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Tips and Tricks for a Successful Work from Home Practice

We are in the fortunate position to be able to keep all of our employees working remotely full-time, with years of experience in remote workforce practices. We’re also doing our part to flatten the curve by encouraging our workforce to be socially responsible in their social distancing practices, washing our hands for 20seconds, and continually finding ways to contribute to our community.

Ensuring the quality of our services to you: 

DataVizion was built as a sustainable business for over a decade, and while we have never seen anything quite like this, we continue to be ready to serve and scale with your needs, especially now.

 

Here are some basic tips and recommendations for good work from home practices.

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CYBERSECURITY:

  1. Make sure your home wifi is secure and encrypted.
    • (Is your SSID default and/or broadcasting?
    • Have you replaced default admin user and passwords on all devices?
    • Have you updated firmware recently? Modem/Router, IoT, etc.?)
    • TIP: Remember to disable remote administration and use the strongest level of encryption. (WPA3 if available). You can also monitor the network and enable MAC filtering.
  2. Use a VPN. (Yes, a hacker does live next door. And several work at your IP.)
  3. Turn off/ Unplug/ Remove all voice/vision/motion-activated items and Smart devices that can listen or view (Alexa, Ring, Baby Monitors, Smart TV, etc.).
  4. Secure your printer and any other network or home IoT Devices so they do not become an entry point.
    • This includes smart thermostats, lighting, home security, smart locks, wifi cameras, health devices and wearables, home entertainment for streaming, gaming or music, smart TVs, and smart appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers and more.
    • Disable UPnP on your router and segment IoT devices, change default passwords and admin controls, use security features were available, and periodically power cycle devices. Where possible, turn off anything you aren’t using.
  5. Check with your security team to make sure you have the appropriate, updated security software to back up your work, remote wipe your device, and protect against malware, etc.
    • (Also make sure your OS and other software are updated)
  6. Brush up on your security awareness training, especially any focused on working remotely, from home, and traveling. Knowing is half the battle.
  7. Use multi-factor authentication where possible to protect critical accounts like email, company software, etc and mitigate the damage if a password is compromised.
  8. Never leave your device(s) in your vehicle. If you brought it, you need to wear it. Take your backpack and guard it like the One Ring (or the Two Ring).
  9. Lock your computer /devices when not in use and put them away, as well as any other sensitive information like meeting notes, client information, or other digital /physical resources.

TECHNOLOGY:

  1. Make sure you have the right technology and tools, including hardware
    • Monitors, printer, headset, etc
    • Software (VPN, CRM, Slack, IM, Zoom, etc.).
  2. Is your internet access fast enough and reliable enough? (Does your IP throttle speeds and/or limit data usage?)
  3. Do not use personal devices or cloud accounts to store, transport, back-up, or work on company information.
  4. If you use removable media for work, make sure all data is encrypted and stored securely.

PRODUCTIVITY:

  1. Have a dedicated workspace and set a perimeter if others live in your home. Stock it with any needed supplies (See technology items above).
  2. Remove distractions and resist the urge to knock out chores around your home.
  3. Understand and stick to expected work hours, including a definitive END time for the day. If you typically work after hours anyway as many in our industry do – then purposefully go back to it later that evening after you have had a break and engaged with family or housemates (including furry ones).
  4. Communication is critical, not only for your own interaction and feedback but so others know you’re still on the job. Be proactive to send updates to your direct report and check-in with those under you. The idea here isn’t to show where your minutes went, but rather an update on the status of projects and deliverables. Either the work is getting done or it’s not.
  5. Pick appropriate background music to help you concentrate and feel less isolated.
    • TIP: Best to avoid anything that you will start listening too closely to, so instrumental is typically going to be more effective.

BEHAVIOR & HEALTH:

  1. How you take care of yourself will impact your mood and your productivity. Get up on time, make the bed, get dressed, cleanliness and grooming are still necessary.
  2. If you will be in virtual meetings where someone can see you – be prepared for that every day so you don’t misfire when it counts. This means being presentable, making sure the area /background behind you is presentable (not unfinished basement walls, dirty dishes, beer cans, or anything personal that shouldn’t be posted on the internet – including pictures).
  3. When you are using the phone, follow basic rules of consideration.
    • Pause your music
    • Make sure no one will hear the animals freaking out
    • Don’t be multi-tasking dishes or other noisy behaviors
    • Don’t eat while you’re on the phone… enough said.
  4. Make time to eat, stretch, walk around, a snack if needed, and keep yourself otherwise alert and fueled.