According to a Gallup poll from September 2021, at least 45% of U.S. workers were still doing their jobs remotely at that time. Now, as we ride the next wave of the pandemic, employers might need to re-think their back-to-work policies yet again.
Are you among those individuals who are about to make a permanent switch to working remotely full or part-time? Here’s how to ensure your home office computer is up to the task.
Get Your Home Office Computer Connected
Your Wi-Fi connection determines the success of your work from home efforts. It’s vital for video calling and streamlines every aspect of your work-from-home endeavors.
Most devices connect wirelessly nowadays. To maximize your connection, check the reception all over your house. You must ensure you’re getting the best connection possible, even if that means setting up the router on your home office computer desk.
Wi-Fi is often a temperamental beast, so make sure you have a backup plan for wired connectivity if need be.
Install the NecessaryRemote Work Tools
Your employer is bound to set you up with all the tools you require, but that depends on the overburdened IT guy’s schedule.
In the meantime, you can search online for free office computer programs to keep you going. There are many no-cost alternatives to common computer programs, You can even use Word on Mac for free.
These are some other software applications we take for granted at the office:
With no one around to remind you of your commitments, scheduling software plays an important role in getting organized, and 10to8 works perfectly for this.
It’s great for arranging recurring as well as one-off meetings as well as scheduling phone calls for multiple participants. This software works across time zones, and you can integrate it with other calendars as well as meeting software.
Who can forget all the Zoom meetings we had during 2020? This meeting tool is an effective way to conduct both team and project meetings, but there are also others available.
Skype pre-dates Zoom by years and remains one of the foremost video calling tools available. You can send instant messages, call landlines and mobile phones, and video chat using Skype.
Microsoft Teams is another great alternative for online meetings.
Cloud Storage and Document Management
Google Drive is one of the best-established document sharing and management tools around. You can grant editing rights when necessary, or restrict users to view-only functionality.
This platform saves a lot of emailing back and forth, eliminates the problems associated with sharing big files, and ensures everyone’s literally on the same page when it comes to tasks.
Skitch by Evernote and Xtensio also work well.
When you need a little help from someone in the know or want to show a colleague how to get things done, several software options make this possible:
These include TeamViewer, Clapboard by StoryXpress, and Fluvid. With these programs, another user can take control of someone else’s computer from afar to provide hands-on assistance.
Work from home initiatives isn’t the death of brand collateral. Everyone still needs access to these assets. With Venngage, you can use standard templates across your communications to ensure brand consistency across the board.
Project Management and Collaboration
Slack is one of the best-known real-time communication tools, and it’s super-easy to use, too. You can create different channels for each team or project you’re working on, and send and receive direct messages from co-workers, too.
It also has audio and video-calling features, and it’s available on all major platforms.
If you, or your company, charge clients per hour, you need top-notch time-tracking software. Toggl is one of the most widely-used solutions for this task.
There is a free version available online, too.
It’s vital to have an effective antivirus program running on your computer and keep it updated, too.
Set Up the External Features You Need
An external screen is a vital part of any home office computer setup. After all, you can’t spend all your time hunched over a small laptop screen.
A couple of 4K 27-inch monitors help you take multitasking to a new level and can ramp up your productivity considerably.
External keyboards also help improve your posture and reduce the risk of maladies like carpal tunnel syndrome and backache. Choose an ergonomically designed one for the best effect.
Do you participate in many online video calls? The best webcam and headset can make a big difference to the experience.
If you’re using a laptop, you can prop it up on a stand for ease-of-use, or buy a vertical stand to keep it closed on a clutter-free desk.
Invest in a USB Hub
Does your laptop or desktop have enough ports to connect all the extras you need? A USB hub or dock puts paid to that problem.
A simple USB-C hub gives you ample access to additional USB-A ports and even an HDMI port in some cases. If your laptop has Thunderbolt 3, you can connect up to two 4K displays.
You can add multiple displays, keyboards, and more when you have one of these gadgets handy.
Maximizing the Benefits of Working From Home
Now that you’ve got your home office computer set up and ready for action, you can work more efficiently while at home. That means you’ll have a little extra time to yourself.
Use it wisely by investing in self-care initiatives to ensure your mental and physical wellbeing. Saving on commute time doesn’t mean you should spend more hours behind your desk.
Would you like more home office ideas? Browse our blog for all the best tech-related advice and tips.