Working From Home: Here Are the Basics

Working from home basics

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More people now than ever are working from home, due to the spread of the coronavirus. Businesses are increasingly accommodating their employees by offering ways to work remotely, and you may have questions about getting set up remotely if you have never worked from home before. Here, we outline the basics. And if it really is impossible for you to work from home, we have answers for you, too.   

What You Need to Work From Home

1. What technology do I need to work from home?

When setting up your home office, here’s a shortlist of necessary items:

  • A laptop or computer with a webcam
  • A keyboard
  • A mouse
  • A headset with a microphone

Newer laptops tend to come with webcams already installed, and most likely, your company has provided you with these electronics already.

2. What kinds of software should I use?

A key requirement for working from home is understanding and installing software that helps you virtually attend meetings. Businesses will use different software for different purposes. Some examples:

  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • Skype
  • GoToMeeting

Most employers will already have these installed for you or have your IT team walk you through the setup process, but you will want to make sure you are familiar with how to use these programs. These types of software will be compatible with a webcam, so make sure both are working. Don’t be afraid to use your webcam in meetings, it helps create a personal connection and shows you’re engaged.

3. How will I keep my kids entertained?

Since the closures of schools, many students are now learning from home. As a parent, you’re now taking on the role of the teacher, educating and entertaining your kids. Make sure to have plenty of books and puzzles, and allow your kids to use streaming services. Most streaming services have educational videos, so you don’t have to worry about kids watching cartoons all day.

Many companies offer free services, and others which usually charge are offering free trials during school closures. Families are getting creative with virtual playdates using video chat. There are even gaming systems that allow you to interact and play online such as Roblox or Minecraft.

Related: Best Online Education Resources for Kids

4. What will the expectations be from my employer?

Before you start working from home, ask your boss the right questions to clarify expectations.

Key questions:

  • How will we track projects?
  • How will tasks be completed?
  • What are the company priorities? 
  • How and when will we communicate?

These kinds of conversations will be ongoing with your employer. With the increase in remote work, it is going to be a new experience for many businesses and individuals. Make sure to keep communication open and be adaptable to help drive success for you and your company.

What happens if I can’t work from home?

While working from home is an option for many businesses, there are important jobs where employees can’t work remotely. These include health care, warehouses, grocery stores, and construction workers, just to name a few. These workers are still at risk. If there isn’t an alternative to working from home, what can you do to keep yourself protected?

Questions like “Will I be compensated if I get sick,” and “If I can’t work how will I earn an income,” are valid. Here’s what the government is doing (and steps you can take) to help.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed to help Americans with paid sick leave. So who qualifies? If your health care provider advises you to self-quarantine or you’re subjected to Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19, and/or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms in need of a medical diagnosis, you may be eligible for benefits. 


In addition, stimulus checks from the CARES Act are available to certain individuals and business owners. For a full breakdown of the benefits of the CARES Act, who qualifies, and how to make sure you get the assistance you need, watch this video from CPA Tom Wheelwright.

At Paradigm Life we can customize a policy to fit your financial situation. Our expert Wealth Strategists are available to answer your questions and show you customized illustrations, outlining an individual plan of action to help you achieve your goals. Request a free virtual consultation, no strings attached.

Make sure to take the necessary next steps to insure the safety of you and others. We’re all in this together.

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