Life has changed a lot in 2020 so far. In Scotland we have now been in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak for over 100 days. For many of us this has meant working from home, including us at G5 Technologies. We know there will be many people looking for insider knowledge or tips and tricks on how to handle tech from home so we asked our engineers to share their top working from home tips for communication, connections and comfort.
There are some perks to working from home but it can also be tricky to get the hang of working differently. They have based these working from home tips on the calls they have been taking with people during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.
Working from home tips from the G5 team:
A big part of working from home is using video, phone and email communication to keep in touch with colleagues and customers. Take a look at some of the working from home tips our engineers had:
Don’t spend money before checking your current tools
Don’t go spending extra money on new communication tools OR using ones for business calls which aren’t secure like Zoom. Did you know that if you use Microsoft 365 you may already have Microsoft Teams included so you won’t need to purchase or use other tools? Teams can even be set up to work in tune with your phone system.
Fine tune your Video Call setup
Test your mic/headset/camera before entering the call in case you need to adjust settings and to make sure it’s all working before joining. If you have a web cam try to place it centrally and at eyeline with the monitor, that way you are looking more directly at it. It’s also a good idea to have plenty light in the room you are in, cameras tend to need bright light to give a good image.
Get used to using your mute button
Locate your mute button and get used to pressing it on and off. If you are in a large meeting using built in laptop audio it’s good to mute while you’re not speaking to stop noise feedback. When supporting our customers our engineers get used to using mute in case there is a noise in the background that might disturb the call too E.g. children, pets or sneezing.
If you usually work in an office you might rely on someone else to look after the internet connection, maybe you even usually call G5. Take a look at some of the working from home tips our engineers had about home connections:
Know your Internet Provider
In your own home it is your responsibility to contact your internet provider if you are having internet issues so keep their contact details handy incase your connection goes down.
Having a home internet connection also means you might not have an unlimited connection so if you have an important call it is a good idea to make sure no one else is streaming or heavily using the internet while you are in a call. Even if you have a good internet connection most home devices are Wi-Fi connected so its best to keep internet use by other devices to a minimum whilst you are calling to ensure the best quality.
Keep in touch with your Colleagues
We have found Microsoft Teams very handy for staying in touch with each other. We have also been using Starleaf as a Video Conferencing solution. Both are a huge advantage when it comes to keeping in touch with our colleagues from home. We have tried to continue our team meetings at the usual times as if we are in the office so that it helps us all keep to our routine.
Take a look at some of the working from home tips our engineers had about home comfort:
Keep a good routine
Our team like to try and keep their usual work routine where possible so work a 9-5 style work day unless they are on call. They all have a desk area set up at home. Although they have desks set up they are not like in the office and you likely won’t have a desk setup like you do in the office either. Sitting all day can take its toll so make sure you factor plenty walking, stretching and breaks into your day at home.
Improve your posture
A great way to improve comfort is to get a screen, wireless keyboard and mouse if you are using a laptop. It is much more comfortable to be typing whilst sitting upright at a desk or table than hunched over a laptop with touchpad. If you don’t fancy a screen then a laptop riser is another option. HSE have a good video here to demonstrate a good workstation setup.
For more tips take a look at some of our other posts: