Servers & Systems: The Right Compute
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10 lessons learned when working from home

Working remotely may be here to stay for many of us, no matter the size of your business. Here are some lessons learned to help optimize your virtual office experience.

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Businesses of all sizes are continuing to adjust to new ways of working and enabling virtual collaboration among co-workers, customers, and partners. It’s a particularly important move for smaller businesses, where face time and agile team environments are the secret sauce for speed, creativity, and success.

While larger companies were already supporting some employees who worked from home, small and midsized businesses don’t always have the IT resources and infrastructure to do the same. That can make the work-from-home experience unfamiliar and challenging for SMB employees.

I have actually been working remotely for more than ten years now, so I’d like to share some of the lessons learned along the way to help you improve your effectiveness as a remote worker.

  1. Keep a work schedule and communicate it to your team, as well as your household. Keep in mind that others may have different schedules, so be flexible when required. But don’t forget to consider that the stress of long hours can weaken your immune system – something you really don’t want to happen right now, so be mindful of how long you are working.
  2. Set "education hours" for your kids if they’re at home right now. Provide a place for them to attend virtual school or home school, as best you can. Let them learn to be somewhat self-sufficient during your work hours, as their maturity levels allow.
  3. Dress for success. Don't come to virtual work in your pajamas. Dress as if you were heading in to the office. This is a mental preparation, and your mindset paves the way to a successful day. If you don’t feel this tip works for you, make sure you know when your webcam lens is open.
  4. Define a work area separate from your other living spaces, if possible. Make sure everyone in the household understands that it’s a different zone and respects it as such.
  5. Protect your eyesight. If you have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse at home, connect those to your laptop or docking station. Laptop screens are too small for most of us, as are their keyboards and track-pads. If you can afford to do so, connect two monitors side by side. I frequently have one for open projects and another for tracking email and video conferencing, which greatly aids productivity.
  6. Let your colleagues know where you are. If you’re away from your desk for an errand or the like, let your manager and reports know. For instance, if someone is looking for you and reaches out to your manager when they can’t reach you, your manager will likely feel a lot more comfortable if he or she knows that you’re away and can communicate when they can expect you to return. Plus, it gives your colleagues the feeling that you’re engaged and working efficiently. Trust me here.
  7. Stand up, stretch and move around every now and then. Setting an alarm on your phone might help.
  8. Pair a reliable internet service provider with fast and secure Wi-Fi. Your network needs to be able to support your remote work needs reliably and with sufficient upstream and downstream bandwidth. A fast, secure wireless access point such as Aruba Instant On will also keep you from glitching out in the middle of your presentations, wherever you are in the house and even while your kids are on their virtual classes.
  9. Know instant messaging and virtual conferencing applications your company approves for communicating with co-workers. If unsure, ask your IT support. Oh, and remember to go off mute when you talk.
  10. Eat.  Don’t forget to eat healthy snacks, drink water and plan your meals. Your brain (and your stomach) will thank you.

I hope these ideas help you create a great and productive environment while you work from home. Don’t forget, technology can help you stay connected—and we are always ready to lend a helping hand in this difficult business environment. Just let us know how we can help you.

Learn how HPE is helping customers, partners, and communities combat COVID-19. And find out more about HPE Small Business IT deployment solutions.

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Mark Simpkins
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

marksimpkins

Mark is the marketing manager for the Small and Midsized Segment here at HPE. He blogs on topics of interest that can help our SMB servers and solutions customers and partners.