Tips for working from home during such unprecedented times

High numbers of Irish employees are already used to working from home, but many more will now have to familiarise themselves with the concept.

With this in pertinent mind, ensure your home working experience is comfortable and productive. You are going to need a dedicated work area for your desk and chair. A spare room is ideal but a corner in a quiet bedroom will do just as well.

You have lots of flexibility working from home, but it is important to be disciplined. You will be psychologically prepared for the job if you stick to a routine. Don’t forget to schedule time for lunch. Working alone can be a bit jarring at first, especially if you are not used to it, so regular communication is important.

Many people will be moving from enterprise class to home broadband and will need to maximise their available speed. Take time to run all updates as online browsers are constantly updating, and generally, the latest version will run faster and smoother than its predecessors.

Ensure that you don’t have a lot of extensions and add-ons running on your browsers and schedule your anti-virus scans for non-working times as they can often slow down your speed. Your router is vital for maximising connectivity and the closer your workspace is to it, the easier your home working life will be. Place it where you can see it, preferably at the same level as your laptop, free of any obstructions which will diminish the signal.

Connect with an ethernet cable where possible to optimise speed – this will always give you a better result that over Wi-Fi. If this is not possible, you can login to your router and change the channel your Wi-Fi is broadcasting on to improve the signal quality or even amend the settings to prioritise the quality of the connection of the specific devices you will be using to work from home.

Rebooting your router is good practice and will force the router to select an available channel with the fastest connection – you can also do this by logging into your router’s configuration screens. You can also download software which will do this for you. Boosting your wireless network coverage with a Wi-Fi repeater or extender can help if your working space has poor internet connectivity.

You can check your broadband speed at Another way of interacting with colleagues is through specialised apps designed for working remotely. Two worth considering are Slack, a company chat room where conversations can be organised, and Zoom, which can be used for video conferencing and screen sharing. Both services have free basic plans.

Magnet Networks’ Magnet Talk remote working app allows employees to access their desk phones from a remote location such as a mobile handset or laptop, and to make calls from the same office number. Magnet Talk also offers three-way conference calling, video calling and instant messaging, while the company’s Broadband Anywhere package can offer a rapid deployment of an average speed of over 20mb to employees virtually anywhere in Ireland.

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