Long before COVID-19 hit, remote work was on the rise. Millennials love freelance work, and more and more companies have begun to accommodate remote work. Given our current circumstances, it’s safe to say remote work is at its highest rates in – well, probably all of history. There are so many tools and tips to list on this subject but we’ll just touch on a few of our favourites:
Remote desktop tools are useful for a lot of reasons. From being able to quickly access your at-the-office desktop to helping your less technically inclined co-workers set up their remote offices, desktop sharing programs are a must. You can certainly use Windows’ free native Microsoft Remote Desktop (sorry Mac users – Apple’s version costs $80). You can also download software like Chrome Remote Desktop or TeamViewer.
Slack tends to get MVP placement in a lot of circles for real-time team chat apps. There are good reasons for this – it’s incredibly intuitive to use and it’s reliable. You could do Slack-like work on apps like Discord, but it’s missing a lot of the features you can find in Slack, like the ability to share large files, for example.
Microsoft Teams is another excellent choice for a team chat/workspace app, mainly because it incorporates video chat. This enables you to host virtual meetings as well as share files and chat, Slack-style. Teams also offers integration features, so you can share third party files from Google Drive, Dropbox, and more.
Zoom is incredibly popular for video chat right now. The main reason for this is usability – click a link and you’re in. There are a lot of concerns with Zoom, so going with a more security-minded program like Microsoft Teams is probably a good bet (though it may mean quite a bit more tech support).
For tips, we’re going to focus a bit on psychology. Working from home is a strange transition and it can be a struggle for a lot of people to adjust to. Here are some things to consider:
- Separate your workspace from the rest of your home. When you do that, you tell your brain “when we’re in this space, we need to work”. What’s more, creating a separate space to work in will limit distractions.
- Keep yourself to a schedule. You’ve probably seen a lot of jokes about not wearing jeans and hanging out in sweatpants. That sounds fun, but for most of us hanging out in pajamas all day is a trigger to our brains that it’s time to relax. Getting up the same time every day and having a morning routine is very helpful for most people.
- Take scheduled breaks. Use them to get outside, circumstances permitting. When working at home, your environment can begin to feel a bit stale – a quick walk around the block can be stimulating, especially if you’re in a mental rut.
Here at Compass Accounting, our overarching goal is to provide our clients with as much value as possible. This blog is one tool we use to do this; read our other posts for more helpful tips. Want to understand the tax benefits you can get from working at home? Get in touch with us; you might be surprised at how many there are.