How to Prepare Your Home Office During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the current situation with COVID-19 developing and spreading fast, more and more companies are opting for their employees to work from home so they can comply with the social distancing protocol to help in the battle of spreading the virus. The virus is spreading through people so social distancing is a measure that governments implement to try and slow the virus down and make sure it’s under control.

Many people are struggling and don’t really know how to setup an efficient home office during the COVID-19 outbreak that will make them as creative, productive and efficient as they were in their offices. It’s a real challenge because most people who are commuting to work have already developed routines that they are used to and working from home isn’t ideal for them but we all have to adapt to the situation and try to make the best of it. It’s best for all of us keep ourselves motivated, connected and productive during this crisis so that we can come out of this entire situation in the best condition possible and keeping up our work schedule can help us a lot, not just from an economic standpoint but also keep up our spirits.

While every single job is different from each other and working from home will be different depending on what your profession is there are some things that would apply for everyone so we prepared a few things that you’ll find extremely useful when you don’t know how to setup an efficient home office during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Essential Hardware

Just like in your office you may need some hardware in your home so you can successfully work efficiently and have everything you need around you so you can get the job done properly.

The first thing you will need, while it’s not a piece of hardware, it’s extremely important to start with and that’s a working space. Basically, it’s an area in the house where you’ll do your work and only your work. A place where you’ll associate with working and you won’t have any distractions or at least limit them as much as possible. If you have an entire room to dedicate to this, than great but if you don’t, make sure you find the place that is furthest away from the kitchen and as far away as possible from the TV so you’re not tempted to turn to it and see what’s on from time to time. It’ll be very distracting. Of course some music playing in the background might not be distracting but if it’s too loud it may lower your working capacity. Once that’s done and ready, you’ll need some software and hardware set-up around you depending on your job.

 

Stable Internet Connection

For your connection to be as stable as possible, you’ll need to get a good router that will be fast and have a good Wi-Fi signal. If you don’t have one already, it’s crucial to get one because it’s the most essential piece of hardware that will keep you online and make sure that you stay connected with all your colleagues and you can effectively do your job from home. There are some quite fast but also not too expensive routers available on the market so it shouldn’t be a problem finding a good one.

 

 

Headset

A good headset is also a good idea to have in case you have a work where you need to communicate with your colleagues constantly. Imagine having one that is constantly glitching or transmitting unclear nonsense both way. You won’t be able to do your job properly and on top of it all you’ll really get angry. Aside from a good headset you’ll also need to get a software that your entire workplace has on which everyone will be online and available so you can call or text each other all the time. An application like Skype will do the job just right.

 

 

Printer

Depending on your job, a printer may be necessary as well. If you have a lot of documents to be printed out, signed and scanned or faxed somewhere getting a printer that has all of these options is crucial and there are a bunch of affordable options both online and in local stores.

Coffee Machine

While this may not help you do your job per se, a coffee machine that makes great coffee will save you from heading to the first coffee place and working from there because you need a good cup of coffee to get your more focused and ready to start your workday. While it might not seem like an essential part of the home office at first it’s something that you’ll appreciate a lot when you’re feeling the need for coffee.

 

 

 

Comfortable Chair

Since you’ll spend a lot of time sitting down it’s advantageous for your back to get a chair that will be comfortable and keep your body in the right position so you don’t develop any back pains. Getting something to make sure your monitor is in the right eye height when you work will help with keeping the correct posture too. Keeping yourself healthy and preventing any conditions developing from sitting too long should be a priority.

 

 

Stick To Your Working Habits

Once you’ve learned how to setup an efficient home office during the COVID-19 outbreak with the proper hardware and your work space is ready to be used, you need to make sure you have a routine that you’ll be able to stick to. It’s usually best to keep up with the same working habits you had when you were actually in the office because you’re already used to working at that time. So, working from home doesn’t mean you should work whenever you want and stretch everything that you need to do for the day through the entire day and even into the night but stick to the working hours you kept in the office. Another thing you need to do as well is do all your morning preparations just like you’re going to the office. Don’t just wake up and sit in front of you PC or laptop and start working in your pajamas. Wash up, dress up and do the exact same thing you’re doing when everything is normal because the routine you were doing before is preparing you mentally for the job you need to do and it’ll help you a lot to get in the right mindset for working. Changing your clothes from pajamas is essential here even though you’re home. It doesn’t have to be a suit but putting on different pants and a shirt will help you feel like you’re at work.

