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Remote Working Checklist

Or how many ways your cat can end your work-from-home career...




I hate to blame my cat for some of my more embarrassing teleworking blunders. In fact she has taught me some keyboard shortcuts I never knew existed. But between the felines joining video conferences, the dog and mailman singing their noisy duet, and family members not really "getting" that I am actually WORKING, remote work came with some obstacles that I hadn't anticipated. Here are a few tips and tools that came in handy:


Distractions


Offices may be busy and noisy but home comes with it's own distractions. Make sure you have a quiet space away from household traffic, ringing phones, doorbells and barking dogs.


Tools


Internet connection - you want a stable wired connection (WiFi can be a bit unpredictable at times and you don't want to lose your connection in the middle of video chat with the boss)


Webcam - video conferencing is a must in a fully remote job. Email and chat are handy but nothing beats a face-to-face for clear communication.


Headset - essential to avoid your callers hearing your background noise (see dog/mailman above)


Desk and chair - duh, but offices tend to have some pretty fancy ergonomics going on with their cubical setups. Your IKEA beanbag chair may look chic and trendy but your back will pay the price later on.


Apps


Get to know the various communication platforms used for remote working:


Video Conferencing


Team Collaboration


Slack - I'll be writing later about the wonders of Slack (beyond team collaboration) but it's free to setup an account and see for yourself.


Trello - while Trello is a great tool for collaboration, it can also be used to keep track of your own projects. The interface is extremely flexible so you can customize it to fit your own style of working. Speaking of which...


Productivity


OneNote - a digital notebook that is somewhat limited in functionality but it comes with MS Office and integrates nicely with Outlook email and calendar


Airtable - the most customizable app in the cloud, it's essentially a database (don't be scared) that you can adapt with various building blocks to fit any project you can think of.


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