Home Office Setup
Written by: Kelly-Anne Kantor
Working Through A Pandemic And How To Survive
To begin, I will tell you about how I was hired during the Covid-19 lockdown. Like so many people, my life and the plans I had were completely turned upside down. At the beginning of 2020, I had worked in the corporate world for 3 years. I then decided to take a belated gap year and teach English in Thailand. Near the end of February of the same year, I had to look at the situation around the world and make the very hard decision to not continue with my gap year idea any longer. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. As unaware of this as I was at the time, this decision, as sour as it may have seemed, ended up being the best decision for me. It led me to a new and exciting venture.
I was fortunate to not only find a company that was hiring during this time, as many were retrenching, but to receive an offer of employment from SovTech. I was filled with mixed emotions. Yes, I was ecstatic to be entering the software and technology field, but I was also anxious as to how working for a new company during a pandemic was going to work. There were a lot of uncertainties. Little did I know that SovTech, the leading software development company in South Africa, was prepared for a world such as this. I remember when I first joined, I heard the CEO, Gerald Neves, talk to us about how they used to implement a remote week at least once a year. During this week the whole company had to work remotely and the offices were closed. In turn, this was probably the best strategic decision made to ensure that the disruptions and disturbances from a pandemic would not affect the company’s work ethic, and to ensure that operations could continue as normal.
Setting Up Your Home Office
The first day that I started working at SovTech, I was allowed to go into the office to get set up and receive my laptop. That was the first and last day for a couple of weeks that I actually stepped foot into the office. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, a lot of companies had closed their offices and had to keep the numbers low to prevent the spread of the virus. First things first, it is important that you create an efficient home working environment for yourself. Here are some steps to guide you on your home office setup and how to get yourself sorted and onboarded when working remotely:
Make sure that you have created a great working office for yourself at home. This office needs to be isolated from the rest of your household, especially when you have other friends or family that are also needing to work from home. It can become very distracting when you are both on a meeting call. Make sure that you have a nice desk and a comfortable chair that will support your back. You are going to spend approximately 8 hours a day sitting at this home office, so it is important to ensure you are comfortable and won’t hurt your neck or back. Unlike when you are working from the office, you already have a supporting chair and desk, plus you walk around more talking to your colleagues or going to meeting rooms.
If your company is not already using an application for day-to-day communications, I would strongly advise your company to do so. The application that SovTech uses is called Slack. Slack is essentially WhatApp for work. It is so easy to use, allows for smooth and continuous communication, and it makes company communication effective and efficient. With the click of a button, you can communicate with the entire company. You can change your status by letting all your colleagues know where you are and you can update them on any issues that you might be facing such as load shedding. For all you South African readers, you will understand this pain point the best. Moreover Slack allows you to keep your work conversations separate from your personal life, instead of having all these workgroups on WhatsApp.
Wherever you have decided to set up your home office, make sure that it has the best connectivity and signal. Now that all your meetings, client interactions, and team-building sessions are all going to be done online, you need to ensure that you have a strong internet connection so that these online calls are never interrupted. I know this isn’t always the easiest thing and is sometimes out of your control, but if you are in the market of installing a new wireless network, make sure you have done your homework.
Lastly, give your home office a makeover. You need to look professional when you are on these calls. This might sound silly, but when you are interacting with clients it is important to show your professionalism. Make sure your office background is professional. Nobody wants to see your kitchen, or bedroom, or the artwork your son or daughter made for you. As adorable as that is, it can be distracting. Also, make sure that wherever you have set up this workspace it has good lighting. You can’t have the light shining from behind you which then blacks out your face. At SovTech we have a saying, called ‘Carte Blanching’. You also don’t want too much sun shining on your face as it will be distracting for you. You might need to test out the lighting for the first day so you can see what the light does at different hours of the day. Don’t forget to wear a professional smart T-shirt. Yes, I know people are wearing pajama pants and slippers too. As long as it can’t be seen on camera that’s fine #remoteworkingfashion.
Once you have completed all these steps, you will be sorted and have a good home office setup! The rest is up to you.
SovTech is a custom software development company providing a complete software design and development service. We design, build, deploy and maintain innovative custom software that gives our clients the opportunity to start, run and grow world-class businesses. SovTech believe technology will be at the core of businesses of the future. We aim to connect businesses across all industries to innovative software, technological development, solutions, and services, in a manner that’s faster, easier, and better than ever before. To date, we are operating across continents and have offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, and Dubai.
SovTech’s expertise lies in
- Custom Software Development
- Mobile & Cross Platform App Development
- Product & Interface Design
- Dedicated Software Development Teams
- Elite Cloud Hosting
- Software & App Maintenance
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