 

 

 

Avoid Multitasking While Working

Multitasking is something that many people believe makes them faster at what they do but more often than not it’s not the case. Try to focus solely on your work even though you’ll have many distraction you can do around the house that might involve all kinds of chores that you’ve been putting out for a long time. Since you’re at home it’s easy to get distracted by something like this and just abandon your workspace for a long time. Sometimes even a short distraction can stop your train of thought and make you forget what you were working on. You should also prepare your lunch and snacks just like you’d do it when going to the office so you don’t waste any time preparing your meals in the middle of your work which may cause more distractions and be counterproductive.

 

 

 

Get Some Fresh Air

Although you’re working from home and we’re all advised to stay inside, getting some fresh air without exposing yourself to big social groups is something you have to do to keep up your health and spirits. Just like when you’re in the office and you go out for a half an hour lunch break, you should do the same when you’re at home. Take the proper break and go eat in your yard or take a walk around your neighborhood just to stretch your legs and breathe in some fresh outside air and even catch some sunlight that will surely freshen you up and make you feel much better than being stuck in your apartment all day. You can even get a cup of coffee from your coffee machine and drink it while walking around enjoying your work break. Going out and walking is also good for your back and posture because, as we said before, sitting around for too long might cause back pains that are really uncomfortable and even if you have the best ergonomic chair it may not be enough.

 

 

 

Take Breaks Often

Another thing that you can do to be as efficient as possible when working from home is to take breaks whenever you feel like you need one. Maybe after every completed task or every hour. Short breaks will prevent you feeling like you’re tied to your chair at work and ensure that you’re not sitting down for long hours. Sometimes even taking a 5 minute break every 25-30 minutes is a great idea as well according to research that discovered that these short breaks are much more advantageous than longer breaks that are less frequent.

 

 

 

Set Strict Rules For Yourself

By this we mean, make sure that your work stays at work and not stretch into the personal part of your life and interrupt with your family or free time. It’s much easier to this when working from home because your workplace is just a few steps away and you might be tempted to work a little bit before going to bed so you can finish a little bit of the work you will have tomorrow but it’s really a grey area that might get out of control and before you know it, turn into you working all the time and have no time for yourself or anyone else in your family. It can be very harmful, especially to your social life and you shouldn’t take this lightly and make sure you follow the rules you set for yourself so you don’t get to a situation where you are unable to balance your work with your life.

 

 

 

Mentally Prepare For Disruptions

This is especially important if you’re not living alone and have a family. Preparing yourself mentally that you’ll be interrupted will save you a lot of time in explanations and conversations trying to stop them from happening. They won’t, especially if you have children because they’ll want to spend time with you and they won’t understand that you have to finish before you’re able to give them your complete attention. Going in with a plan will ensure that this situation isn’t making you angry or annoyed and it will bother you much less when you’re ready for it.

 

 

Conclusion

Having the right hardware and set up so will ensure that you’re able to do your job as efficiently as possible while maintaining proper posture and not endangering your health.

Sticking to the same working habits you had when you had an office is beneficial for you because you’re already used to that routine and it’ll be an easier transition to do everything else but commuting to work instead of changing the entire routine or skip parts of it.

Whenever you work, make sure you’re not focused on other things as well and trying to multitask because it will not be productive or efficient.

Also, it’s advantageous to occasionally get some fresh air and get out of your home and take short breaks more often than longer breaks which are less frequent.

Preparing yourself mentally for interruptions is also something you need to do because they will happen if you have a family that is living with you in the house. Having a plan for this will save you a lot of time and it won’t bother you too much because you’ll be ready and expecting it.

