You may be one of these people, or you may well know someone who is working from home. Some people have it easier than others, and it will come as no surprise to hear that IT setups while working from home can range from an outdated laptop, to a carbon copy desk setup that mirrors what you have in the office.
Here’s a quick run down of the pros and cons of this shift, for those who are utilising desktops, laptops, and other forms of IT from home:
✓ Work from anywhere in your home
Depending on your proposed setup, you might be enjoying the luxury of being able to do your work from the comfort of your bed or sofa, as opposed to a desk. A laptop makes this far easier, and companies are realising they can deploy remote desktop solutions to their employees, to save on infrastructure cost, and keep their staff flexible.
There will be a point where some staff will need to work rotating shifts, and having a remote desktop on a home laptop means they can keep the PC unit and monitors at the office.
✓ Shorter Days
Thousands of workers across the UK (and the world) have been able to factor their daily commute out of their routine. This has led to shorter days for those working from home – More sleep and later mornings has meant productivity and focus has increased for those working from their desktops/laptops from home. Customer service appears no different to customers who are being managed by those working from home, which emphasises how simple it is to keep home working as a long term fixture.
✓ Reduced Stress – Less Micromanagement
Home workers have probably noticed that their managers, directors and supervisors have been giving them much less hassle. Home working means companies have had to switch to remote collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom. Having your boss on a screen, or your boss texting you to complete tasks is far less stressful, and usually ensures a higher quality of work, as you’ll be less conscious about them constantly looking over your shoulder and monitoring your output.
Now it’s fair to admit it – Home working is great, I think we can all agree on that, but there are some flaws to it, just like any style of working would have:
More Prone To Distractions
For some, home working makes tasks easier to complete as you are away from the 4 walls of your office or workplace. For others, home working can be a hard way to stay focused, especially if you’re surrounded by other technology. If you haven’t been provided with your own work laptop, remote working software or PC, it can be hard to separate leisure and work when you have to use your own equipment.
It can be so easy to log onto YouTube or Facebook, and this is a bad thing because your boss can’t track your history as you’re not working via their remote server, or on a specific proxy address. More distractions = less work being done, and your boss doesn’t want that, don’t be that person!
Home Setups Are Limited
Sometimes working away from the office means you are separated from the vast array of technology the office provides. You might not have your own scanning printer, you may be having to work with one monitor instead of two, or you might be having to settle for a wired keyboard and mouse, as opposed to the wireless ones you have at the office. (The dual monitor with the wireless keyboard and mouse is an unsurprisingly popular setup in office-based work these days).
Lack Of Support From Management
Switching to a remote structure means that staff must use other ways to get help from their managers and directors, as opposed to having them available in the office. As a result of this, there can be many silos within different departments if a proper collaboration tool isn’t implemented for every member of staff, or if you can’t call them internally, and have to rely on third-party calling tools like WhatsApp, or even just mobile calling out of your own allowance.
What Are Our Solutions To Improve Your Home Working?
For the vast majority of office workers, you will be used to working in an environment filled with calls, chatter, typing and clicks. Working from home removes all this excess noise, and for some people, this can make it hard to find the motivation you need to continue working. Our best tips involve a mixture of consulting your boss and doing your best to match your office setup with your home working setup.
What we mean by this is, if you have two screens at work, you might want to see if your boss will invest in a second monitor for you, or see if they’ll allow you to take your office equipment home. A downgrade of IT equipment is a big no-no when it comes to getting into the correct mindset for working remotely.
If you’re struggling to get work done, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones, or maybe a wireless mouse? If you don’t have the money to invest in these, there’s always a couple of tricks you can try to minimise distractions and keep you focused on your work.
On Windows 10 devices, you can utilise the task view feature, so you have a split between your working environment and your desktop for activities outside of work hours. Simply click the icon like the one that is circled in this picture, then select “New Desktop”.
We feel this can help keep a split between your work and non-work related files, resources and activities – Keeping your boss happy, and your schedule of work deadlines up-to-date.
The last thing you want to be doing when working from home is allowing distractions to take hold of your working time. Set up your work station away from TVs, radios, beds, phones (The mobile ones, Not the IP desk phones!). Keep your environment relatively spacious if you can, and try to almost mimic the setup you have at the office. It will help you out moving forward, as you won’t need to learn to work in a different setting for multiple hours of the day.
Thanks for reading – We hope your work is going great, whether it is from the office, on the road, or from your home!