Working from home?
Posted on: 24th March, 2020
So you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future? What do you need to think about?
Firstly – who will be providing the equipment that you need? You or your employer? There are many implications of providing your own hardware, not just the cost.
Who pays to repair the computer if it breaks? If it’s your own home computer, it is likely to be getting stressed by working harder than it may be designed to do. What if you spill a coffee over your own laptop? If you were at work it would be replaced by the company.
Who gets priority to use the family computer?
If you are using your own home computer, who is responsible for the software? Do you have a “home” or “personal” version of Microsoft Office, or other software, which is not legally licensed for business use?
Should the computer contract a virus, whose responsibility is that? Do you have a robust anti-virus installed already, or should the company be providing that for you?
Do you have a suitable desk area, with an office chair and a suitable sitting position? Or are you hunched over the kitchen table, or even sprawled on the bed?
Laptops are generally bad for your posture as we tend to slouch over the small, flat keyboard and to squint at the smaller than normal screen. You should aim to replicate your office environment at home, although space may be at a premium.
And try to keep the rest of the family away during “work” time. The kids may find it huge fun that you’re at home all day with them, but they could be very demanding of your time.
Do you require additional hardware for video conferencing, such as webcam, microphone or speakers?
Where are your files to be saved? To your own computer, or to some form of cloud storage set up by the company? Who looks after the backup of the data, to ensure that it isn’t lost?
Your Windows computer supports several different users, so add an account just for work, to keep work and home life separate.
Is your broadband line suitable and, again, who is covering the cost. You have it installed at home anyway, but can you ask the company to cover some of the charges? And, is it fast enough if the kids & spouse are at home streaming online games & TV all day long?
Are you insured? Home insurance policies may not cover you for working from home. You should check this with your insurance company before logging on to the computer!
Finally, are you ready for the different pressures of working while at home? It is easy for “just popping on to the computer” to become several hours of an evening. Just as it’s easy to find excuses to stop working during the day and to do the household chores!