As I write this, we’ve been home for a few weeks already. No gatherings, no events, no school — just staying home. Quarantine, indeed! Never before have we telecommunicated on such a broad scale, socially separating ourselves for our own health… and for the health of others. I hope you are well and if you have isolated yourself as much as possible; thank you. You are making a huge impact on the world and doing your part to get rid of this virus, in what is a very crazy time for everyone. In that light, I wanted to put together some tips and ideas for health and wealth at home.
Organize your technology
Tech is where it all starts. Assuming your company has issued you a laptop, take that home — and don’t forget the charger. Personally, I take home my mouse and keyboard as well, and just use my laptop for the screen; it makes it much easier to have the “desktop experience.” If you don’t have a laptop, ask your company for their recommended solution. They may issue you a laptop, or allow you to take your desktop computer home.
Next is the software: having the right apps is imperative. Lots of remote workers are leaning heavily on Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Slack, and even FaceTime. Find out what your team is planning on using, and then use it to your advantage.
Check your bandwidth
Internet access is something we have taken for granted for so long. It could be easy to forget about your Internet speed if it’s been working fine for you. However, suddenly everyone is home, either working or entertaining themselves with games and streaming services. Do you have enough bandwidth left to video conference while your kids are watching videos on Netflix and your significant other is also working from home? Most all nonessential work travel has been cancelled, so you may have quite a few video conferences to look forward to.
If your bandwidth is minimal, you can disable the video connection and participate with audio only which isn’t the best (or is it?) but you can at least still participate. You may want to check with your Internet provider to determine if you need an upgrade and if it is affordable. Especially, look at the available upload speeds, which will help you have smooth conference calls while working from home on quarantine.
Plan for your kids and consider virtual “play dates”
With school closures and concerns about daycare during the outbreak, parents are faced with a challenge. (This is especially true for those that physically go to work and have no option to work remotely.)
But, if you are working from home, you can create a plan for education and entertainment. Stock up on books, puzzles, and games. Streaming is a great source for both purposes as well. National Geographic’s “Blue Planet” is a great series for kids to learn about the world. “Virtual play dates” are an option as well. Your kids can use video chat to interact with their friends, or they can even platforms like Roblox to chat while playing a game together.
Working in during quarantine
Keeping your body moving while you stay home in quarantine is essential. It will help to keep you in shape during a time when most if not all gyms are closed. There are lots of companies and YouTube channels that are supporting the “working in” movement with online instruction. Some apps have even removed their paywalls temporarily to help people work out at home. Peloton, for example, has offered a free 90-day home trial. The Down Dog app (yoga) is also giving a month of free membership. Carrot Fit (a very tongue-in-cheek workout app for those with a certain sense of humor!) has free 7-minute home workouts. And there are so many more.
Appreciate the other benefits of being home
All in all, try to appreciate the benefits that do come with working from home, and spending more time at home in general. Think: you’re not commuting, stuck in traffic and buying gas. You’re able to make your own lunch and save some money. You have more control over your schedule and more time with your family. Focus on the positives — we will all get through this together.