Setting Up Your Work from Home Environment

Working from home

You have been told to stay put and work from home, but you may now be a bit confused as you look around your home. You have never set up a home office before and are thinking, “Hmm, work where?”. Here are some tips on getting you organised to go online and get things done remotely.

The first things you will need are a computer and an Internet connection. Work may have provided you with a laptop or perhaps you already have one or can use your home PC. So, you have now got a computer on which you can log in to necessary business applications.

Most homes have an Internet connection but if you don’t or yours is too slow you may need to hotspot (or connect) to your mobile phone or obtain a 4G modem.

To work remotely online you will need the internet speed and capacity to handle video conferencing and running business software. If it was just you, that shouldn’t be an issue, but you have a partner or roommate working from home now, too. Or perhaps there are kids out of school who are doing online courses, watching YouTube or playing online video games.

As such you may need to upgrade your modem / router or increase the speed of your Internet connection and / or upgrade your local wireless network. Speak with your ISP or IT support department or provider if needed.

Being Productive at Home

Once you are connected to the internet, you will also have to log in to work. Some businesses will have set up virtual private networks (VPNs) or another method for added security. A VPN connects a computer, smartphone or tablet to a shared or public network as if you’re connecting at the office or business premises.

If not, the responsibility for securing your online activity is yours. It’s always a good idea to make sure your operating system is up to date. Plus, run the latest antivirus and software with the most recent security patches installed. This is a requirement if you are working from home with an industry that has compliance standards, but it is always best practice for everyone.

And please don’t use Windows 7 any longer. If you haven’t upgraded your OS since you bought that software, it’s definitely time to update. Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 7, which means it’s also not doing anything to patch vulnerabilities. Cyber criminals know this, and are actively targeting Windows 7 computers, so do not leave your home computer open to an attack.

Knowing that you could be working from home for the next few weeks, take the time to actually establish and organise your workspace. Try to find a place away from distractions or a room with a door that you can close to keep distractions to a minimum. Also, think about being somewhere in the home that gets natural light – this helps people be happier and more engaged in their work.

You may also want to think about how far you’re setting up your workspace from the router. Depending on the power of your hardware, you could encounter a reduced wireless signal the further away you go. The best solution is to use a network cable but failing that you can use extra wireless access points or repeaters to improve your wireless signal.

Need to get up and running from home quickly? A proactive service provider such as ourselves can help you connect, upgrade or troubleshoot your home office setup. Give us a call today at 08 8326 4364 or via email at support@dpcomputing.com.au.

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