Optimize Your Work-From-Home Game Plan for a Job Well Done
At the very start of the pandemic, many employees transitioned from an office to their home very quickly—some, quite literally, overnight. According to research done by staffing and talent solutions firm, Robert Half, almost half of employees (49%) prefer a hybrid arrangement, and about 1 in 3 professionals (34%) currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office five days a week. It has become increasingly important for businesses and individuals to have IT support while working remotely. We have stepped up to the challenge by offering advice and services on how to get the computer and network support needed in today’s remote workforce.
Companies that were hoping to welcome their employees back to the office full-time are shifting expectations due to virus variants and the need to provide more flexibility to staff. We are all adapting to what McKinsey & Company has coined, the “next normal”. As employers continue adapting and embracing hybrid work models, it is a good time to take another look at your own equipment and workspace. Small businesses in particular have relied on the flexibility of working from home for several years now. In fact, the SBA cites that half of all small businesses are conducted from home.
Optimize Your Remote Workspace
Not everyone has a dedicated room in their home that serves as an office. This has brought forth new challenges, especially for those who live with others that also are trying to work or school from home. Our work environment is important and contributes to our ability to focus and perform. When was the last time you took a look at your work setup? Chances are, it could use a boost.
If you are working from a laptop, a docking station can make your setup more comfortable. Add a monitor if you don’t already have one, or upgrade to a larger one. If you don’t have room for monitors and prefer a smaller device, check angled laptop holders. There are a variety on the market that make it more ergonomic and comfortable to work. Some are fairly lightweight and can be folded and slid under a bed or placed in a closet when not in use. A more comfortable chair or lumbar cushion is also a good investment to ensure that you are working with proper ergonomics. Noise-cancelling headphones are a necessity in a shared space. Invest in a quality pair to help combat the inevitable dog barking or child screaming. For those video meetings that require you to be on camera, consider a screen or backdrop that can be set up and taken down easily.
Did you know that the more we use our laptops and devices, the slower they can run? If your machines are starting to lag, there are some tips you can try. Check your programs and applications, then uninstall any unnecessary software or tools that you no longer use. This is also a good time to run a security check for spyware and viruses that may be impacting performance. During this process, go to your computer’s internet settings and within the tools area, take the needed steps—depending on your browser of choice—to clear your cache.
Another simple, but often overlooked step: empty your recycle bin! You would be surprised at how much we hoard in our virtual trash bins. As always, confirm your company’s policy on this before proceeding. Then, scan through to make sure there isn’t anything in there you might want to keep. Once that is done, feel free to Marie Kondo that bad boy.
Before so many of us were conducting business from home, our network type and speed needs were likely set up for less rigorous use. Now, you and a partner may be working from home along with a kiddo trying to complete schoolwork, watch a Netflix show or play a video game. All of these cause strains on your home network. Are you noticing untimely freezes on your screen? Does speed suddenly begin to crawl the time of day when everyone is home? Your router should be assessed and potentially upgraded to prioritize traffic types. Or perhaps your WiFi needs upgrading and a powerline adapter added. Mesh routers placed around your house can deliver robust coverage to reach every corner of your home.
These are just a few of the many components you can enhance and upgrade to make the most of your work-from-home game plan. When it comes to optimizing computer performance, checking for spyware, or assessing your WiFi, you need a skilled expert who can create the right playbook for you. Our Nerds can handle all of this and more—from a routine checkup to an unexpected tech challenge. Whether you are logging in every day from a home office to complete your job or you are running an entire small business from your dining room, we have Performance and Protection packages and IT services that can be tailored to your needs!