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Ansley Hoke, Sr. Vice President, Marketing NA, ScanSource

The ins and outs of working from home

With more people working from home than ever before, there are growing concerns about work continuity and productivity. As a society, we’re accustomed to 8-to-5 workdays in offices with designated seats. But, because of environmental factors and travel restrictions, many companies are asking employees to work remotely. With this sudden shift, many managers are concerned about engagement, and companies quickly are aligning their technology resources and changing the way work is done—to keep their businesses running smoothly and efficiently while also keeping their teams engaged.

Here are 10 valuable tips to help ease your business, and your employees, through this work-from-home transition:

Develop remote-work policy – Many companies may not have had a work-from-home policy in place. But, as office environments quickly have changed, it’s important to prepare—and share—a policy, so everyone knows what’s expected of them.

Touch-base calls – Managers should plan 10 – 15 minute, daily video calls, to connect with their teams. Seeing expressions and hearing voices keep everyone connected in ways emails alone can’t.

Deploy the right software – Having the necessary communication tools in place to interact and collaborate clearly with your team is an integral part of remote working. Check your internet connections and make sure you’re utilizing communication and collaboration tools—including 8x8, Avaya Spaces, Cisco Webex, EvolveIP, Microsoft Teams, Mitel MiTeam Meetings, RingCentral, and Zoom—to stay connected.

Turn your camera on – Video allows you to stay in touch with your teams and coworkers by keeping them focused on the task at hand. Planning events—like a virtual pizza party or happy hour—can keep teams motivated and engaged, even when they’re not in the same location. USB video cameras, such as the Avaya Huddle Camera, Jabra PanaCast, or Poly Eagle Eye Mini, are ideal for this, and easy to use.

Create a workspaceA designated workspace is needed—one where you can be productive and join video calls. Check your lighting and camera settings, to make sure the angle is right and you’re presenting yourself in the best-way possible.

Use the mute button – Take advantage of the mute button when you're not actively speaking, to limit any background noises. Just don't forget to unmute when it's your turn to talk!

Get dressed – Continue your normal daily routine as if you’re going into the office. Get up at the same time and get dressed. Having a consistent schedule helps you stay focused on work. And make your bed, too! It's a great way to start the day by accomplishing something—no matter how small.

Use the right hardware – Get the proper devices—including headsets, portable speaker phones, USB video cameras, monitors, and more—in advance, to ensure you’re efficient and productive while working from home.

Make a daily plan – Stay on track by planning ahead. Take 15 – 20 minutes at the end of each day to review your calendar for the next day. Create tasks and timelines within your calendar to create a work “roadmap.” Consider scheduling a daily or weekly check-in with your team or manager, to move past any roadblocks.

Make yourself move – Don’t forget to add time to your daily schedule for taking breaks and doing something physical. A quick, 15-minute walk may be just what you need to get your creative-juices flowing.

With proper planning and the right technologies, working from home can be very productive—for you and your company. For more information about technologies and solutions ScanSource and Intelisys recommend for remote work and work-from-home environments, contact our pre-sale, technical support team at 833.231.1746 or And, to check out a full list of free or discounted services, special offers, and more—from leading suppliers in the ScanSource and Intelisys portfolios—visit our ScanSource and Intelisys Go Remote sites. We’re ready to help you get started!