You have your daily routine all set. You like things the way they are. Your alarm goes off before the sun comes up. You get ready for work and drag yourself out of the house. Grab a coffee from the friendly barista on your walk from the station to the office. You sit down at your desk surrounded by people you know and get stuck into your work. Then when 5 o’clock rolls around you put your headphones on and catch the train back home. And that’s just the way you like it.
Now you’re being told to work from home and limit direct contact with other people. What exactly does that look like? How are you going to adjust?
The first thing you’re going to have to do is to decide where you’re going to work. We’re not all fortunate enough to have a dedicated home office. Sitting on the lounge with your laptop in front of the TV probably isn’t the best choice. Try to find a quiet and comfortable place with minimal distractions. The dining table may be your best bet.
Next you need to set your schedule and get some work done. Try to keep the same schedule you would if you were in the office. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should be doing the ironing or playing with the kids. This is still work time. Set boundaries with those your live with. Tell them you’re at work and need to not be disrupted.
Great, you’re all set-up and ready to get some work done. These days, working from home is easier than ever with a vast number of services being available online. If your company is already using Office 365 then you can access your emails from anywhere in a web browser. And SharePoint will give you access to your file and folders when working remotely.
Microsoft Teams is a great way of staying in touch with those you work with. You’re used to seeing them every day, now it’s just you and the cat. Start up a group chat in Teams and keep the conversation going so you can all enjoy your isolation together.
But wait, your IT guy said you need this VPN thing – What exactly is that? A VPN is a Virtual Private Network and it sets you up with a secure connection from your laptop back to the office. Once your VPN is setup and connected your computer will act as if it were in the office. You’ll have access to all the normal resources that you’re used to seeing like file servers and printers. Your IT department will give you instructions on setting up your VPN if you need one.
You’ll probably find that in-person meetings have been cancelled as well. But don’t panic just yet, there are options for holding virtual meetings. LogMeIn is currently offering a free extended 90-day trial of their GoToMeeting software.
Things may seem a little strange in the beginning but take comfort in knowing us IT folk have been preparing for this day for years now by quietly moving everything to the cloud.
Looking for further assistance in getting your systems set up for a ‘working from home’ environment? Contact us to discuss, today.