By Andrew Townsend, Published Wednesday, 20th May 2020
Getting setup for working from home is essential to continuing business as usual, here are some quick things you can check and implement to make working from home work easier.
Quality broadband is essential as there is nothing more frustrating or demotivating then waiting for the loading wheel to stop spinning or not being able to join your colleagues in video calls. It might be the case that your broadband is pretty decent, but because all your kids are at home streaming and gaming they eat all your bandwidth, impacting on real time apps such as voice and video.If you are having problems consider Wireless Broadband or 4G Broadband as alternatives. These can be normally purchased on short term contracts, and can be used alongside existing landlines as a backup or primary line. Many mobile providers now also offer unlimited data packages. Lots of our clients use 4G at home as it provides faster speeds than a land line, in some cases up to 80 Mbit/sec.
Get a webcam for working from home if you have a desktop; most laptops have them built in as standard. If you can't get a hold of one, use your phone or tablet to make Microsoft Teams or Zoom calls. Video is great for home working, allowing you to have more meaningful interaction with team members than just a standard voice call.
If you're on the phone a lot get a good quality wireless headset with a near field mic. The quality is significantly better than inbuilt mics on laptops and webcams. People on the other end will only hear your crystal clear voice through the headset, not your children running riot in the room next door.
At Datcom we have been using Microsoft Teams Voice as our telephone system for a while now. As we are a support and service company, we use voice calls a lot. When we went fully working from home in March 2020, we continued operating business as usual in large part due to all our external and internal calls working through Teams. Staff can even use Teams Voice in a web browser, mobile or tablet, but is best with the Windows desktop app. For Datcom, it made adapting to the COVID-19 lockdown a breeze and will allow us to continue business as usual; it will be essential to our home workers for years to come.
Setup your recurring daily team get-togethers in your diary and make it a Microsoft Teams meeting enabled diary appointment. You can even set Teams to automatically dictate the meeting so the transcript can be referred back to at a later date.
If you use a second screen in the office make sure you have one at home, it really helps you boost productivity and reduces the amount of times you need to switch between apps.If you don't use a second screen at work, get one, it will pay for itself in saved time in weeks.
Use MFA to ensure your work data and systems continue to remain secure. You can't control what's on your staff's home devices so it's essential everyone uses MFA to stop hackers gaining access to your business systems.Top Tip: If you have a work laptop at home and have a business broadband package, chances are you have a static IP address. You can set MFA to bypass your IP address as it's unique to your home address, easing the login process to your business network.
Keyboard and Mouse
If you have taken your work laptop home, ensure you get a proper keyboard and mouse to go with it. It will be easier on your hands and wrists and allow a much more comfortable seating position.
Extend your business Antivirus and Endpoint Protection software to your team members home devices. This will provide added comfort that your organisation continues to have protection against data loss, theft, Trojans and malicious actors.