It’s a real challenge to go through this rough times and adapt your routine to work from home while retaining the productivity, efficiency and creativity as you had in your office but it’s very important that we properly adapt to this so that we can come out on the other end with as less “bruises” as possible. Following the tips we shared with you above will surely help you a lot when setting up your home office and prepare you for the challenges you’re going to face.

 

And Remember!

Regency DRT offers a quick and effective disinfection to fit into your schedule. Our High-level disinfection reduces the risk of outbreaks, Utilizing ionized Hydrogen Peroxide – a non-caustic, chlorine and bleach-free fog, Regency DRT can effectively disinfect your home or facility at anytime. Whether a routine disinfection or emergency disinfection such as spills and bio-related incidents, Regency DRT can be deployed at a moments notice.

 

 

Schedule Your Disinfection Today!

Hurricane Shutters: What You Need To Know

There are several types of products that qualify as “shutter” protection for your home. Each option meets current Florida Building Code standards, and will also satisfy insurance requirements. They fall into one of the following categories:

  • Manually Installed Aluminum Hurricane Panels
  • Manually Installed Clear Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels
  • Accordion Hurricane Shutters
  • Bahama Hurricane Shutters
  • Colonial Hurricane Shutters
  • Electric or Motorized Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
  • Manual and Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Screens
  • Hurricane Fabric
  • Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows and Doors

Because each application has Florida Building Code approval, your choice should be based on your lifestyle and which product best fits the specific opening. You should consult with a professional licensed building contractor to determine what the best option is for an opening. Each application needs to be installed according to Florida Building Code specifications to meet the requirements of protection, which will satisfy local building codes and your insurance company.

Manually Installed Aluminum Hurricane Panels

This style is often what is thought of when someone hears the phrase “hurricane shutters”. Aluminum hurricane panels are made from light-weight corrugated aluminum is very strong and can be installed vertically or horizontally to meet the needs of the opening. These panels are put up when there is threat of a storm, and taken down after.

The panels are measured and cut to cover the opening, and can be affixed to the house with a track or secured directly to the structure. The window will be completely covered when installed, and you can’t see out of the window once they are in place.

This is generally the least expensive type of shutter protection. The panels are lightweight, making them easy to carry, but can be awkward when installing over large openings. You will also need a place to store the panels when they are not in use.

Manually Installed Clear Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels

This style is similar to aluminum hurricane panels, but the corrugated panel is a clear polycarbonate. The main benefit of the polycarbonate material is that light can get through the opening, and you can see the conditions outside.

Like aluminum hurricane panels, they are lightweight and strong and can be installed vertically or horizontally to meet the needs of the opening. These panels are put up when there is threat of a storm, and taken down after.

The panels are measured and cut to cover the opening, and can be affixed to the house with a track or secured directly to the structure. The window will be completely covered when installed, and you will be able to see out of the window once they are in place.

The panels are lightweight, making them easy to carry, but can be awkward when installing over large openings. You will also need a place to store the panels when they are not in use.

Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Accordion hurricane shutters will protect windows, sliding glass doors or enclose entire balconies or lanais. They are also a good option for opening that may be hard to secure, such as a rounded window, aquarium type window or corner-meet non-impact sliding glass doors.

They are made from a lightweight aluminum and installed into tracks on the top and bottom that guide the movement of the shutters as well as hold them in place. The top track holds a wheel carriage that adds to ease of movement. These are manually operated.

They are easy to open and close in almost every application. Once the interconnected aluminum panels are closed and locked, your protection is in place. You will not be able to see out of the opening, and light will not pass through.

Accordion hurricane shutters need to be maintained by lubricating and cleaning annually. You won’t need to worry about storage as they are left in place retracted when not in use.

Bahama Hurricane Shutters

Bahama hurricane shutters might just look like decorative shutters that typify the look and feel of a tropical home, however when they are made of material strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, and installed to meet current building code standards, they serve as viable protection for your home.

