Business Updates from Dorset Connects
With all the changes happening and mandated shutdowns in various states and communities, we wanted to let you know our status:
We are deemed by the state to be one of the essential businesses and we are open.
We are open for remote support during normal business hours (8am-5pm).
We are available for onsite support on a case by case basis. Limiting personal contact is important for your employees and ours.
As more companies are converting to a remote workforce, it is critical to keep these extra items in mind:
There are a lot of scams out there with fake COVID-19 websites.
· Bad actors are taking advantage of these unusual circumstances.
· You may be using your home computer for remote access, and you may not have business class security protection.
As always, Dorset is prepared to help you be successful working from home.
How To Work From Home and Look Good Doing It!
(written by Rick Kemp, Dorset’s Director of Operations)
I have been working from home 100% of the time for over two years and have learned a few things along the way. I acknowledge that everyone is different but this is what has worked for me.
Start the day off right.
- Get dressed. Your PJs might be comfy but getting dressed will help get you in the work mindset.
- Be ready! Prior to your starting time take a minute and make sure things are working.
- Don’t be the one that is late because you could not figure out how to get online.
- I view my prep time as my commute.
The Camera – The danger zone.
- Being visual is a big part of communication and it shows that you are engaged.
- Using your camera for meetings and calls is a great idea and a powerful tool, but it also has its risks.
- Assume the camera is ALWAYS on! Another good reason to get dressed! There are countless stories of how a simple mis-click resulted in some over sharing.
- Tell others in the house that you are using a camera so they do not walk by in their PJs or worse.
- Try to have the background be as professional looking as possible. Think about what your audience will see.
- With everyone “quarantining” there is more leeway on the background, but it is still worth keeping in mind.
- If you are on with clients, you may want to ask about getting a company banner to use as a background. Your company may already have them for trade show use.
- Some programs, such as Microsoft Teams, allow you to blur the background which is a good idea.
- Your phone has a camera and should NEVER be used in the bathroom. Just google what can go wrong there but the short version is you can end up over-sharing.
The Microphone – what could possible go wrong here.
- Another thing to ALWAYS assume is on!
- Think about what things sound like. Something as innocent as pouring coffee can sound like you are in the bathroom. I always mention that I am getting coffee and only do so on internal calls.
- Speaking of the bathroom, Rule 1 is the headset NEVER goes in the bathroom – EVER. Same goes with cell phones, just don’t do it.
- Yes, people can tell you are doing the dishes and the laundry, no matter how quiet you try to be.
- After a couple mis-speaks my wife now assumes I am on a call until I give her the all clear. Somethings might be totally innocent but not sound like it to others.
- Yes, they can hear the TV even when the volume is really low.
Try to have a dedicated workspace with the right tools!
- This one becomes more of an issue over time. For a day or two, working at the kitchen table is OK but it gets old.
- Try to have a separate space so you can shut it down and separate work from home.
- You probably will not be able to work in the same room as another person. My wife works from home and after two hours, I got booted to the furthest corner of the house because “I do not have an inside voice.”
- Setting up in a spare bedroom where you can close the door when you are done is the best option.
- Being in a high traffic area is very distracting.
- Test and know how to use your microphone, camera and remote access tools.
- I always have a spare headset and use it every once in a while to make sure it is ready.
- As a backup, I have the primary tools setup on my iPad so I can go mobile in a pinch.
- While it is not as easy during quarantine, I have prepared and practiced switching to Starbucks and to my son’s home in case of a power or internet outage.
- Get comfy. Be conscious of your posture.
Always be available.
- It is very important to use any tools available to show what you are up to.
- If you work from a calendar, keep it updated.
- In Teams or other programs, try to keep your status updated.
- You may want to step it up and indicate when you are on lunch even though you would not need to when at the office.
- Be regular – Be available at your start time, take lunch when scheduled or at a consistent time, and be there until the end of your shift.
Keep your head in the game – Time to look good.
- Avoid distractions! It is easy to watch TV, play video games or go back to bed.
- There are less distractions than at the office so in many cases you should actually be more productive.
- As mentioned above, using your camera shows you are engaged and focused.
Socialize! It is an important part of your work and as humans we need it.
- Work at keeping in touch with coworkers.
- Use whatever tools you have available to you. Teams is an awesome program for quick questions and even quick calls.
- Email is not as productive but OK as a last resort.
- If you have a general hangout in Teams or other program use it! If you do not ask if you can get one setup.
- As time goes on, it becomes more and more important to work at keeping in touch.