Tips for Utilizing Home Technology During the COVID-19 Crisis

COVID-19 restrictions have put a lot more people on the work from home roster. Luckily work from home technology is already in place for many businesses. There is already a huge demographic that is ever-increasing that already was working remotely from home.

The fact that how we do business today was already evolving helped to shore up the idea that most people already had in place the work from home technology that is needed to do their job. Of course, if this is a new dynamic for you it is a big change from your regular daily routine, but be assured once you get used to it, working for home is going to make a lot more sense to you.

A lot of people understand the stay at home orders that have been coming out across the country, but they struggle to understand what the point is working at home when no one is out doing business. While it may seem that the economy has come to a grinding halt, if you have been sent home to work, consider yourself lucky.

Over 3 million people across the US were not given the option of working remotely they were just laid off and are now unemployed. Many employers at first were sure it was a temporary situation and like many people thought that COVID-19 was nothing more than the flu and that the right flu treatment would come along and wipe it out.

As it became clear that more and more people were suffering from serious symptoms like difficulty breathing and no real treatment was in sight, many employers decided to take the step to protect their workers by sending them home to work.

If you can work from home, good for you, you are one of the lucky ones. Of course, you do have some kinks to work out, but with a little help and a few tips you will be able to transition pretty quickly.

Silver Linings

It can be hard to see the advantages to working from home, but there are quite a few benefits to being able to stay home and still get paid. If you are home right now you do not have to worry about the cost of getting back and forth to work. You do not have to worry about dry cleaning costs, lunches out, meals on the go for the kids. Of course, you also have work from home technology that will keep you busy. This can be a great opportunity to stash some cash, and enjoy life a little more.

Going to work can get expensive. Between gas for the car or the cost of public transportation and making sure you have a few dollars to grab some lunch the cost really starts to stack up. The silver lining to this situation is the money you are saving.

You are going to have more money in your pocket and more time on your hands. Work from home technology can help you deal with both. More time can mean more Amazon shopping. Shopping from home while you work is just added shimmer to that silver lining.

The beauty of the current work from home technology is that you do not have do a home remodel to get your virtual office ready. Everything is pretty much done online. You could be sitting on the couch with your feet up getting that report ready for the boss, and no one would be the wiser.

Of course some people need more than a piping hot cup of coffee and a comfy place to prop the laptop to really get engaged in the workload. Are you that person that needs a quiet spot in the house to really address your workload?

About 47% of the people that normally work from home, love the idea, they report being happy with their lifestyle, and feel working from home makes them more productive. Under the COVID 19 work at home situation though things are a little different. School is closed for the kids, there is a lot of bad news in the world about healthcare and overburdened hospitals, so you may not be loving life right now.

The goal when you first start on your work from home journey is to find balance. One of the biggest complaints about working from home is that you do actually find you work more, because it can be hard to separate work life from home life when they both occur in the same place.

Another complaint is that initially, it can be very hard to focus on the task at hand. There are a few tips that you can follow to help your brain get used to the idea that work and home life can occur in the same place.

Let’s Get You Started On the Right Foot

Some of the people that have been remotely working for a large chunk of their careers offer these tips to help you transition from working outside the home to working from home:

  • Go ahead and set up a space to work in. Sure, you can sit in fuzzy slippers and pajamas all day on the couch, but the experts agree you should have a dedicated space to work, will help you to be more productive.
  • Get dressed every day to go to the “office”. Whether your office is in an actual office in your home or space you squandered from the kids on the back porch, get dressed to go to work. There was a study that showed the simple act of putting your shoes on in the morning triggers centers in your brain that are associated with decision making.
  • Set up a schedule for work, and then stick to it. Working from home likely means that you will accomplish more work than you expect. This means you do not have to put in from 9-5, but you do need a schedule.

For some of the workers that were sent home to work remotely the schedule they work has already been decided for them. For example, those workers that work in customer service and have to be on the phone between designated hours. Other workers, do not leave their office with a specific set of hours in their hand to work from home.

