Many local and national governments around the world have initiated “shelter at home” and “work from home” policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of our employees have been working remotely for years, for many of us, this is a completely new experience. We’re now starting to develop some new routines and work habits. The question is, are they good habits?
For many starting the work from home (WFH) process, the biggest concern is often that there will be so many distractions, no work will ever get done. In fact, after listening to employee feedback, reading articles about WFH and even experiencing it myself, the challenge is often figuring out how can I stop working. We roll out of bed and, since we are not commuting to the office, there is no clear demarcation of when the day begins. Similarly, we don’t need to wrap things up and get home in time for dinner, so again, no boundary of when the day ends. The result is from the time we get up until we go to sleep, we are glued to the computer. The reality is – when working from home, we must find the right work/life balance. With that in mind, here are some practical considerations for those working from home.
One trap people tend to fall into during remote working is they sit down at their computer and never get up to take a break. We don’t do that when working in the office, and we should not do that in our home offices either. Here are a few simple tips from employees who already have been working remotely around the world:
Get up and stretch. Don’t go more than an hour or so without getting up and stretching your legs for a few minutes.
Interact virtually with your co-workers. Use Zoom (or other video-conferencing applications) to create virtual meetings – and even virtual breaks from work.
Quick stand-up meetings with your team – gather them together occasionally through video conferencing and talk about how their day is going.
Water cooler/coffee machine – schedule 15 minutes a couple times a day for colleagues to get together and chat. It doesn’t have to be work-related.
Lunchroom – if you have colleagues you would normally go to lunch with, bring your lunch into your computer or iPad area and enjoy a relaxing break together.
Workout – if you have fitness equipment in the house (or even if you don’t) get some music going, download a free 7 min. workout and challenge each other to get the blood pumping.
Happy hours – many companies are now hosting end-of-day virtual happy hours using video conferencing. It works!
Keep family close, even during shelter at home. Please take advantage of your access to Zoom and similar video tools to keep in contact with your family. They do not need the Zoom application installed; simply share a Zoom link via email so family members can join through a web browser.
Here are additional productivity tips for working remotely (Source):
While everyone is working so hard remotely, no one wants you to burn out. Find ways to break up the day. Get some fresh air. Go for a walk around the neighborhood (remember to stay at least six feet away from others). Keep connected not only to your family, but also to your co-workers and your teams. There have been a lot of very rapid changes over the last few weeks, and we sometimes struggle to keep pace as we rush to implement new policies and procedures that fit within WFH and shelter at home, but we are all succeeding in making these necessary adjustments, one step at a time.
This week, we were excited to announce that our new EFR32xG22 (xG22) family officially hit the market. This new class of ultra-low-power and secure wireless solutions is optimized for a wide range of battery-powered or energy harvesting IoT applications. Based on an Arm Cortex M-33, xG22 solutions provide best-in-class device security, energy efficiency and RF performance to enable next-generation, high-volume connected products. For all the necessary tools to develop high-volume, scalable wireless IoT applications, check out our xG22 Wireless Starter Kit which supports Bluetooth, Zigbee and Proprietary wireless protocols.
If you’re interested in developing Bluetooth applications, we have an additional resource for you. Mohammad Afaneh at Novel Bits recently published a great guide for getting started with the new BG22 development kit. “With the increased demand for securing embedded devices, especially those with wireless connectivity capabilities…[BG22] provides an attractive platform for developing your next generation BLE product,” Afaneh said. Novel Bits is a leading resource for developers looking to learn more about BLE. In addition to the technical blog and tutorials, Novel Bits offers a Bluetooth Developer Academy to help you take BLE expertise to the next level.
To learn more, check out the NovelBits BG22 Getting Started Guide.
We’re excited to announce that our EFR32xG22 (xG22) family has officially hit the market! The new SoCs raise the bar for IoT wireless connectivity, delivering an optimized combination of energy efficiency, wireless performance, security features and software stacks to enable high-volume, battery powered IoT products. The xG22 family has something for everyone – supporting Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), Proprietary and Zigbee wireless protocols – and addresses core customer needs, including price targets. When we say these SoCs are “industry-leading,” we mean it. In fact, EFR32BG22 (BG22) was recently awarded Embedded World 2020 Best in Show by Embedded Computing Design!
xG22 SoCs feature exceptional energy efficiency, enabling devices to operate on a coin cell battery for up to ten years, combined with best-in-class radio performance. This market-leading IoT wireless connectivity solution is achieved by combining ultra-low transmit and receive power (3.5 mA TX at 0 dBm, 2.6 mA RX) and a high-performance, low-power Arm® Cortex®-M33 core (27 µA/MHz active, 1.2 µA sleep). See below for additional highlights:
You’re invited to join our upcoming hands-on virtual Bluetooth workshop to learn how to develop and deploy ultra-low-power, secure Bluetooth connectivity with the new EFR32BG22 SoC.
