Beginner’s Guide to Working from Home

Almost everyone is working from home. Even before the pandemic, freelancers and startups were relying on online services to cater to their business needs. Now more than ever people are scrambling around to find the right tech to suit their working situation.

If this is your first time, you may find the situation a bit overwhelming (especially if you also have to take care of the kids or do house chores).

But trust us, working from home can be quite fun once you get the hang of it. You just need to make sure you have everything and maybe a bit more desire to work than usual. Working from home requires two important things: the right setting and the right tools.

The Right Setting

Workspace

When you think about people working from home do you imagine them with a laptop in bed, in fluffy pajamas, enjoying a steamy cup of Joe?

If this is your vision, you may be a bit disappointed at first. Productivity doesn’t happen in bed. If you’re new to this, you should avoid being too relaxed as much as possible.

To avoid being completely thrown off, it’s best to have a dedicate space for work. If you can have an entire room, it would be ideal, but a chair and a desk should suffice (as long as it’s not placed in heavy traffic areas of the house).

Keep it clean, get a few pens and a diary/notebook and definitely get a phone stand.

Routine

Our brains love routine. And, for people who go to work 5 days a week, a sudden stay at home is a huge disruption.

Once you are up and your chores are done, make sure you give 2 solid hours to work life. Make sure your family knows which 2 hours you are setting for work. Give a gap to have lunch and do stretches. But get back to work again for 2 hours. Take as many breaks, but make sure you do 3 rounds of 2 hours of solid work, summing it to 6 hours a day.

It also helps to dress for work. It can be a casual outfit (not necessary office attire), but it shouldn’t be pajamas or a sweatsuit! When you dress and get yourself presentable, because this signals the brain that you’re ready to be productive.

Also, if you have the option, ask to not be disturbed when you’re working.

Lastly, there’s one more boundary you need to set, and that is with yourself. You must have a work schedule, a routine for family, and everyone in your team should know and respect it. 

The Right Tools

Now that you have the right setting, let’s have a look at the online services and tool that will make your working from home easier

Online Meetings

Platforms like Zoom, Webex or Microsoft Teams are ideal for videoconferences, voice calls with more than two members, whiteboard, file sharing, and keeping conversation in 1 place.

This way, the company can still keep regular meetings and if you ever need more guidance than what’s specified in an email, you can do a video-call with the manager or the entire team. 

File Sharing

Since you’re not in the same building any more, you can’t just go down to marketing and ask for the new campaign’s brief document. But, if you think about it, we do this less and less, as it’s easier to send an email and ask for the files you need in format electronic (or their location on the company’s server).

When you work from home you should use tools like WeTransfer because they allow zero signup or sign in and provide 2GB of file sharing via email.

If you are looking for a more robust and permanent solution, look at Box, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Collaboration

We all know about Slack. Everyone uses it and loves it. There are other great options like Trello, Basecamp, Asana, Padlet and Microsoft Teams.

Collaboration is something that teams needs for project management and its sometimes very useful to have one giant company license to get all the tools you need for remote work situation like the current one we are all in.

One for All

If you have a Windows machine, why not get their Office 365 license and get everything in one go; streamlined to the core!

Your email, collaboration, whiteboard, file sharing cloud drive, meetings, newsletters, projects, and much more. You can get all that with one license.

Online Payments

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or a remote employee, you must make sure your work is rewarded.

Solutions like TransferWise, Revolut, and PayPal make life a lot easier for people who want to make payments online without dealing with the difficulties of the standard banking system.

If you don’t already have it, make an account with Payoneer. They give real bank account numbers for foreign currencies making it easier for businesses to make payments.

Bonus Tools

Have you heard of Otter, Loom and AnyDesk?

Otter is a fantastic recording tool that transcribes. Consider giving it a shot especially if it’s a meeting.

Loom is a screen recording tool that saves you from long meetings. Just record what you want to share, teach, or explain and send it across. Give it try, its dead useful. And unlike many services and companies, Loom has slashed their prices and basic plans because of the current pandemic.

AnyDesk is a remote accessing service. Its super useful and comes handy at times of stressful situations when co-workers can’t get some stuff working on their PCs.

Think about these!

Yes, change is challenging, but this is how we grow and learn. In addition, working from home is a positive change that frees up your time and allows you to enjoy life at a new level. So why not give it a shot?

There are a plethora of online services that we have covered before, just hop over to our category of Services and find several such useful online tools reviewed in a bit more detail.

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