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How to work from home and stay connected

How to work from home and stay connected
Footballers are doing it, DJs are doing it, even MPs are now doing it.

Anyone who is able to is working from home during the coronavirus emergency. If you’ve never done it before, and you’re finding it challenging, we’ve got a few tips to help you stay productive (and sane) during this period. Plus, we have plenty of products to help your staff stay connected.

  1. Have a routine
    When you're working from home it may be tempting to stay in bed a bit longer, slouch around in your dressing gown all day, or skip your normal daily hygiene. But to be productive you really need to feel like you are at work, so have a regular daily schedule, with set start and end times and breaks, as far as family and parenting commitments allow of course.
  2. Take exercise
    It is a well known medical fact that you will be far more alert and productive if you take regular exercise during your working day at home. Obviously during the current Covid-19 restrictions that is limited to one outside activity per day, so make sure you use it, from taking the dog for a walk to a run around the park, keeping your social distance at all times!
  3. Talk to colleagues
    We all miss the banter and friendly chat that goes on in the office environment, which in itself can help with productivity. Take some time out during the day to give your colleague a call, or stay on that Teams video call a bit longer. How are they doing? What are they watching on Netflix? What are they up to at the weekend - apart from 'staying in'!
  4. Don't use the microwave!
    Did you see this story this week? Using a microwave can interfere with your wi-fi signal, according to the media regulator Ofgem. They have other tips, such as positoning your router away from other electronic devices, and starting video calls at irregular times. So if you notice your video conference buffering, give a shout into the kitchen, as it could be due to someone's soup warming up!
  5. Put your phone away!
    Sometimes you can have too MANY devices. With all those apps on your smartphone pinging with a notification every few minutes, it can be so easy to get distracted and before you know it, you've just scrolled through Facebook for 20 minutes, got drawn into a WhatsApp thread or sent a few personal emails. If you can, put your phone in another room while you work, or keep it on silent.
If you have any advice for the army of homeworkers, why not comment below?

From PC cables to link up laptops - we all need a second screen! - to office stationery, we have plenty of products to help your staff stay connected. This little adaptor from Edimex is proving quite popular at present, for obvious reasons. If you’re wondering, it allows devices with no wi-fi network to connect over remote wireless. One local company ordered a batch for their staff last week so if you are having connection issues get one while stocks last!

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Comments (4)


Dave

I have worked self employed in the electronics repair industry since before I left school and despite having also held down jobs in electronic manufacturing then IT and then for the BBC I have always considered myself first and foremost a home worker. Seems to me that it can be very difficult to transfer your work from an external job for someone else into a home job not least because of the overheads of workshop and time and especially if, as I was doing, running my own and very complex and time consuming jobs for others. So you need a plan. I won't say I have cracked it but mine is purely reputation based and having been in repairs for more than 45 years I expect many would be surprised how you can operate with space limitations and lack of a dedicated environment away from home. Don't ever expect to make money as you are likely to end up worse off then you started but keep at it and you never know you might just crack it! Nice words by the way. It depends so much on what you do though. I don't have colleagues as I got pushed out of the BBC 10 years ago and that was my last proper job. Microwave? Sorry it doesn't make much difference! If you are self employed forget setting time limits. If you have work to complete get on with it. No reason why working until midnight one day can't give you the next day off. Keep the kettle on. Tea not coffee. Exercise? Try working standing up all day. It will save you walking for exercise.

Graheme Wilson

Plan a daily routine and stick to it. This should include breaks, exercise as well as work. You do not have to plan to the minute. Think of the day in blocks of time. Know what you want to achieve but do not be too ambitious or you will be disappointed. They are many free and excellent quality software programs to aid your productivity. For example : Inkscape.org gimp.org libreoffice.org

Nigel Walker

Excellent article, thanks Rapid! My advice, having worked on my own for decades, is this: 1. Don't get distracted! Don't open youtube etc at all. No cute cat videos while working. 2. If it's too quiet put the radio on, but nothing that would annoy you like non-stop virus news, the Round Britain Quiz, or the Archers. 3. When it's time to go home, close the computer and refuse to answer work calls. You need time for yourself. 4. Beer.

rob hammond

great comments regarding WFH----and remember that manufacturers are still working---often on essential parts for medical and technology production. with heaps of cleaning and sanitization, our facilities are probably safer than a supermarket!