Telecommuting. Working remotely. Working from home. Whatever you want to call it, it is much more demanding than you would think.

It takes focus, willpower and a lot of self motivation!

What is a coronavirus (COVID-19) self-isolation?

Self-isolation basically means staying at home and limiting your contact with others for at least 14 days. It’s a way of separating a sick person from people who aren’t ill. Right now, self-isolation is only recommended if:

• You have COVID-19

• You have travelled outside of Canada

• Your local public health authority identifies you as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

If you do not have the virus and were not in close contact with someone who has, you should be watching out for symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If symptoms develop, you must:

• Stay home

• Limit contact with others

• Contact your local public health authority and follow their instructions and advice.

Has your employer asked you to self-isolate or work from home during coronavirus?

To reduce the risk of spreading the disease, many employers have instructed employees to work from home, when possible. This doesn’t mean you must self-isolate and only stay at home. It just means that you shouldn’t come into the office.

There are many of benefits of working from home which may sound exciting at first but can cost you dearly if you are not self-disciplined enough for the task. Being self-disciplined and self-motivated can bring big rewards like not having to wait for the lunch break when hungry, or not having to commute to work, but the backlash can be detrimental if you don’t succeed.

How to work from home productively

Get dressed for work even if you’re not going into the office

You don’t have to dress too formally since you’ll be at home. But getting out of your pyjamas and into some casual or business casual clothes can help get you out of bed and into work mode. It also helps in case you have to hop on an impromptu video conference with your colleagues.

Have desk space set up

Do you have a desk or home office set up in your home? If you don’t, then you may want to invest in a standing desk or a regular desk and an office chair with armrests. You can also use any table surface and chair in your home, so long as it makes you feel comfortable, awake and engaged. Just make sure you’re not lying in bed or your couch all day. It won’t help you stay productive at work and it may even hurt your back or posture.

Have a VPN and other necessary software installed

Are you set up with your company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN)? Talk to your IT department about getting VPN access before you start working from home. Having a VPN set up in your work laptop can help ensure you’re securely accessing and sending company files. You’ll also want to make sure your computer has the right apps and software for you to complete your job at home. This includes access to video-conferencing tools and workplace messaging apps to communicate with other staff members and standard software you would use at your work place like MS Office etc. If you need assistance, we can help!

Talk to your employer about working off hours if you’re caring for family

Do you have kids or other family members self-isolating at home? Most employers are aware that some provinces, among them Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, have closed down schools due to COVID-19 concerns. Inform your employer now of your family situation and that you’re working from home with kids. Tell them you may need more time during the day to take care of them. Let your employer and colleagues know what hours you’ll be available. They’ll be more understanding about your flexible working hours and family interruptions if they know about your situation ahead of time. You’ll also have to tell your employer if anyone living with you has or show symptoms of COVID-19. They may ask you to self-monitor your own health for two weeks and keep them updated on any changes.

Reduce at-home distractions that don’t require your immediate attention

Working from home may give you the flexibility to run a quick errand or be available to receive deliveries and home repairs. But it’s best to try to reduce optional distractions that don’t require your immediate attention, like television, pets and household chores. You can do those when your work is done.

Make a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it

Working from home can give you flexible hours. This means you may not have to fit the nine-to-five timeframe. But you still have to plan your day with time-slots for meetings and getting work done. So remember to hold yourself accountable by making a schedule and sticking to it. Determine the start and end of your workday, and stay true it.

Having a professional set things up for you means less problems and a smoother transition. We can send a sanitized tech over to you, who will professionally configure your system for best performance and stability, which will help your productivity right from the start.

For additional information on Covid-19 please refer to the CDC website.