When the topic of profession comes up in friendly conversation, I often try to avoid disclosing that I work from home until all the other high level details of what I do on a day to day basis have been covered. A large portion of the population seems to still believe that “Real Jobs” require you to load up into a metal box with wheels and transport yourself to an arbitrary location to sit in a cube in front of a computer all day.
An increasing number of employers are realizing that requiring employees to burn fuel and time to sit in a computer in an office that costs the company money to heat, cool, and clean is a waste of money. If the evaluation of your employee’s contribution is based on the actual work they do rather than measuring the amount of time they warm a chair per day, working from home makes a lot of sense. As a Senior Consultant for VMware, I write code to interconnect and automate customer systems with VMware products. If a piece of VMware software doesn’t do what you want out of the box, we code functionality to add the features requested by customers.
The majority of this work is done in my house from my home workstation. This blog post is a collection of tips and tricks I’ve accumulated that have drastically boosted my productivity and effectiveness in my home office- I hope you find them useful as well.
The Internet Connection: More Important Than a Reliable Car
When working from home, your internet connection is critical. If your connection is down, you might not be able to work at all. A fast, stable and reliable internet connection is a must, and in my opinion, you should also have a backup plan for outages. Options for a backup plan might include:
- Buy a secondary internet connection (DSL, etc.) for use during outages
- Work from an alternate location during an outage (Starbucks, etc.)
- Work off cell phone tether, etc.
In my case, I use a USB 4G LTE modem attached directly to my router which enables internet connection failover. The connection speed is less than ideal, but works in the rare event of an outage on my primary internet connection.