working from home

Balancing Working from Home with Homework

We’re in unchartered territory here people, and it kind of sucks. It really sucks actually! Coronavirus is serious, probably the most serious global event many of us will face in our lifetimes.

But we’re all in it together and we’ll come out the other side together. Remember your neighbours are hurting just as much as you, so a smile goes a long way. Let’s be kind, considerate and set individual examples of how humanity should react to this.

There’s a high chance most of us will be working from home in the coming weeks or months. This comes with its own challenges, and they’re not just work related. As schools close many of us will be balancing housebound and energetic kids with our workloads. We’ll have to find ways to keep everyone entertained and educated, most likely without the support of friends and family.

It’s going to be a tough road, but by staying positive you’ll make it easier on yourself and your family. On the work side of things, Smile IT can help you and your team set up a home office network that allows you to stay connected with each other and all your important office data. Get in touch with us if you’d like more information about that.

In the meantime there are a few things you and your team can do and some steps you can take to ensure the transition to working from home is seamless.

Let’s look at it from a work point of view first.

How to Setup a Home Office Space

working from home brisbane

Internet: Make sure your connection is rock solid, your bills are paid and you’re connected. Double check you remember your password, because you’ll maybe have to add your work computer onto the network.

Workspace: Set up a quiet space separate from the rest of the house where you can concentrate and work undisturbed. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a study in our homes, but even setting up a desk in your bedroom is a good substitute. Somewhere you can shut the kids out from if necessary.

Comfort: You might be spending a few hours at your desk or chair. Is it comfortable and ergonomic enough? This might be a good time to upgrade, or even consider a standing desk. We understand cash flows are tight at the moment, but you’ll regret not doing it if you end up at the chiropractor when this is all over! Maintaining good physical health is important for you to stay focused.

Sound: Your communications are going to be via web conferences, phone calls and online meetings with clients and team mates. You need a sound setup that works properly and clearly. We’d recommend a set of headphones with a mic on them.

Team Roles: It needs to be clear to everyone who is responsible for what while they work from home. Crisp channels of communications, rosters and daily schedules will help immeasurably.

Chain of Command: Decide who will cover for who if team members are sick. Someone needs to make their decisions and take on their important jobs.

Flexibility: Some members of your team will have their kids at home so will need to work around them. Be open to staff working in the evenings and be prepared for schedules to not follow your usual regimens.

How to Communicate: Determine check-in times when team members will report their progress. Howe are you going to keep in touch? Smile IT find that Microsoft Teams is an excellent solution to connect the entire office, no matter where individuals are working from. We’d be happy to help you get set up with this.

Those tips should help you get your head around the move to working from home. But what about for you as a person? And for your family? What’s the best way to stay mentally ‘on top’ of it all? Here’s some things that could help.

How to Stay Sane Working From Home

successfully working from home

Set up a Routine: Having a routine that you stick to is important, especially if you’ve got a family to keep entertained. Dividing the day up gives you control over your life, it gives structure to your activities and provides targets to work towards. Kids respond well to routines too, and it’ll help with staying on the same page as all your work colleagues.

Exercise: Gyms have shut down, so you’re going to have to do your exercise at home. We’d recommend strictly incorporating it into your daily routine – there’s so much evidence showing regular exercise is really important for mental health, as well as boosting the immune system. Sounds like the perfect anti-coronavirus superpower! There are a lot of trainers doing online classes, and there’s a bunch of apps out there to help you sty motivated. Going for a run in the park is also a great way to get some fresh air and get out the house.

Connect with Friends: You can’t have friends and relatives around and show them any affection, and that’s tough. But don’t lose touch… or hope. Schedule daily online meets with your friends. Have a cocktail with them in the evenings while on a videoconference call. Chat about the day, chat about things completely unrelated to Covid-19. Be social… we need that as humans.

Avoid TV-binging: We know how cool it is to sit down in front of Netflix and binge watch every season of Friends (actually, that might not be cool… depends on your age I guess!) Catching up on your favourite shows is well and good but incorporate it into your routine and don’t go overboard.

Well we hope those tips help. Above all, keep smiling. We’re still here to answer all your tech questions and look after our valuable clients, so please get in touch if you need to.

Stay safe and stay happy.

When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!