Working from home during a pandemic.

By Vanessa Castro

April 01, 2020

How to adjust to working from home during a pandemic.

Navigating the novel Coronavirus has been a challenging experience for the world--both professionally and personally. Prior to COVID-19, 5.2 percent of the United States workforce (or 8 million people) worked from home. To put that number into perspective, according to the 2018 census, roughly 8.4 million people lived within the 301.5 square miles that make up New York, New York. While the city is easy to identify on a map, it’s but a tiny dot compared to the rest of the country and its 209,128,094 million residents above 18. 

While there’s no telling just what percentage of the workforce is now working from home (especially with the layoffs, furloughs, and added grocery and fulfillment jobs), what we can identify is that the percentage of the workforce that is now confined to their homes, is having to find ways to quickly establish a workflow, install systems to promote productivity, and work around distractions. To add more stress, with most schoolchildren home for the remainder of the year, members of the workforce who are also parents are assuming the role of teacher, which might make adapting to a new workflow feel overwhelming. 

At Eldorado Tools, our job is to help customers find solutions to their problems, and that responsibility is no different as the workforce is adapting to work-from-home environments. With that said, we’ve compiled a list of some best practices, with applications to not only improve your workflow at home, but also provide tips and information you can apply when you return to the office. 

Stand-ups and best practices

Many companies have avoided work-from-home training or implementation, with several citing the reason being is that they can’t trust their employees. With how fast the world and how business was conducted changed overnight, this left managers and owners attempting to figure out how to manage employees while still empathetic to their unique situations. This is why morning stand-up meetings are so important. If your organization isn’t familiar, a stand-up is a morning meeting (usually 15-20 minutes long) where employees discuss their game plans for the day, as well as relaying any important information employees need for the day. 

Second to stand-ups, choosing how to spend our time is very important right now. We’ve all seen the meme’s and heard the jokes about “this meeting could have been an email,” and more than ever, it’s important to observe that. When your employees are working remotely, meetings should be about collaboration and troubleshooting. If it’s a one-liner, requires a one-on-one conversation, or is an idea you want to float to the team, send an email. 


Apps and useful tools

G Suite


Designing a workflow is important, especially for organizations that are entirely green to the work-from-home model. An irreplaceable tool that we recommend is the G Suite by Google. This set of office tools gives you have access to a dynamic calendar where you can assign tasks, and schedule meetings, such as your daily stand-up. You also have access to spreadsheets, word processing, and more, all under one roof, and all in the cloud. In-fact, you should be migrating all of your organizational tools to the cloud because it enables people in your organization to share documents, collaborate in real-time with each other and it protects your information from mistakenly being lost or destroyed. G Suite is very affordable but If you’re really trying to cut costs, you and your colleagues can create free Gmail accounts which give you access to most of the same tools but with less features. 


An extremely important tool that we use for meetings is Zoom. With countless schools and organizations using Zoom these days, you’ve probably heard of it. It’s extremely reliable and can be accessed in a number of ways including your smartphone, which is great for when workers are out in the field or someone is away fro their desk. Free plans allow you to host meetings for up to 30-minutes which is perfect for those morning stand-ups. Paid are available and unlock more features like unlimited meeting lengths. 

Quickbooks Online

As for bookkeeping and keeping everyone in the office on the same page, we like and use Quickbooks Online. In the past, companies using Quickbooks for accounting were pretty much limited to the Windows version (the Mac version was terrible) and the master file was kept on a desktop computer in someone's office. These days, Intuit offers Quickbooks Online, a web-based app which allows both PC and Mac users safe and secure access through your favorite web browser. We suggest Google Chrome by the way, especially if you go with G Suite as they're bot made by Google and work well together. 

Cam Scanner

Back to bookkeeping, if you have employees making company purchases, an app like Cam Scanner will convert your receipts into PDF's. A photograph from your smartphone works just as well.


While integrating tools like the G Suite, Zoom, and Quickbooks Online, you might feel overwhelmed with all of the new passwords you have to keep track of. Before you write them down in a journal or worse, use the same password for all of your apps, look into a password management application, where you can safely store your passwords in the cloud. We use mSecure because it has apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android - all of which sync instantaneously. Like it or not, everything is moving to the cloud which means more and more passwords to keep track of.

Being productive and staying sane

Now that we’ve discussed workflow issues, it’s important to address how you--the employees--can make the most of your day while making sure you’re also focusing on your personal health. While the CDC recommends washing your hands properly in warm water and soap for 20 seconds frequently throughout the day, as well as avoiding close contact or touching your face, your health goes far beyond that.

For starters, you have to create separation between work and personal life right now, and depending on where you live, what your living arrangements look like, or the amount of square footage you’re working with might be having negative effects on your mindset right now. This is why it’s important to avoid working in your bedrooms (or at least from bed) as much as possible. Training your mind to unwind when you go to sleep at night might be easier if you decide that it’s a work-free zone, and as we know, sleep is so important to our overall health. When you wake up in the morning, try and have as normal of a morning routine as possible; make your bed, drink your coffee while you’re doing your makeup or making breakfast for the family, then tuck away in the workspace you’ve created for yourself, while making sure you’re getting up and moving for about 15 minutes every hour. Even people in an office don’t realize how much movement they’re doing throughout the workday until their routines are disrupted, but it’s important to keep blood pumping, oxygen flowing, and muscles activated in safe environments. It’s also important to make sure you’re going on walks (safely) and maintaining proper nutrition to avoid health complications such as high blood pressure that could unintentionally arise from habits acquired during quarantining and isolation. It’s the hangover effect that is being discussed in health circles, and we must all do our parts to ensure that doesn’t happen. 

Maintaining our health while adapting to new routines and workflows is incredibly challenging, but during these unprecedented times, know that there are millions of people throughout the world who are with you in this. We will come out of this pandemic, and the economy will bounce back, but we must all do our part to and keep things moving. From Eldorado Tools, we wish you, your families, and your companies the very best. 


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