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COVID-19: How to Work From Home Guide For Employees

March 18, 2020 | Tips & Tricks, Helpful Advice

COVID-19: How to Work From Home Guide For Employees

A lot of things have changed since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by The World Health Organization. With cases increasing every day and closing of the U.S. Canada border for non-essential travel, local businesses across Ontario are doing their part by having employees work from home for non-essential services.

For many of us, this will be the first time working from home. And once again, panicking is not an option. Here are some of the tips that will help you be the responsible and star employee you always strive to be. 

Regularly self-monitor your health

To help the officials fight with the coronavirus pandemic, each one of us has a role to play. This may seem basic and redundant, but it is vital to keep a check on your health now than ever.

  • Get yourself educated on symptoms and preventions outlined by the right source
  • Stay at home and avoid any non-essential travel
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds and avoid touching your face

 Find more information here https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Work from Home essentials

Working remotely once in a long while is very different from working from home for an extended period. You will need all the tools, files and devices that you usually use to work in the office.

  • Laptop & charger
  • Docking station
  • Desktop monitor
  • Keyboard, mouse
  • Phones/ Phone App like Bell Total Connect
  • Physical documents/ files essential for your daily tasks
  • Notebook(s) where you write your daily to-dos
  • List of important phone numbers (co-workers, clients, vendors, partners

Demand and action clear communication

Clear communication can resolve more issues than you think. Discuss all the wins and problems with your immediate manager, co-workers, vendors and partners. Ask questions if you are unclear about anything. Remember, it is better to ask questions than to assume things. Consider having team calls once a day, brief your immediate team on the status; this will allow everybody to share experiences and issues.

Understand your responsibilities

This goes back to our above point on clear communication. It is an extraordinary situation for your boss and immediate managers, and they may miss giving accurate information, mainly because the situation is changing almost every few hours. You can offer to help by voluntarily providing updates, sharing statuses and offering as much help as possible while you work remotely.

Treat it like your real job (because it is – just from a different location)

During this uncertain situation caused by novel coronavirus, the last thing you want to do is be in your bed with your laptop on your lap. This is not a staycation. You are expected to put your agreed-upon hours doing the work that you would usually do in the office. This includes dressing up appropriately, sitting on an upright chair at a designated spot where your temporary work desk is set-up.

Avoid feeling isolated

Feeling low and isolated is coming sooner than you think. But just because you are at home does not mean you cannot communicate with other people. Use technology to your advantage use apps like Skype, Microsoft teams to communicate with your co-workers during work hours and catch up with your loved ones using WhatsApp and FaceTime.

Beware of the security threats

This is the most critical time for cybersecurity. Cyber attackers are aware of the fact that most of us will be working remotely and will jump on the first opportunity they get to make things worse. Be vigilant and over-analytical about the websites you browse, emails you respond to and links you click. If you are unsure of something, send it to your IT support to investigate. This is not restricted to emails and web browsing, beware of hoax phone calls expressing urgency. For example, if you get a call from a co-worker asking for confidential information, don’t give the information right away and call them back on their designated number. This will ensure you are speaking with the right person and not an imposter who is using social engineering hacking techniques.

Assess home technology

Self-assess the systems at your home before plugging in your work systems, before connecting work devices, including laptops, printers, phones, etc. You don't want to damage your work devices due to faulty power supply. 

Secure your company tools

Lock your computer when you are away from the screen, you don’t want your kids accidentally sending out any emails. Keep food and beverages away from your temporary work desk to avoid spillage of fluids on your technology.

Remember, we are all in this together. We all have to be patient and understanding, and we will get over this extraordinary situation stronger than ever.

Stay Healthy and Happy Working From Home!

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