Access company resources and work productively from home
If you are going to be working from home due to the spread of COVID-19, we provide a few guidelines to prepare you for it, especially for those of you who have not done so before, or have not done so for an extended period.
You may also be wondering how to access company resources remotely. All of our clients are set up to access their company information from out of the office. If you are not sure how to access your resources, please reach out to us and we will guide you.
Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way
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Experience office atmosphere at home
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Will HDF continue to support us through this Work From Home (WFH) period?
Yes, we are continuing operations. We will do our best to adapt to the changing landscape (reduced metro schedules, closed city services, etc.) We are also expanding our services to include answering those questions we can about your home internet setup. We don’t have the same control over those operations as we do with your office network, but we will do our best.
Speak with your supervisor about their expectations. How often should you touch base, and with whom?
Working these things out from the beginning should help prevent problems down the road.
How do I access my shared office folders?
This depends on your network. Please contact HDF, and we can help you with this.
I don’t have a computer at home. Can I take my office computer home?
If you have a desktop computer at the office, this is not a good idea. If you have a laptop, discuss this with your supervisor. If either of you have questions about this, please contact HDF.
How can I quickly share files and chat with my colleagues?
If you are using Office 365 for email, then you probably have access to MS Teams, a collaborative work portal that allows for easy file sharing and chats. If you’re not familiar with it, ask your supervisor. If either of you need additional information, please contact HDF.
Do I need to leave my office computer on?
Please leave your office computer on and locked. You may not need to in order to access your company resources, but leaving it on will allow us to remote into your computer for maintenance and to assist you if necessary. If you have any questions about this, please contact HDF.
Be even more aware of phishing attempts
You will probably be exchanging more emails with colleagues than before. Please be even more vigilante checking for signs of phishing emails.
Please be more careful about which sites you visit on the web.
Many of our clients have hardware firewalls at the office. If your office has one, then please remember that at home you are no longer protected by it. So, please be more careful with the sites you visit while less protected.
Can I work in my pajamas?
Probably yes, as long as you are not using a video conferencing app. But you may not want to. Getting ready for work the same way you normally do may put you in a better mindset and prepare you to focus on the work you need to do… and not the pile of laundry staring back at you from the far end of the bedroom.
I don’t have a desk at home.
Find a flat clean space (or a space you can clean off). This could be the dining room or kitchen table, a side table, or just a chair that is somewhat removed from whatever chaos may be happening at home. Having a separate area to work can go a long way to help with work/life balance (here I work, there I don’t).
Phone calls. How will clients find me?
Some office phone systems can be configured to forward calls to a cell phone. Please contact HDF and will can help you figure out your options.
What if I have problems with my Internet connection at home?
Your first call should be to your Internet provider. If they are not able to help, then please contact HDF. We will try to help.
My Internet speed at home is much slower than in the office.
If you only use your home internet briefly, or infrequently, it’s speed may not have been a problem. Now that you will be using it daily, you may need to upgrade it. Start by contacting your current internet provider. If you are not satisfied with them and you live in the Washington DC area, you may want to contact FIOS or Comcast. Currently, they are offering the best bang for your buck. Please let us know if you want us to review your options.
Confirm that your home router is secure
You may need to google the steps required to perform the following security measures:
- Make sure your wifi requires a password.
- Make sure the wifi password is complex.
- Change the admin credentials on your router.
- Make sure encryption is enabled, and select WPA2 (or better yet: WPA2 AES). WEP and WPA are both outdated and easy to bypass
- If your router provides simple Firewall security, enable it.
Feeling isolated is normal.
If you’re used to working in an office, and interacting with people all day (chatting on the way to the supply closet, asking a quick question to help move a project along, sharing about that latest episode of some binge-worthy show, etc.), then being sent home alone can feel like an isolation chamber. First, recognize that your feelings are legitimate. Then figure out ways to connect: chat through MS Teams, call to get/give updates, include a personal note in a work email to a colleague.
How do I contact my fellow employees?
This would be a good thing to work out before you leave the office. You probably have email addresses for all of your fellow employees, but you might not have their cell phone numbers. Get a list so you can speak with them as needed.
That office laptop is your responsibility, so keep control over it.
If you’re working from home, it should be safe, but you should still lock it when you aren’t using it if there are other people in the house. Just press <Win>-L on your PC or Ctl-Cmd-Q on your Mac. If you’re going to work at a coffee shop or flexible office space instead, then don’t leave your laptop even for a moment. If you need a strong reminder, then read this story.
Increase your cell coverage
Limited cell phone coverage by your provider used to be beyond your control. You either were in a good coverage area, or you weren’t. Now several carriers sell cell phone boosters: devices which plug into your Internet connection and create a mini cell tower just for you… and in some cases, your neighbors. Contact your cell carrier to inquire about them. I am familiar with Verizon’s, since I use it and can offer first hand information if you are interested.
The quiet at home is driving me crazy.
Check out the “Office atmosphere at home” URL in our links above. Pipe in the background sounds of an office, while you work at home.
If you have questions about this, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.