They are always in place, and can be lowered and latched with relative ease in the event of a storm. While extended, they can also serve as shade for any opening.

The style is not well-suited for every architectural style. It simply doesn’t work for many homes. There are also some limitations on the maximum size that they are considered to be effective, such as a door.

Colonial Hurricane Shutters

Colonial hurricane shutters are also permanently affixed to the structure, and considered “decorative”. Like Bahama hurricane shutters, when they are made of material strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, and installed to meet current building code standards, they serve as viable protection for your home. They can also be easily closed in the event of a storm.

Like Bahama hurricane shutters, the style is not well-suited for every architectural style. It simply doesn’t work for many homes. There are also some limitations on the maximum size that they are considered to be effective.

Electric or Motorized Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

Electric or motorized roll-down hurricane shutters might very well be considered to be the most convenient shutter option. Just a flip of a switch and your protection is in place. In some cases, you can also operate the shutter manually if there is a loss of power.

Electric or motorized roll-down shutters are a popular solution for lanai area of a home. They can be installed to easily enclose the entire lanai. Some people like the ability to leave patio furniture in place during a storm, which is easy to do with this shutter option. They also come in handy for everyday use by adding noise reduction, security and privacy when they are down.

They are always in place, affixed to the top of the opening and contained in a small box. This may be a deterrent to homeowners who don’t want to have this housing visible, especially on the front of the home.

Manual and Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Screens

Manual and electric roll-down hurricane screens are newer to the market, but most manufacturers have obtained Florida Building Code approval through stringent testing. The screen will stop flying debris from impacting your opening during a storm. These must be installed by a certified professional contractor.

They function much like a composite electric, motorized or manual roll-down shutter with a noted exception that you can have full visibility from the inside to the outside. The screen itself is a very dense, tightly woven material that not only withstands the force of hurricane winds of 130 mph, but also repels water in the same way that a composite shutter would.

They are a great solution for protection in large or unusually configured areas. They deploy with relative ease, and have the added benefit of use for privacy, shade and rain protection during mild storms.

Hurricane Fabric

Hurricane fabric is also called hurricane netting or hurricane curtains depending on the manufacturer. The function and installation is basically the same as long as it meets the same Florida Building Code approval requirements.

Hurricane fabric is a PVC coated woven fabric panel that has been tested and approved to block wind, rain and flying debris. You can see through the fabric from the inside, and it is also a great solution for protection in large or unusually configured areas.

The fabric comes in a variety of colors. It can be affixed to the structure of your home with straps, buckles (such as around columns) and grommets (such as around a window area). All methods of installation allow for easy access to exit your home quickly.

Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows and Doors

Impact resistant hurricane windows and doors are not considered “shutters”. They are an alternative to shutters that offer full-time protection against the elements, intruders, UV rays and noise. This is generally going to be the most expensive option in hurricane protection.

The benefit of total home replacement of windows and doors with impact resistant products is that you never have to think about it again. Once installed by a qualified, licensed professional your protection is in place 24-7-365.

If your windows and doors need to be replaced, you might give serious consideration to replacing them with impact resistant hurricane windows and doors. The cost of replacing a window or door with a non-impact product and then adding a shutter to meet current codes is very close to replacing the opening with an impact product.

The bottom line…

You have a spectrum of options ranging from the least expensive shutter panels to replacing your windows and doors with impact resistant hurricane windows and doors. So how do you determine what is best for you?

Consider this:

Typically the least expensive option will be the most labor intensive and conversely, the most expensive options will be the most worry-free. So when narrowing your budget vs. expense, consider this:

The front of your home generally has the highest priority aesthetically. You want protection in place that doesn’t detract from the architecture.

The back of your home will take the next level of priority, and typically will be the most expensive area to protect due to the fact that you generally see the most glass in the back. Most people want to preserve the view, and possibly enclose the lanai to be able to leave furniture out at all times. You can generally save a great deal on the back of the home with shutters vs. impact-resistant doors and windows.