If you are part of the latter group you will have to work on creating a schedule that helps you to break up the day into chunks that are dedicated to work and chunks that are dedicated to your personal life. If you have the liberty to choose your hours, choose them wisely. For example, if you know you are a morning person, focus on getting your work done in the morning hours.

Yes, Put Your Shoes On

It may sound like a crazy idea but if you get dressed in the morning and put your shoes on it can actually help you to better focus on work. Getting your brain ready to start the day highly depends on keeping a routine.

Besides engaging your brain by getting your shoes on your feet, it will feel so much better when you take those shoes off when your “workday” is over you will appreciate the ability to kick your shoes off and relax.

Get Ready for a Lot of Free Time

Work from home technology can help to fill in the gaps of all the free time you are about to have on your hands. You are saving time on a commute, which for many Americans can suck up about 2 hours per day. You are also saving time by not having to stop along your commute to drop the kids off at daycare or school.

You will also see a time difference in the amount of time it takes you to complete tasks while you work from home. What will you do with all your extra time? Luckily you will have your work from home technology on hand to keep you busy.

For example, if you are a customer service agent that has to stay logged into your system for a specific number of hours but that phone is just not ringing, this can be a great time to start binging on all those series you have been missing out on.

You do not have to be home as a customer support person, you can be home doing some website design work and tap into that work at home technology to break the day up. Sitting for long hours in front of a screen focusing on work is not healthy.

Breaking up the workday is fine. You do not have to feel guilty about taking a break. Consider this, if you were at work during a regular workweek, how many breaks do you normally take? You likely get up talk to co-workers, grab lunch, have some coffee, and do other things throughout the day.

Taking a break when you need to can help you to stay focused just like it does at your regular workplace. Why not take advantage of the downtime to enjoy that work at home technology that is hanging around?

There are a few traps that you want to avoid when you are working from home. It can be easy to slip into a bad state of mind. Those cubicle mates that make you crazy will be sorely missed. It can be hard to get through the day when you do not have friendly banter to make the day go by faster.

Staying organized and keeping a schedule is an important part of being successful at working at home. If you find yourself missing your colleagues using that work at home technology to stay connected can help you get through.

Facetime, Duo, and other video apps can help you to stay in the loop with your co-workers. Working together virtually may not be exactly the same but for now it can be enough. As a matter of fact, it is important that you do connect with the people that you normally see during your workday.

Staying connected is vital to your mental health, and to keeping you connected to your job. Using technology is the best way to respect the social distancing rules without giving up on your job relationships.

How Is Your Internet Doing?

There are a lot of challenges to working from home, and if those challenges are not enough, a lot of people are finding that their work from home technology is not working the way that it should. The internet has been lagging for a lot of people.

A lot of people have been spending a lot of time on hold with their internet service provider to try to figure out how to get their internet to move faster. Unfortunately, this problem seems to be a countrywide issue.

What is happening with the internet? Kids are home from school, parents are working from home, everyone is streaming something. More people are using the internet in your neighborhood and across the country at the same time, the systems were not built for it.

How can you get more speed out of your connection for your work from home technology? Pick and choose the time you use your work at home technology and the hours that you are working to avoid the mad rush. If you can get up earlier or stay up latter to get work done it may help you to get online during off-peak hours.

If you have to make a deal with the kids to allow them a little more screen time to persuade them to not get online when you are it may help. Keeping internet use down while you are working can help to speed up the system.

Hopefully the internet service providers are working on improving conditions. Until then, everyone will have to muddle through and come up with unique ways to make sure everyone in the household has enough broadband to go around. Balancing your work from home technology with the rest of the family’s needs is a good way to keep the peace.

Enjoy This Time At Home

Before you know it, it will be time to get back to the office, take advantage of the time that you are able to work from home. You may find after the adjustment period and you start taking advantage of work from home technology, saving some money, and getting used to your new routine, that you really like it better. You may even invest in a home remodel to give yourself that home office you wish you had. The important thing is to make the best of a bad situation.