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How to Work from Home Effectively – Technology

Mindset – T is for Technology

T – Technology Best Practice

  • Test your broadband and mobile phone signal. If they are not up to the job, get them upgraded because your productivity will suffer.
  • Use A.C.E to manage your meetings to be effective.

Read the main article: How to Work from Home Effectively – M.I.N.D.S.E.T. – Adopt 7 Best Practices.

About 3 years ago I had a huge argument with BT about our broadband. I think everyone has at one point or another! When we had no broadband for 2 days I thought I had lost my right arm. Our dependency on technology is now a given. Without it, our productivity really suffers.
At work (In the corporate office) we don’t give a second thought as to whether a video will play, Skype will work, or an email will send. At home, we become the IT department for ourselves. One of the first things we must do is create a solid foundation of technology. Is the broadband good enough? And does the mobile phone signal work well enough? If either one of these does not work well, your productivity will suffer.
Those two; broadband and mobile – are the foundation for effective productivity. Then it is about getting the most out of the tech that you use. And after that finding a way to be the best version of the productive you, as you can be.

Man in business attire shouting at the telephone

Those two; broadband and mobile – are the foundation for effective productivity

Broadband

For broadband you need to be aware of two things; wired and wireless.
If you put a wire in your laptop at home to get onto the internet, you’re wired. Now go to google and type ‘broadband speed test‘. To handle Microsoft Teams, and alike, you’ll need at least 30mps. If you have lower speed, you may need to contact your broadband provider and get upgraded. 
If you do NOT put a wire into your laptop at home to get onto the internet, then you are wireless. Now go to google and type ‘broadband speed test’. To handle Microsoft Teams, and alike, you’ll need at least 30mps. If you have a lower speed, you may need to contact upgrade your router. This is because you may have a good wired broadband service, but it is then being reduced by a poor router (The box that manages the signal as it comes into the house). For example, your broadband is fast at 40mps, but then the router can only handle 10mps, making it slow over your wifi.

Mobile Phone

If you have a poor signal in your home you may need a booster. These plugin into your broadband socket and boost your mobile phone signal. To use one of these you’ll need a decent broadband service first.

(Click on the image below for the extended version)

How to Work from Home Effectively Infographic

Is Working from Home a Good Idea?

Getting the Most Out of the Tech that You Use

Virtual meetings will become the norm. Knowing how to use your technology productively is essential. There is an endless amount of meetings software, from Skype to Teams to Webex, to Zoom, and so on. Getting to know your platform’s tips and tricks will help your productivity. Just google <the platform you use + hints and tips>.
For any meeting, physical, or virtual, our advice is always A.C.E. This is because the principles of an effective meeting never change. Whether they are physical or virtual. The reason most meetings are not effective isn’t because of the tech, it is because they are not managed effectively.

Using ACE changes this:

A is for Agenda: If you read any meeting best practice book, it will tell you to send an agenda beforehand. No-one does. Don’t because no-one will read it anyway. Instead:

  • Use the first few minutes of the meeting to agree, ‘What items are on the agenda?’. Don’t allow debate about the items. Just list the agenda points.
  • Second, agree on the order of those points. ‘So, we have agreed to talk about x, y, and z, with y being the first point and z being the second point. Agreed?’.
  • Third, ask, ‘What agenda points must we absolutely discuss in this meeting?’. Asterisk those. This gives you an idea of when the meeting could end – Just after the last asterisked agenda point.

The above 3 steps should only take the first few minutes of your meeting.
C is for Capture: Agree who is going to type the actions directly into an email, as they are agreed. Use the simple format of What, When, and Who. For example, ‘Create the presentation for client ABC…20-03-20…Bob’.
E is for Evaluation: Take a few minutes at the end of the conference call to ask, ‘What 1 thing should we improve next time?’ and ask each person.
Use ACE to, well, Ace your meetings. See what I did there 🙂

Adopt the Other 6 M.I.N.D.S.E.T. Best Practices

Read the main article: How to Work from Home Effectively – M.I.N.D.S.E.T. – Adopt 7 Best Practices.
M is for Manage: Learn how to manage yourself working from home.
I is for Isolation: Find out how NOT to isolate yourself working from home.
N is for Neat: Know why staying in your pyjamas all day will affect how you feel about work.
D is for Deliverables: Find out why you are on the payroll and where to start investing in you.
S is for Space: Getting your own space when you work remotely is very important. Find out how and why.
E is for Emotions: Read about why you need to articulate how you feel.

T – Technology Best Practice

  • Test your broadband and mobile phone signal. If they are not up to the job, get them upgraded because your productivity will suffer.
  • Use A.C.E to manage your meetings to be effective.

Additional Useful Resources

FREE Microsoft Teams resource
Microsoft Teams is available to anyone free – including the fully featured ‘Enterprise’ version in Office 365 (currently for six months only). See this page:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/05/our-commitment-to-customers-during-covid-19/
Microsoft has a COVID-19 Business Resource Center page on Linkedin with useful information and links to help you use Microsoft Teams productively.
https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/covid19-business-resource-center/
Zoom Support during the COVID-19 pandemic
Zoom has created a great resource centre for people new to using the platform, no-nonsense, easy to navigate – why go anywhere else?
https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/covid19.html


For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to People Management Skills and our People Management Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more People Management Skills Tips and  HR Management Tips.

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