With many more people working from home lately, you might be wondering how you can keep your productivity up without the normal structure of the office. After all, working from home can come with some challenges, including issues with tech, your workspace, and even professional etiquette.
To help you make the most of this situation, here are a few tips.
How to make the most of your equipment
Technology makes working from home possible, so it’s especially important for remote workers to keep their tech running smoothly. Here are a few things that I have found especially important for working from home.
VPN. Many organizations have an internal network. To access this network remotely, you may need what’s called a virtual private network (VPN). While setting this up may vary depending on your particular organization, I highly recommend having a list of key IT contacts on-hand to help you troubleshoot if there are any issues. Remember that you may not be able to access your corporate directory without network access, so keep track of these contacts offline. Personally, I have a few key IT contacts saved on my cellphone.
Headset. While your computer likely has a built-in speaker and microphone, these have the tendency to create less than ideal sound quality. For example, your microphone might pick up sounds from your own speaker, which can lead to unpleasant audio effects. It may also be difficult to limit surrounding noise with a basic computer microphone. Using a headset is a great way to help you control sound quality, keep your hands free for notes, and even drown out distracting background noise.
How to set up a home workspace
Many people struggle with getting into the work mindset when they are at home. One great solution is to create a clear work area within your home. This doesn’t mean you need to have a dedicated office room. All you need is a comfortable chair, a computer, and an orderly surface where you can do your work. I recommend trying to keep your work area to the same standards that you would keep in the office. Ask yourself, “Would I let my cubicle or office get this messy?” If the answer is no, don’t allow any different at home.
Once you have established your work area, try to stick to it. It might be tempting to work everywhere from your couch to your kitchen table, but this has the tendency to blur the line between work and home, which might make it harder to focus.
How to keep basic work from home etiquette
While the office probably has some pretty clear rules for what is and is not acceptable, the line might be harder to find when you are working from home. It’s important, however, to maintain your own standards of professionalism.
For example, try to be mindful of background noise. Everyone has been on that conference call where nobody can hear over the loud background noise. It’s never great. While some background noise might be unavoidable, try to find somewhere as quiet as possible before joining a conference call. Especially in large groups, keep yourself on mute when you are not speaking, and ask others in your home to limit noise as much as possible. Nobody is perfect here, especially when children or pets are involved, but your coworkers will appreciate that you are making an effort.
Hopefully, you found these tips helpful. While there are plenty of other great tips out there, sometimes all it takes is a few good suggestions to kick your mind into gear. Best of luck working from home.
This article is AT&T sponsored content written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.