16 January 2018
How to Make Working from Home Work for You
It has taken a while, but a social shift is taking hold in Australia. Working from home is becoming more commonplace than ever, and has – largely – lost the association with taking it easy.
This is because flexible working is now clearly connected with productivity gains. Companies that support mobile-first working environments report a 16 per cent rise in productivity, along with similar increases in creativity (16%), satisfaction (23%), and loyalty (21%), when compared to those with a poor mobile workplace strategy.
But it isn’t all about working in your pyjamas – working at home can be more enjoyable when you establish good habits and make sure your workplace is set up right. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of working from home:
It can be easy to lose track of time without colleagues around to remind you when to down tools and take a break. Try to schedule down-time and avoid working into the evening. In fact, if you’re an early-bird, you may find you are most productive before most people hit the office, when you have fewer interruptions.
Good internet and mobile coverage
Little frustrates home-workers more than losing internet when trying to send or receive important files. Trying to join a conference call with a poor connection is another productivity saboteur. If your internet or phone are problematic, try checking with your supplier for suggestions. Ask neighbours which provider they use – there’s nothing like a bit of local knowledge to save your sanity.
Take steps to ensure your remote access to all key business applications is secured. Not surprisingly, cyber-criminals see mobile working as an opportunity, so don’t give them an easy way in. Our security team is always happy to talk customers through their security profile; better to pick up the phone when in doubt, rather than increase risk.
Keep the kids away from business computers
For many bosses, allowing work-from-home is a leap of faith. Unless you want to repay it by explaining why little Johnny has deleted a critical file and replaced it with a guide to Lego hacks, it is better to keep a separate machine for the kids to use. That way, they can get their homework done on time, and you get to stay on the right side of your employer. (Bonus tip – Pinterest is an amazing resource for Lego hacks).
Set up a professional workspace
Make sure you have a good quality computer with a large screen, or even a dual screen, if that is what you would use in the office. Invest in a comfortable chair, and make sure your desk is large enough for you to have what you need close at hand. A well-designed workspace will help your posture, which reduces pain and fatigue.
Cloud apps are a boon for working from home. Tools such as Skype for Business or Teams can help you to work closely with colleagues in the office, or on the other side of the world. You may already have many of these tools through your Office 365 licence – check with us if you’re not sure.
Never leave the computer logged in or unlocked
Securing your machine is always good practice, whether in the office or at home. For the same reason, don’t share passwords, even with your nearest and dearest. This protects all involved.
Use working from home to tackle tasks that need focus, without the usual distractions you experience in the office. Put your phone on silent, or instruct your team to call in emergencies only. Those big tasks that take forever in the office can often be blitzed in a few hours. Just don’t forget to switch your phone back on afterwards!