Community Manager
Community Manager

Work from Home, tips, recommendations, devices

Hello Community,

Since so many of us are currently moving to a Work from Home model, we want to start a discussion thread. We want your input as to what hardware devices you are using, setup instructions, best practices, etc. Please post your thoughts and and ideas on this thread. You can see our new WorkFromHome board here. Also, check out this article,  "A Guide to Dell Resources and Tools for Remote Work or Study".

4 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Work from Home, tips, recommendations, devices

Having worked from home for almost 18 years, here are things I learned (some the hard way!) over the years.

  • Make sure your anti-viral app is up-to-date.
  • Get instructions from your IT group about policies and requirements to access your company's network from home.
    Do you need to set up and use a VPN to access their network?
  • Can your employer automatically re-route calls to your home or cell phone so contacts can still reach you directly and you won't have to give out your personal numbers to business contacts (eg. strangers)?
    Be prepared to answer the phone politely and professionally every single time because you may not know who's calling, especially if you don't have caller ID.
  • Change the outgoing message on your home or cell phone voice mail to something generic. Most home answering machines have a built-in message so consider using that, for now.
  • Make sure your apps, eg browser, have permission to use the PC's microphone, if needed
    Win 10: Allow access to Microphone on this device.
    Choose which Microsoft and desktop apps can access the microphone
    Run the Microphone setup wizard
  • Make sure your apps, eg browser, have permission to use the PC's camera, if needed
    Win 10: Camera access ON.
    Choose which Microsoft and desktop apps can access the camera
    Get a camera slide to cover the camera lens when not in use. (Masking tape works, but gets messy.)
    As Microsoft warns, some desktop apps may access the camera, even when Windows camera settings are OFF.
  • Check your ISP to see if they'll removed any data caps and/or speed caps while working from home during this event.  (My ISP is upgrading customers to 1T access speeds for next 3 months at no additional cost.)
  • Keep on your regular schedule. Get up, get dressed, and get ready to log in for work.
  • Get a separate notebook to log dates/times and content of all your incoming/outgoing calls, voice mails, etc which you can eventually take to the office when things get back to "normal". Not only proof you actually worked, but a also a good record of what was and/or still needs to be done.
    Not a good idea to store this info on a USB stick or external drive because your company may (probably) has restrictions on connecting personal devices to desktop PCs, etc.
  • Avoid home distractions: Frig, TV, xBox, etc. etc. etc.
    Bad for the waistline and your work won't be getting done.


   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

8 Xenon

Re: Work from Home, tips, recommendations, devices

First thing I recommend is upgrade to windows 10 using OEM system builder DVD.

Make sure region code is set on your drive BEFORE trying to upgrade.

Install clean onto brand new 2TB no larger drive is also recommended.



If you already have WIN7 system you use the I don't have a key option and install clean AHCI not IRRT.

After that I recommend Open Office.


You set load save preferences to be Microsoft Office as default save for Word and Powerpoint and Excel.

Firefox 45.9 ESR is also recommended.


Newer versions also work but this is the last version that worked with older os.

Newer Chrome based edge is also recommended for WIN10


This works with most Dells from 2006 to now.  4 gigs is bare minimum recommended ram.

8 gigs is better and 16 gigs is the sweet spot.  32 and 64 dont make much of an improvement.

MIFI is very expensive in my area so unless you must have constant internet I don't recommend this.  I do have it however just in case power goes out or ISP dies.


Jetpacks can be put on pay as you go.

I do not recommend a contract with Autopay because they will charge you overages.  You can burn thru your limit with 4g in as little as 45 minutes and its $100 an hour overage after that.  They wait 8 to 24 hours to warn you about this.  If you are on pay as you go when you reach the limit the internet cuts off.




Local Shops I can access have very reasonable WIN10 machines.

Also keep in mind that they will run out of stock and not be able to get more due to nobody shipping anything.  Amazon, Ebay, etc are not able to ship orders.



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5 Rhenium

Re: Work from Home, tips, recommendations, devices

A local Health Care Provider will have 8 Administrative personnel working from home and ordered 8 Dell laptops.


15” display

Numeric keyboard

8GB memory


5G WiFi

Recommended the Dell Latitude E5540:

Started the W10 image Thursday morning and completed 8 units by 1:30.

Their IT picked them up on Friday morning installed the required software for them to work at home.

The laptops were delivered Friday afternoon and they will start working from home Monday morning.

I found the E5540 image very easy to build and it has very easy access to the HDD, Memory and WiFi card.

Best regards and be safe,


HP EliteBook 8770w i7-3630QM 32GB
HP ZBook 17 G2 i5-4310M 16GB
HP ZBook 17 G4 Xeon E3-1505M v6 32GB
HP Color LaserJet M553dn 40ppm
1 Copper

Re: Work from Home, tips, recommendations, devices

I worked from home for about 5 years and it's been great.

Here are my tips:

1) Build a Permanent Work Space

2) Invest in Quality Technology

3) Get Comfortable Office Furniture

4) Set Real Work Hours

5) Discover Your High Productivity Periods