Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans—and many more worldwide—are now working from home. For many, this is a period of enormous stress and adjustment.
Fortunately, a wealth of online resources, services, and apps can help you set up your home office, work productively, and stay engaged and social. Today, we’ll share some links and ideas to help you get started.
We also want to hear from you. Let us know what’s working for you by tweeting and tagging us at @vfiorg or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you’re setting up a new home office or settling into one you’ve already organized, it’s worth taking some time to check on the ergonomics of your equipment, furniture, and work area. The right ergonomic set-up can help you prevent repetitive stress and strain-related injuries. Check out these resources:
- Office Ergonomics: Your How-to Guide – Mayo Clinic
- Creating the Perfect Ergonomic Workspace – Ergonomic Trends
- Office Ergonomics – UNC-Chapel Hill
Remember, in addition to preventing repetitive injuries, keep in mind that slip-and-fall accidents account for a large share of office injuries. Fix loose carpet or flooring, move cords out of trafficked areas, and change those ceiling lights using a ladder, not a chair.
Apps and Services
There are a countless number of apps and online services that can help you work from home and collaborate with others. Many free or freemium tools are available, though some have recently experienced hiccups under the surge of new users. Here are two roundups of remote work tools:
- Working from Home 101: Every Remote Worker’s Guide To The Essential Tools For Telecommuting – ZDNet
- COVID-19: Ultimate Guide to Free Video Conferencing & Collaboration – UC Today
Inc. has also put together a great list of resources that includes grants, relief funds, and services for small businesses.
As a Microsoft-supported organization, VFI wants to call attention to Microsoft’s fast-growing collaboration tool, Teams, which includes chat, collaboration, calling, and online meetings. If your company already uses Office 365, you may already have access to Teams—and there is a free version as well.
Two VFI partner leaders have recently posted videos with Teams information and tutorials:
- Using Your Office 365 to Work Remotely During the COVID-19 Outbreak – LawToolBox (h/t to Carol Lynn Grow)
- How to Ensure the Best Office 365 Remote Work Experience – AvePoint (h/t to Dux Raymond Sy)
If you’re new to working at home, the experience can be daunting and isolating. Here are two resources from Microsoft to help you stay productive, balanced, and socially engaged:
- Remote Work Checklist – Microsoft 365
- Guide to Working from Home (deck download) – Microsoft 365
We’ll be sharing more resources and ideas on social media and in our weekly Executive Briefing. If you don’t receive the Executive Briefing and would like to, just let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.