Working from home for the first time? Here’s some advice from Go Buffalo Niagara, GObike’s commuter assistance program.

Working from home or “telework” is a big adjustment that many workers and students are facing as a result of social distancing practices. To make the most of your situation, below are some tips from Go Buffalo Niagara in partnership with 511NY Rideshare.

Communicate:  Establish expectations with your manager. Define regular work hours, check-in times and tasks. Be transparent about any household or childcare duties that may arise as more scheduled events, schools and public spaces are closed.
Try to Stay Focused: There are many distractions, including news updates and closings. Establish routines and block out time for checking on news updates.
Dedicate workspace: If possible, set up a secure, dedicated telework area in your home to separate work and home life.  Set up a safe, secure way to lock up sensitive equipment and data. If you are a parent, dedicate a place for your child to conduct school work, too, and establish some routines.
Inventory your home technology:  Check your internet speed at home. Most internet providers have an online speed test, or you can try free online internet speed tests. Consider upgrading to higher-speed internet access if necessary. Spectrum is offering free internet and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 1-855-243-8892.
Stay connected: Check to see whether your company already has a remote infrastructure (example: VPN access). Forward your office phone and confirm with your employer whether you are allowed to bring home necessary files, tools, or equipment. Use collaboration tools to stay connected, such as virtual meetings, file share software, and instant-messaging tools.
Don’t sit too long: When you telework, make sure to take a break, stretch, and eat lunch. Teleworkers tend to sit at their desks for long periods of time. 
Check out free tools for collaboration: including Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, and Slack
Check out free tools for file sharing: including One Drive, Google Drive, and Dropbox

For more information, contact