Remote Work 101: Streamline Productivity

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Written by: Alex Steck


The COVID-19 coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on how businesses operate. It has caused travel restrictions, supply chain interruptions, closures, and unfortunately at a terrible cost.

With a second lockdown being activated on December 12th, 2020 in the state of Pennsylvania, a second sense of urgency has been brought to attention to prepare for remote work capabilities.

At Norman Alan, below are 5 golden rules in preparing to work remotely.


  1. Secure your home network

Make sure all devices on your home network, especially the devices used for business, have the latest software updates, Windows updates, and effective anti-virus software.

Tip: Strengthen your WiFi password! A very minor task can prevent a future headache.


  1. Purchase the right monitor(s) for your home office

If you’re using a laptop, multiple monitors can transform your laptop into a productivity powerhouse.  Multi-tasking becomes much easier, it reduces eyestrain, and offers a much more comfortable and personalized layout that can make your home office more enjoyable.

Tip: Don’t forget about your mouse and keyboard! External keyboards and mice are much more versatile than your laptop’s built-in options.


  1. Boost your Internet Connection Speeds for Web Conferencing and Virtual Meetings

If your line of work involves large file sharing and tele-conferencing, your subscribed internet connection speeds may be critical. During your work-from-home preparation, it may be worth checking your download & upload speeds with your Internet Service Provider to determine if your subscribed internet bandwidth is suitable for your work needs.


  1. Installing Software for Web Conferencing and Virtual Meetings

There are many options for web conferencing software, both free & paid for. Some of the software is legit, and some are not. Below are secure and easy to use programs that can solve your needs for virtual conferencing.

  1. Microsoft Teams
  2. Cisco WebEx
  3. Zoom
  4. Google Hangouts
  5. GoToMeeting


 5. Mental Preparation

Working remotely is as much of a mental shift as well as a physical shift. Now that you will be both living and working in the same place, do your best to resist the temptation in overdoing it.

Dress in a way that feels like you’re at the office. This does not mean formally or only sweatpants, but dressing as if you were at work, even a little, will remind you that you’re in work-mode.

Before you begin working, listen to the same music you listen to when you commuted to your workplace. Get an emotional recharge and inspiration from your family or loved ones. Take advantage of being at home for a beneficial work-life balance.


Though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us all a sense of urgency to find alternatives in our usual way of life, we hope the above will assist in streamlining productivity when working from home.