The sides of your home usually are the last priority because they rally aren’t seen by you and sometimes, not even your neighbor. Although they can’t be seen, it is still vital to protect the openings as they are vulnerable.

The least expensive hurricane panels might be a good option. You can always upgrade in the future to a more expensive shutter option, or choose to replace the windows with an impact product.

Ultimately…

You want to make sure that you choose products that fit your lifestyle, and hire a qualified contractor for the installation.

If your commercial or residential property has been damaged by strong winds or a big storm, there is a series of steps you should follow to mitigate the damage and get help right away.

  • Contact the Regency DRT team for a damage assessment. If you have insurance, you must act quickly to minimize any damage to your property as required by your policy.
  • Call your insurance company to report the damages and review your policy and coverage. (Keep in mind Regency DRT does not advise or make recommendations on your insurance coverage.) We do work with all insurance companies to assist you in working with the insurance adjuster.
  • Report safety hazards especially downed power lines.
  • Stay away from areas that are flooding as the water could be charged with an electrical current. There is also the possibility of potential dangers under the water like any nails or other sharp objects.

24/7 Emergency And Professional Storm Damage Cleanup And Restoration – Call (888) 221-5791!

 

How Does Your Smoke Detector Work?

Have you ever looked up at your smoke alarm and thought, “I wonder how that works?” Well the simple answer is, “With cunning ingenuity”. The first thing to understand is that there are two basic smoke alarm designs. The first and the most commonly used design is nuclear powered and is known as an ionization smoke detector, these require little space are cheap and are more common than the other type of detector, which is the photoelectric smoke detector.

 

Ionization Smoke Alarms

At the heart of an ionization smoke detector is a small amount of radioactive material called Americium 241, along with two plates with opposite electrical polarity. This sensor arrangement is held in an air flowing metal chamber and along with its support electronics is powered by a long life battery, usually 9-volt. The metal chamber acts as the negative plate; a positive plate covers the Americium 241.

So how does an ionization smoke alarm work? Well, alpha particles are generated by the Americium element, these alpha particles ionize the nitrogen and oxygen atoms that circulate through the smoke detector. This simply means that electrons are stripped from both the nitrogen and oxygen elements, when this happens the “air” inside the smoke detector becomes positively charged. These “air” atoms are drawn to the negative (metal chamber) plate, while the negatively charged electrons are drawn to the positive plate. As long as this process continues the smoke alarm will not activate. However, when smoke enters the device it interferes with the ionization process and the alarm is triggered. Ionization smoke alarm detectors are considered sensitive enough to do their job correctly and robust enough to last several years under normal operating conditions.

 

Should you worry about Americium 241?

Being radioactive does mean that it produces radiation, however the amount is very small. Moreover, the type of radiation emitted is in the form of alpha particles, which are the weakest type of radiation. A sheet of paper can stop alpha particles. The metal canister that holds the Americium is more that capable of containing any harmful radiation. You should however make sure that any discarded ionization detectors are properly disposed of, check with your local authority or council to find out the preferred method in your area.

 

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

These are probably the least popular type of smoke detector; this is down to the fact that they’re not as sensitive as an ionization detector. They function by employing two channels; one emits light, while the other channel detects the light. If smoke finds it way into the channels it will interfere with the light and trigger the alarm.

The type of smoke alarm you choose really depends on the application. While ionization detectors are seen as the preferred choice, they perform best in detecting fast flaming fires with small smoke particles. Optical sensor smoke alarms on the other hand perform best at detecting slow, smoldering fires with large particles. It’s recommended that you fit a combination of the two types of smoke alarm to your home, preferably interconnected. It’s possible to string together several smoke detectors to form an impressive smoke alert system.

When a fire damages your home or business, expert fire damage restoration is required to get fully restore your property to pre-loss condition and ensure the safety of future occupants. Regency Disaster Response Team is a leading fire damage restoration company and has experience cleaning and restoring all sizes and types of fire disasters.

Call Now For Immediate Emergency Help – Our Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Experts Are Standing By To Serve You!

