So, your job grants you the perks of working outside of the office. Working from home is a fantastic privilege, but with it comes equal responsibility. You’ll want a work-space that inspires productivity, fosters communication, and ensures cyber-security. As a remote-friendly company ourselves, we’ve put together a few safety tips and mindful tricks for working remotely.
1. Consider Your Work-space
One of the greatest perks of working remotely is the freedom to work anywhere with an internet connection. So, how do you choose what space is right for you? Here are a couple of things you should consider before setting up shop.
When choosing a space, consider the possibility of distractions. Do you have children at home that might impair your focus? How noisy will the coffee shop be on a Wednesday morning? It’s important to find spaces that inspire your work, while avoiding too many interruptions.
Tip: Investing in a quality pair of noise canceling headphones can be a great way to expand your options.
If you’re working near friends or family, it’s important to communicate your expectations. Are they able to knock on your door or do you require privacy? Do you mind background noise or occasional small talk? Boundary setting is a key tool in creating a functional remote work environment.
Dedicate a Home Office
A home office isn’t always necessary, but there are many benefits to having one. First, they can easily be made private and lower distraction. Second, they combine all tools in one convenient place (i.e. printer, stapler, files, a full desktop). Also, separating your workspace from the rest of your personal space provides you the ability to healthily disconnect from work.
2. Think About Cyber Security
When working in an office, there are often safeguards for cyber security. However, you need to consider how you handle your company’s private data once you take it out the door.
Privacy in Public Spaces
If you’re working in a public setting, it’s important to make sure you’re not sharing confidential data with those around you. Be sure that private data on your screens cannot be seen by bystanders. Privacy screen filters are an easy way to prevent prying eyes.
VPNs and Public Wi-Fi
Free public Wi-Fi presents a common security risk. Hackers can position themselves between you and the connection point and steal any data that you access during that time. You can easily prevent this by using a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Your company can help you set up a VPN before accessing private data outside of the office.
3. Ensure a Reliable Internet Connection
A dependable Wi-Fi connection is a must when working beyond the office. This is especially true if you need to make video calls, load large internet files, or stay fully linked to you company’s VoIP phone system.
Tip: Many people invest in a higher-end home router or additional access point to ensure a strong, reliable connection. And bonus – who doesn’t want better in-home Wi-Fi?
4. Increase Your Communication
Communication is especially important when you’re working remotely. For one, you’re no longer sitting next to your colleagues – so sharing ideas across the room no longer applies. You should have multiple communication outlets so that management and coworkers are always able to reach you. Office 365 is a great tool for this, as it features email, IM, video chatting, file sharing and more.
Secondly, you should make a point to schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your teammates and supervisors. Share what you’ve been working on, discussed what you’ve finished, and use the opportunity to share ideas.
5. Welcome the benefits of working remotely
Don’t forget that working from home is an exciting opportunity! You’re not confined to an office – so make the most of it. Try switching things up and working from a variety of locations. Additionally, if your work hours are flexible, choose times that foster the highest productivity. Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with breaks: cook a nutritious lunch, exercise, or take your dog for a walk.
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