We're also making new development kits available to help get you to market quickly:
Dear valued customers and partners,
At Silicon Labs, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees and their families, as well as our customers, suppliers and business partners. To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities, we’ve put in place work-from-home policies, suspended business travel and implemented other alternative ways to drive our business forward during this unprecedented time. Our employees worldwide have access to secure remote-working technology and collaboration tools, enabling them to work effectively from home and other locations. These measures help safeguard the health of our employees while supporting day-to-day business operations with minimal impact on our customers’ supply chains.
We know you’re facing similar challenges, and we want to assure you that we’re in this together. We’re committed to keeping your businesses and ours up and running smoothly and are ready to support you 24/7 through online forums, virtual meetings, and more. We’re monitoring and operating our customer support channels from several locations around the world and remain committed to providing high-quality support throughout the duration of this situation.
As we navigate these difficult times, we must embrace the power of a truly connected world. We’re focused on doing the right things to take care of people everywhere while maintaining the high level of customer support you’ve come to expect from Silicon Labs. If we remain focused, supportive and diligent, we are confident we will all come through this stronger together.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
CEO | Silicon Labs
As a leader in IoT wireless solutions, we're excited to offer you the broadest range of wireless connectivity options – and today we’re further strengthening our wireless portfolio.
We’re thrilled to announce that we entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement of Redpine Signals' ultra-low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth products. Their history of engineering excellence and world-class products aligns closely with our core values and will ultimately result in your success in the market.
By adding Redpine Signals' Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth Classic products, we can now offer a rich and comprehensive Wi-Fi portfolio for the IoT, enabling you to get to market quickly. The potential for Wi-Fi to drive future IoT applications is tremendous, and going forward, low-power Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is a key wireless technology. We look forward to accelerating our joint roadmap of Wi-Fi 6 that works in environments with hundreds or thousands of connected IoT devices. The additional Bluetooth Classic capabilities, including Extended Data Rate, will be ideal technology for your audio applications like voice assistants and smart speakers.
We value our customers, partners and engineering community, and we're eager to bring this innovative technology to you. Together, we are driving innovations for smart home, industrial IoT and commercial markets and building a smarter, more connected world.
You can learn more in our press release.
Historically, hackers breach networks or application servers and then move laterally into other systems. Now, we are seeing bad agents directly interfere with IoT edge devices - which often have a less secure attack surface, making it easier to access sensitive data stored on the device or in the cloud.
With this rapid change IoT developers are facing increasing pressure to step up device security and meet evolving regulatory requirements. But security isn’t always easy. In fact, both Gartner and Digicert did studies last year that showed security was their top challenge.
To help, we are excited to announce Secure Vault, a new suite of state-of-the-art security features including:
Not only does Secure Vault have industry leading technology. There are also business benefits of using chips with Secure Vault:
We are proud to continuing leading the way in the evolving world IoT security with Secure Vault. For more information about Secure Vault, visit silabs.com/security.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the global electronic shelf label (ESL) market value topped $581 million (USD) in 2019 and is expected to reach $1.82 billion by 2025. ESL technology enables cloud-based applications that enhance retail automation, shopper engagement and data analytics.
To help create a secure, scalable cost-effective solution for electronic shelf labels (ESL), we created a new family of secure, 2.4 GHz proprietary wireless system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices - EFR32FG22 (aka FG22).
Designed for power- and size-constrained IoT products powered by batteries or energy harvesting sources, FG22 provides a best-in-class connectivity solution for rapidly emerging retail applications.
Here are some highlights on FG22:
Other FG22 target applications include building security, industrial automation sensors and custom modules for commercial lighting. Our VP & GM of IoT Industrial & Commercial Products, Ross Sabolcik, shares more about FG22 in the video below.
For more information about our new FG22 SoCs, visit silabs.com/fg22.