Staying connected while working from home

Date Published: 26-03-2020 | Author: Abel Muller

The Coronavirus outbreak has completely changed our daily lives in more ways than anyone could have predicted. One of the simplest measures to prevent the virus from spreading is staying at home.

As simple as it sounds, it does have its challenges, but it can be done in conjunction with some other ideas to keep the productivity going.

Firstly you are going to need the hardware for staying connected. This could be a desktop PC, notebook or high end tablet. S4 went with notebooks as it helps to have the battery power should load shedding stick its ugly head out again during this time. Adding an UPS to your arsenal will be a bonus, even if it’s only for keeping your router running. Secondly, you will need a way to connect to the internet. There are multiple ways of doing that and I’m sure most of us know them or have them already.

For communication purposes with staff there are loads of software available and e-mail is probably the most widely used. Your company can also use Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams, which by the way are currently offered free of charge to enterprise customers for a limited time. This will allow you to make voice and video calls. We also started a company Whatsapp group for quick communication anytime of the day or night.

S4 have its own ecosystem to connect to via the web which is securely managed. This allows staff to still do quotes, create orders, fill out time sheets and generally just go about their job as if they are in the office. Obviously this does not work for everyone but at least the office staff can work, stay in contact with customers and be productive.

You might also consider using other tools to stay connected to your clients. Using LinkedIn for instance, you can show what you are doing, what you are planning and also how you or your business is coping with the lockdown.

Here are some other things to consider when working from home:

  1. Set up an office space away from everyone – This can be in a spare room, a corner of the lounge area or even your dining room table. Don’t sit in your bed and try to work.
  2. Keep office hours – Don’t change your hours just because you are home now. Your customers still expect you to be available at the same times and so does your colleagues.
  3. Stick to your current routine – If you are used to getting up at 5am, don’t change it. Use the extra time you have to catch up on other things like reading.
  4. Communicate – Stay in contact with your manager, colleagues and clients on a daily basis.
  5. Exercise – Take a walk in your lunchtime while you are home. The change of scenery will do you good. Even if you walk around your house a couple of times.
  6. Take breaks – Sitting at home on your own can be stressful, especially if you are used to talking to people on a daily basis. Take short breaks, get some water or coffee and continue your daily tasks.

It’s going to be a long 3 weeks for most of us, so stay at home where possible. Be safe, stick to the rules of the lockdown and remember to look after yourself.