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With the government imposing stricter restrictions to control coronavirus, many of us will once again, be working from home.

That’s why we wanted to take the opportunity to summarise our best tips for working from home focusing on infrastructure, communication and collaboration and protecting your mental well-being.

Protecting your mental well-being

Needless to say, there are some obvious perks to working from home that we can all enjoy, but feeling stressed, bored, anxious or uncertain can also be completely normal.

Here are some simple tips to try while working from home that will help you feel more productive while taking care of your mental health during this unprecedented time.

Set yourself a routine

Without putting in place a schedule, it’s easy for the lines between your work and personal life to blur into one.

Try and follow a routine and stay consistent. What used to be your ‘commute time’ can now be time to spend on yourself so use it by doing something you enjoy like exercising, listening to music or reading. Then when it gets to the end of your working day, stop working and focus on your home life.

It’s okay to take a break

Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean you have to put extra pressure on yourself to be available all the time.

Giving yourself time for breaks is important and will allow you to relieve any stress you have – get a cup of tea, get away from your screen or go for some fresh air on your lunch.

Sometimes giving yourself just 5 mins can help you concentrate and feel more focused when you return.

Reach out and stay connected

Although working from home has it’s advantages, you may also begin to feel more isolated. That’s why it’s important to stay in touch with those who matter most to you.

Schedule calls, speak to someone if you are struggling and make time to socialise virtually or in person and making sure to follow the latest social distancing guidelines.

Most importantly, remember that you’re not in this alone!

Be kind to yourself and stay safe

It’s important to remember this is a very unusual situation and things won’t feel like normal just now. So, be kind to yourself and acknowledge you might not always be as productive as you usually would be. Come up with a detailed to-do list that’s realistic and break it down by level of importance and when work is done, make sure to relax.

Getting the right infrastructure

Whether you are in the office or working from home, it’s important to keep your IT environment safe, secure and reliable.

That’s why we’ve composed a checklist of things to think about from an infrastructure point of view to help with this transition:

Remote access

You have a couple of options here, gaining access through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like FortiClient that offers a safe link between your computer network and your laptop.

You could also use Citrix which provides virtualisation and application delivery, this is seen as a better alternative to traditional VPNs when working with larger files.

Security

Keeping your business’s data safe is always a top priority, no matter where you are.

If you are looking for a solution that will provide an additional line of defence against attacks, then look no further than FortiGate – the industry’s best threat protection solution.

For those who use multiple applications or systems, we’d recommend SecureEnvoy for a multi-factor authentication that can be used on premise, hybrid or in the Cloud.

Something we all have is passwords, that’s why we would suggest considering password management devices or a two-factor authorisation like Microsoft 2FA. Both will increase password security, making it more difficult for malicious individuals to gain access to your account.

Backup

One of the most convenient ways to back up your files is through the Cloud or alternatives like OneDrive to keep your documents secure.

You could also utilise Office 365 where you can take advantage of 30 days back up for your mailbox and 93 days for files through SharePoint.

There’s also the option to take this a step further and strengthen this through a having a Business Continuity plan.

Communication and Collaboration

Whether you are talking to a fellow employee or a customer, communication is key.

Of course, you can stay in contact with more traditional communication methods like phone or email, but we’d recommend utilising the benefits of Microsoft Teams. Enhance collaboration through team meetings, catch up or demonstrations all via video and share documents so you’ll never miss out on what’s going with other members of the team. Check out our recent Teams blog here.

Here at Kick we offer a range of services and support that will help you when working from home. With a wide variety of leading technology providers, we are able to deliver a scalable, safe and secure IT environment for our customers. If you are new to Kick then contact us or call us on 01698 844 600 to arrange a no-obligation chat.

Rachel Timmins

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Rachel Timmins

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