  

  • Network Readiness: ensuring your network architecture is capable of supporting cloud-based collaboration tools over ordinary web traffic is important. Many legacy architectures were not designed with this use case in mind and may degrade performance, causing significant business impact.  
  • Training & Adoption: being well-prepared to shift to remote communication and remain connected also depends on the readiness of your user base. If users don’t understand how to access and use collaboration tools, the change may cause confusion and frustration.  

 

Keeping Everyone Safe and Secure 

The need for secure and seamless access and governance only increases with a shift to all-remote communication. In this sense, proper planning for a potential interruption to workplace access involves extending security from inside the business to the cloud and mobile platforms.  

To be prepared, IT leaders should take measures to implement security across the four pillars of identity and access management, devices and applications, data and threat detection.  

In an emergency scenario, providing the right users with the right access to the right applications and data is more important than ever. We recommend you consider:  

  • Integrated Platforms: simplifying security by consolidating point solutions in line with industry best practices will go a long way to protecting your users in a scenario calling for all-remote communication.  
  • Automation & Advanced Authentication: putting in place advanced authentication and automated threat intelligence will help provide safe, seamless access to business applications and data from any location.  

 Next Steps  

In response to the current situation surrounding COVID-19, many of our vendor partners are extending offerings to support continued productivity and collaboration throughout.  

Click below to get the details 

In an unexpected event, complexity and confusion threaten to impede the return to business-as-usual. Our team of experts and product specialists are on hand to help you identify, deploy and adopt the right approach to support your users in any event.  Ensure readiness and jumpstart your business continuity plan. 

Connect with an expert