What Do I Need When Working from Home?
Wednesday, 9th September 2020
Image of man on a video conference working from home
According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), in April 2020, more 49% of the UK’s workforce are working either full-time or on a temporary basis. The coronavirus has changed how we work.
Regions like Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn have been locked down twice. Once on 25th March and again on 22nd August after a spike in Covid-19 cases.
What does this tell us? Covid-19 could be around for a lot longer than any of us anticipate. Almost half the UK workforce will likely be working from home for a long time and this will bring its own unique set of challenges.
Luckily, there’s a wealth of sanity-saving tools and more than a few handy hints to help anyone adjust to working from home. Interested in learning what you need to know? We’ve got the lowdown for you.
A dedicated workspace... with a door
When working from home, it’s tempting to collect your laptop, plant yourself on a comfy couch and get to work. As nice as it sounds, this probably isn’t the best idea.
Why? Well, what’s stopping family, friends or housemates coming in and out, breaking your concentration or interrupting you when you’re in a virtual meeting?
If you want to remain productive then set up a dedicated workspace, one that’s quiet and where you can concentrate. You won’t have to worry about children running around the house, Fido the dog jumping on your lap or being interrupted by a housemate who just wants a chat.
Apps and software
Anyone who hasn’t worked from home before, breathe a sigh of relief... there are lots of apps and software to help you organise, manage, communicate and deliver your workload remotely.
So, let’s keep things simple. Here’s a list of the five essential platforms you need to make working from home as easy as working from the office.
Video conferencing – given that you can’t communicate with colleagues and clients face-to-face, the number of people using video conferencing platforms has skyrocketed. Choosing the right one will save you a lot of time and frustration. We recommend Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Skype.
File sharing – if you rely on an LAN (local area network) to share files, you may find yourself in a pickle when working from home. The solution? Use cloud storage services. We recommend iCloud, Google Drive or Dropbox.
Task and project management software – working from home requires you to be organised, after all you can’t just lean over your shoulder and ask a colleague a question! To organise and manage your workload, we recommend Sharepoint, Asana or monday.com.
Communication – just because you’re working virtually, it doesn’t mean that communication should suffer. We recommend Microsoft Teams, Google Chat or Slack to help colleagues stay connected and engaged.
Time management – you don’t have to be working from home to reap the benefits of a good time management tool, but boy does it help! To make sure that you’re always on top of everything you do, we recommend Todist, Trello and Timely.
Now, here’s the obvious one. When working from home you need great Wi-Fi. Without a great internet plan, one that boasts a consistent and reliable connection , your productivity will suffer.
It’s thought that poor Wi-Fi can reduce daily productivity output by as much as 3 hours every day. Add that up over the course of the week and you’re losing two whole days' worth of time!
Our advice is simple: you need better Wi-Fi. Luckily, Switchly can help you identify better broadband deals at great prices. Click the link here to find out more.
So, there you have it, what you need when working from home. These four simple things will make working from home a lot easier!