Working From Home Guidelines for COVID-19

It seems the entire planet of previously office based staff are moving to working from home, and all at the same time.  Following are our top tips for surviving and thriving in this new world order, whether you're a WFH newbie or a seasoned campaigner.

Your Workspace

DO get your desk setup at home to match your work setup as closely as possible.  

DON'T share your desk with others in the house.  For security purposes, think of your desk as a small extension of your company.

DO separate work and home. The computer you use for work should not be shared with the kids or anybody else.

DO make sure you know who to contact for technical support.  For Sentrian clients see our Help pages for details.

Be a Good (Virtual) Teammate

DO set your status accurately in Teams or Slack so others know if you are working and available, busy, or not working.

DO arrive (virtually) and leave from work at the same time that others would normally expect to see you everyday.

DO use instant messaging in Teams or Slack instead of email where ever possible.  Working from home should not mean drowning in even more email than usual.

DON'T CC everybody "just in case" when sending email.  The volume of email quickly gets out of hand and becomes a major barrier to productive time use.

DO answer chats and calls in a timely fashion so your team don't think you are MIA, or set you status to Busy.

DO message your colleague before calling to avoid constant interruptions (Hey Jim got 5 for a call?).

DON'T post messages in a team channel that are not directly relevant to members of the channel, it burns everybody's time.

DON'T post personal or non-work related messages in team channels.  At Sentrian we have a #random channel for personal messages, jokes etc, its a good laugh and everybody knows it's not work related.

DO have a good reminder system so you don't miss meetings (Hey Siri set an alarm for 11:25).

DO continue to follow all regular work processes and procedures (unless told otherwise).  Just because you've changed where you work, doesn't mean you've changed how you work.

Follow Good Web Conferencing Etiquette Using Teams or Zoom

DO join scheduled web conferences a few minutes early or at least on-time.  Virtual late joiners slow the momentum of others.

DO ensure the space where you connect is free from background noise, and/or strategically mute if you can't avoid the noise.

DO use a good headset for conference calls.  Great sound is the secret to effective web meetings.

DON'T use your mobile, AirPods or similar devices if possible which don't have great mics specifically designed for conference calls.

DON'T rely on your computer's mic and speakers, the sound is nowhere near as good as a headset and while it may sound okay to you, it won't to others on the call.

DON'T conference call on two devices in the same room, the other people on the conference will get a bad echo.

DO conference calls with your camera on, its lets others know you are seriously participating and not just sitting in your PJ's watching Netflix during the call.

DO have good lighting in front of you to illuminate your face so others can see you clearly.

DON'T forget to hangup when your call ends.  Nobody wants to hear you screaming at the kids straight after the call.

DON'T try to run Teams or Zoom voice or video calls in a remote desktop (RDP) session, it just doesn't work well.  Instead install Teams or Zoom locally on your computer, you can still share the RDP session window when screen sharing.

DO turn off video during your call if you are finding the voice or video laggy.  Video takes significantly more bandwidth than voice.

DO share only the window you need to show others during a conference and not your whole screen.  Nobody needs to see what you're ordering on UberEats.

Follow Good Security Practices

DON'T plug USB thumb drives or external hard drives into your computer at home.  If infected with malware or viruses you can infect the corporate network if you have network drives available on your computer.

DON'T be tempted to record passwords on paper, whiteboards etc.  This is a major security risk.  Use a password manager like LastPass.

DO collect all printed documents in a single bin or box so they can be returned to the office for secure destruction, when you can finally go back to work.

DO religiously lock your computer when not sitting at your desk.  You must keep kids and others from playing when they shouldn't be. 

DON'T let your children do their homework or surf the net on the computer you are using for work, it is a major security risk.

DO put your work swipe card in your bag or a safe place where you won't forget it.  You'll need it on your first day back. 

Share Documents Securely

DON'T send documents via email if possible, it is less secure, they can be hard to find, and recipients don't know which is the latest version.

DO share using OneDrive or SharePoint (including the fantastically useful Files tab in Teams) to let others view or even work on documents together.

DON'T copy files from the office onto USB thumb drives or external hard drives.  This is both a security risk and a nightmare if you (and others) later need to copy files back onto the corporate network.

Manage Your Home Internet Bandwidth

DO try to keep kids off Netflix and other streaming services while you are doing web conferences. Or if you are finding your RDP session slow or inconsistent.

DO use an internet dongle to separate your work internet access from your home internet if your home internet just can't cope.

DO an internet speedtest if you are having issues and discuss the results with the Sentrian Service Desk.  See  How to perform a speed test.

Be A Healthy Worker From Home

DON'T forget to regularly get up and move around.

DO read this SMH article, I'm a doctor. This is what I am doing to stay well during coronavirus has some great tips for looking after yourself while working from home.

DO read this Trello blog post 7 Weird Ways To Help Combat 'Hermit' Habits As A Remote Worker for some more good ideas (some of which are no longer possible during the lockdown).

Need Help?

Contact your Sentrian Client Services Manager or email for anything we can help you with. 

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