(888) 221-5791

Detergents, Soaps and More (What’s the Difference?)

Detergents, Soaps and More

When it comes to your home, you usually have two prime, important goals in mind: Keep your home clean and keep your home healthy. Family is important to you.

To do that, it takes a lot of thought. Not about your cleaning technique… but about the products you choose to do the cleaning.

When you wander the cleaning supply aisle at your favorite department or big-box store, the options are endless. The list of ingredients is long and the descriptive words are confusing. While a scientist working in a laboratory knows what those ingredients are, it’s not your fault that they mystify you.

What do you really need to know? The basics. Here they are. Continue reading “Detergents, Soaps and More (What’s the Difference?)”

Closet Cleaning & Organizing

Although traditionally a spring cleaning chore, cleaning and organizing a closet can be done any time of year. And no, keeping the door shut isn’t the best solution to a messy, disorganized closet, although it may give you moments of sanity that quickly disappear when you venture inside for that favorite pair of pants you haven’t seen in months. Here are a few quick tips on cleaning and organizing your closet.
(more…)

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Wood decks can be beautiful things, add value and enjoyment to your home. Unless they are ignored or neglected, of course.

Like any surface in your home, a wood deck needs some special care. While a lower-cost alternative to pavers, concrete and other hard surface materials, wood decks are very attractive, especially if you chose a color tone that matches your home and is one you enjoy.

But after a year or two, aging happens and dirt and grime accumulates. Stains as well. You start to wonder what you can do to bring back to life the deck you admired so much. Continue reading “Avoiding Wood Deck Woes”

Clogged Drain Dramas

It sits in the center of every sink, at the end of every bathtub, and could be anywhere at the bottom of a shower stall… that’s right. You see them all the time. Drains that faithfully work to take away soapy water, food waste and more.

So when they slow down or even quit working entirely, it is very frustrating and annoying.

Your first inclination is to grab a plunger, which might work but more than often… it doesn’t work at all. But you have to try! Sometimes, a connecting drain to the plugged one allows air to escape and the plunging action is worthless. You can plug the second drain with a towel or cloth, and that might help with the plunging action.

(more…)

Taking On Holiday Stains

It’s that time of year when you start planning for family and friends tofamily-holiday-party visit and, since you are hospitable, you start thinking of all the delicious meals, snacks and beverages you will serve them when they arrive.

Despite the very best attempts of you and your guests to keep things on the plate, in the bowl, in the glass and on the spoon or fork, the inevitable happens: Food or drinks spill, and for some reason they always spill on the carpet. Usually white carpet.

There is no need to panic, but there is a need to gather your thoughts, keep your cool and not overreact to the situation. That is difficult when you witness a full glass of merlot splashing onto your white, wool rug in the middle of the living room. Continue reading “Taking On Holiday Stains”

How to Remove Deodorant Stains

How to Remove Deodorant Stains

It can be very embarrassing, especially if it happens at a business meeting or social event. When it does happen, you may wish you could crawl into a hole.

What are we talking about? When you raise your arm for something and show off an unsightly deodorant stain on your shirt, blouse or other item of clothing. You know people notice because their eyes are drawn right to your armpit, and there is never a hole close enough to crawl in to.

This type of stain builds up over time. When you perspire, some of the deodorant transfers to your clothing and each time you do the laundry, some of it sticks. However, removing deodorant stains can be accomplished with a few simple steps. Continue reading “How to Remove Deodorant Stains”

The Dangers of Soot

It doesn’t seem that dangerous. It’s just the byproduct of a fire… maybe from a chimney, a furnace puff-back, even an over-zealous gas grill. When the fire is out, you should be able to clean up the soot residue easily, right? Not so fast! Soot has some characteristics that everyone should consider before attempting to clean. Those who perform fire damage work understand the dangers of soot. So do emergency personnel like firemen. In fact, outdoor soot is regulated by the EPA, classified as a criteria pollutant. Consider these facts about soot.
(more…)