Working remotely from home means that as a worker, you should be many more times more reliable than the traditional office worker. The excuse of heavy traffic or car failure can’t apply. Major events or infrastructure failures can indeed hinder work but you must be prepared at all times for any situation (even if it means only informing your employer of the problem).
The following is a very basic checklist for being a reliable remote worker:
- Regularly updated and printed copy of all employee contact details. If you work for a large business, then the list can be limited to key co workers and managers. If your employer gives you a laminated copy with branding, then they are doing it right.
- 2 internet connections. This is, in most cases, even more crucial than a UPS because power is commonly less likely to have periods of interruption than internet access. A cellphone can be used for this purpose.
- A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) suitable for at least a 60 minute power outage. Energy efficient computers (such as Atom based all in one platforms) should be able to operate for a few hours in contrast to a standard desktop computer.
- 2 alarm clocks. The most convenient is to use a normal desk alarm clock in conjunction with your cellphone. Replace the batteries once per year on the day prior to time off from work.
- An offline / cloud copy of all needed software to carry out your work. This is to be used if your computer must be replaced.
A backup internet connection is the most important point above but also the simplest to have in place (the correct cellphone cable and data access are all that is needed). If you are an employer, ensure all of your workers have a backup internet connection and perform a test of it.
A quick glance over Amazon’s product listings reveals that there are good quality UPS units available for under $200 (closer to $100 if you are lucky enough to make the purchase while there is a discount). If you are an employer, you can easily implement a purchasing programme for employees who wish to purchase a UPS. The $200 business expense is minimal for the level of assurance that is returned. Even a split purchase agreement could be considered: after 1 or 2 years, the company can then pay the employee back the original portion they paid as a further incentive. This kind of thinking and planning is vital for all employers of remote workers.
On that note, this should be the last blog post for 2012 and I want wish all readers a very special festive season. While I am a technology enthusiast at heart, I also love the business and management side of the web hosting industry which is why my next blog post will be of a more technical nature, I promise.