For some of us, working from home is simply not possible. Whether you stock shelves, check out customers, care for the sick or elderly, work in a manufacturing facility that makes the supplies we need, drive a truck, or perform endless other service jobs, going to work or collecting unemployment are the only options. For all of you that are keeping this country going through the work you continue to do, we thank you. Your service and dedication is what keeps America going.
For those of us that are lucky enough to be able to work from home, here is the list of what you need so that your work-from-home hours are as productive as possible.
1. A decent computer and office space. If you will only be working from home for a short period of time a laptop and a table will work. If possible, work in a room away from other family members so there will be fewer unnecessary interruptions.
2. A comfy chair. Sitting on a kitchen stool for 8 hours can be downright painful. Find a chair that supports your back and a position that prevents you from getting a sore neck or sore wrists. If possible, move from one position to another every hour or so. This can help prevent you from feeling stiff and sore.
3. A good Wi-Fi provider and a Wi-Fi signal booster. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to work from home only to have your Wi-Fi signal fade away. These at home Wi-Fi providers get good ratings from their customers. A Wi-Fi signal booster, also called a Wi-Fi Range extender, can boost your Wi-Fi signal so it will work in more places in your home, such as in the basement or on the porch. This is especially important if there are two or more people in your home accessing your Wi-Fi regularly. For more information on networking tips and tricks, check out this home networking support article.
4. An office phone. A cell phone reserved for business is a real plus, but if you must use your personal phone for business, set designated office hours and only answer business calls during those hours.
5. A good filing system. Electronic files are awesome, but you’ll need to keep them organized by project or by client, so you can quickly find, access, and when necessary, share what you need.
6. A video communication system. Programs like Zoom (which is free when you keep your meeting times under 40 minutes) work great when you want to have a virtual face-to-face meeting. (I’ve been on a zoom meeting with as little as two and as many as 100 people before and it worked wonderfully). Note that when you are video conferencing, you’ll want to make sure the background of your meeting looks professional (like a book case, not a counter filled with dirty dishes).
7. Business on the top, casual on the bottom. A professional look from the waste up (which is what everyone sees while video conferencing) will give your clients and colleagues the message that you are working and performing business as usual. Wearing your business logo on a custom logo work shirt or custom logo polo shirt is an inexpensive way to market your company while you work. But don’t do what this girl did and take your phone into the bathroom while conferencing!
8. Extra patience. Don’t expect working from home to go smoothly all the time. Fido may bark (or worse) during a meeting and kids and spouses can forget you are working and barge in unannounced. The good news is that almost everyone else working from home will understand that life happens.