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10 Things to Consider When Working Remotely

It sure is hard to find a rainbow if you are looking down! So, let's find the bright side amongst the change that is upon us. During a trying time, we want to offer our guidance in your virtual transition. With over a decade of experience working remotely, we are confident we can lend a hand with your virtual office!

Internet Speed

Your recommended internet speed will depend on the complexity of your business needs. With websites like speedtest.net you can run a diagnostic on what the actual speed is. When you are needing to download documents or use cloud options the higher the download and upload speed you need. Our recommendation for phone and internet speeds are 25-50 download and 5 upload. Also, remember if you plug in directly to your router instead of relying on wifi, the internet speed will increase. verses a wifi connection. If you feel the need for more speed, consider calling your internet provider.

Finding a Quiet Spot

Distractions in the workplace are not the same as those found in our remote work space. Find an area that is comfortable with limited distractions. If you are needing to drown out noise you can always put on calming background music or a fan. Add the finishing touch to your office space with something that inspires, or drives you to be productive. When having conference calls it helps to have headphones with sound cancelling capability. Safely parked cars and garages can provide a last resort quiet space for an important call or meeting.

Expectations

Flexibility with work hours is a two-way street in the virtual office world. Friendly reminders and extra explanation on emails take place of face to face dialogue, so don’t take it personally! Now is a great time to assess your time management, and write down your plan for attacking the day. Department heads, bosses, and team members should ensure that communication is at a premium. Tasks, roles, responsibilities, project statuses, and deadlines should be clearly stated and understood by all.

Chat Tool for Internal Discussions

With nearly 700 communications apps, it is easy to fall victim to FOBO (fear of better options). Our advice is to collaborate and figure out which platform is best suited for your company’s environment. Set an example by embracing the chat tool to be an effective communicator. All employees actively participating is the single most important factor in the utilization of your chat tool. These tools have to become a serious part of the work routine, even down to receiving notifications for incoming messages and meeting times. Lastly, don’t forget about professional etiquette and the perceived tone of your messages.

Document Management & Capture

The time has come in our culture to have multiple ways of accessing all of our stuff! This includes your data, documents, email, invoices, receipts, and the list goes on. Your files being backed up will allow you to be able to confidently conduct business from home or office. When you do not have your physical files or office computer, it can bring the business process to a virtual stand still. PSIsafe not only provides a means to continue business outside of the office, it also protects your files during other unforeseen circumstances. With easy user adoption, the software is looked at as a virtual filing cabinet. PSIsafe will help make sure projects stay on course and documents get stored promptly. Our software handles documents such as HR onboarding, legal documentation, ordering processes, and sales orders just to name a few. Our product PSIcapture takes all of the pain out of data entry with automated, smart document capture processing. Schedule a demo today about how to make these products work for you.

VPN Discussion

VPN stands for virtual private network. When working from home our routers are usually private, and protected with access passwords. When you are working in coffee shops or public areas it is best to be secure and have your information encrypted and anonymous so hackers can’t easily retrieve your company’s information. Talk with your IT department about protection while conducting remote business. If this is not an option, do your due diligence to protect your company’s information when working outside of the traditional office location.

Meeting Options

How are you going to convert your board room into a virtual meeting space without losing the key components that go into a successful meeting? There are free options for screen sharing and multi-user conference calling. Our advice is to have two options in case one is not functioning correctly. Don’t forget that smartphones have evolved, and call merge options have advanced. Public calendars for scheduling internal meetings and calls for open view are a must. Preparation is key, so continue your meetings seamlessly by preparing talking points and agendas regardless of meeting location.

Scheduled Breaks

When you need a break in your office you get up for a coffee break, a water break, or just a quick word with a coworker. There is certainly a disconnect from the normal sites and sounds of a physical office. Some may find themselves consumed by the workday, or engulfed by distractions. Keep tabs on your mental and physical health by stretching, walking around, going outside, staying hydrated, taking a lunch break, or even calling someone to discuss non work related topics.

Workstation Essentials

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Since you have already found a quiet spot, go ahead and stock up on what you need to keep the workday going. Most homes have the necessary items for a home office, but these items may be hidden in various places around the house. Don’t wait, set up your home headquarters today! Plug up chargers for your laptop, cell phone, or other chargeable devices. If you are continuously reading fine print, you may want to consider wiring up a larger monitor (like a television or home theater projector). If you are going to be doing video conferencing you will need a professional background or a blank wall (what impression does your video background give). Lighting should not be neglected, it plays into video and monitor because of glares on the screen.

Look Good, Feel Good

It can be easy to get out of bed and go straight to work. Hold on a second before you dust off that tuxedo t-shirt! What we wear affects our mood, and our mood affects our job performance. This is an experimental discovery. Take our word for it, clean pajamas are better than the same ones you slept in! You can’t be expected to wear a suit in your home office, although we dress business casual during video conferencing. You do need to dress in a manner that allows you to take yourself and your work seriously. Set your alarm, and start the day as if you were heading into the office.

We hope that this list provides a few tools that you can use to assist with a less stressful transition in a stress filled time. Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. Face this challenge head on, with a positive mindset, and a plan of action!

Jessica Rivers

Jessica Rivers

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