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Coronavirus and Working Remotely

The coronavirus has literally brought a halt in operations for so many businesses.  This pandemic is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, worldwide.  We literally have to change how we interact with each other, how we shop and conduct business.

The entire world is being quarantined as I write this, to prevent any further spread of the virus.  As an IT professional, I’m so accustomed to affiliating the word quarantine to viruses on computers.  Having to associate it with people feels so different.  But as I said, the coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything we have seen.

With that said, there’s a HUGE demand now for working remotely.  Many employees have been asked to start working from home, due to the progression of the coronavirus.

I will provide some ideas and tools to help make your work-from-home experience a pleasant one.

Define Your Workspace

The idea of working remotely sounds exciting and convenient for most people.  However, if you’re not careful, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of being unproductive.  In our current quarantine status, most people around the world are working from home.  Your home is also the place where you relax, and spend time with family and loved ones.  You even sleep there.  It’s very easy to cross the line between work and pleasure. Unless of course, you have a designated workspace.

Whether it’s your kitchen table, the basement, or up in the attic, choose a place that you’re most comfortable working from.  It’s also important to inform your family of your chosen workspace, and when you’ll be “reporting” to work.  That way there are no blurry edges with your working agenda.  Even if you’re living alone, still define this space for yourself and hold yourself accountable to report to that location.

Remote Access tools

Now that you’ve chosen a location that you’ll be working from, now its time to choose the tool that you and your team can use to work remotely.  In this section, I’ll give you some tools that you can use.  They’re not listed in any order of importance.

TeamViewer  working remotely - Coronavirus

This remote tool has definitely worked its way up to be one of the more popular remote access tools recently.  There’s a free version that I believe only allows you to be connected for up to a certain amount of time.  The idea behind the free version of TeamViewer is for personal usage, otherwise, they’ll want you to pay for a license.  To remote into the machine that you’d like to get access to, you’ll need to know the default user ID and password.  That’s provided when the software is installed and you accept all the default settings.  The paid version, however, gives you more options to choose from.  Check out their website to see what options would be right for you.

GoToMyPC  working remotely with gotomypc - Coronavirus

When most people think of working from home or a remote location, GoToMyPC is usually the first product that people think of.  They’ve either heard of it before or have used it at one time or another in the past.  The name is also synonymous with LogMeIn because they’re so similar.  Ironically, LogMeIn currently owns GoToMyPC, as they purchased that company back in 2016.  There are some differences between the two software, but they’re very similar in a lot of ways.  Although under the same umbrella, they kept the two names separate because of brand loyalty and familiarity with past and current customers.

Zoom 

This is more for your webinars and conference calls setup.  When you’re ready to collaborate with your team in real-time online, Zoom, in my opinion, is one of the best platforms to get this done with.  Their free version does a really great job providing the technology needed to help you bring your team together virtually on a web conference.  Their prices for the paid versions are pretty economical for any small team to afford as well.

GoToMeeting 

Another web-conferencing tool that I’d recommend is GoToMeeting.  However, I see this being used more for a presenter-to-audience format than anything.  But this could be a style that some companies would want to use.  For instance, a C-level executive making an important announcement or presentation to the rest of the organization remotely.  Where attendees are in a listen-only mode.  This would be ideal for that type of setup.  I’m sure it has other collaboration features, besides just the presenter mode.  Visit their site to find out what you can use it for.

Other Options

Those are my top pick that made my list that I recommend to our clients for remote access tools.  They’re the easiest, most economical, and most convenient to work with.  There are a plethora of other players on the market when it comes to remote access tools.  If none of these software works for you, you’re more than welcome to do the research on your own to see what would match your needs, working style, and price.

Keep It Social

The coronavirus has definitely caused us to be stuck in this “working remotely” space, and quite frankly we don’t know for how long.  It’s definitely an adjustment, to say the least.  With that said, it’s easy for many people to become lonely, feel left out, or even become depressed because they cannot be as social as they were before.  So during these times, it’s great to use these technologies to create some type of “fun activities” on a weekly basis to keep things active for you and your teammates.

For example, consider doing more group-like activities like meetup Fridays on the Zoom platform, where everyone can sign in and just…” hang out”

Or have lounge Saturdays, where some kind of music is involved and is being streamed to everyone that’s logged in.  These are just examples, by the way.  But whatever you decide, ensure that your team/organization has the ability to connect and socialize often with one another.

Mental health is always something to consider during these times.

 


Tags

coronavirus, covid-19, gotomeeting, gotomypc, IT Consultant, IT Security, IT Service, IT Solutions, IT support, pandemic, remote support, teamviewer, working from home, working remotely, zoom


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