Four Real World Tips for Working From Home
Home-working was a growing trend long before COVID19. It looks increasingly like it’s going to be a reality long after the pandemic is over. For most people (and businesses), this is going to require some adaptation. Here are four tips to help.
For many people, probably the biggest shock in working from home was the need to find an appropriate workspace. To make matters worse, getting your hands on home-office equipment was often a huge challenge due to the massive surge in demand.
If you want or need, to work at home over the long term, you will need a proper work-surface and work chair. This does not, however, need to mean a traditional desk or even a table. Assuming you can use a laptop, you can use wall desks, ladder desks and writing bureaus. You can also, potentially use a dining chair as long as it has good lumbar support.
Focus on security
If you’re working from home, then you need to think about both personal security and data security. Maintaining your personal security often hinges on maintaining a reasonable level of privacy. In particular, be careful about what shows in the background of video calls.
Data security depends on several factors, one of the most important is your internet connection. Data cabling has better in-built security than WiFi. You can make it even more secure if you use a VPN. If you’re storing data in the cloud, then your cloud provider will take care of protecting it from external attack. If you’re storing data on local devices, keep them in a safe place.
Remember basic home security precautions. For example, if you keep expensive equipment (or sensitive data) at home, try to avoid mentioning the fact. Certainly, avoid posting about it on social media! If possible, try to lock it up out of use.
Think about lighting and climate control
You’ll generally want a combination of ambient lighting and task lighting. This needs to be positioned so it lights your screen without creating glare. If you’re still holding out on the LED trend, now may be the time to invest. Firstly, LEDs can really lower your electricity bill. Secondly, you have much more control over the colour and intensity of the light they give out.
You may also want to think about getting some form of climate control just for your office area. This is particularly useful if you’re only using a small part of a larger building e.g. one room in a family home. It lets you set the temperature how you like it without you having to pay to heat/cool your whole home.
Deal with noise
If you video-call or voice-call regularly then a high-quality headset is an excellent investment. It will not only reduce (or eliminate) background noise but also keep your hands free. You might also want to invest in a good pair of regular headphones for times when there’s ambient noise you can’t control.
Be aware, however, that using headphones inappropriately can damage your hearing. Also, using noise-cancelling headphones can limit your ability to hear genuine alarms.
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