5 Technology Hacks for Working From Home
All Storage Online | May 13, 2020 @ 12:00 AM
According to an April 2020 survey conducted by MIT, approximately 45% of US employees are currently working from home. This comes as no surprise in the age of COVID-19, but one interesting aspect of this statistic is the fact that 34% of those employees were already working remotely.
Whether working from home is the new normal for you or it’s long been a part of your professional routine, it seems like telecommuting is going to be a big part of life going forward. That’s where technology comes in. With the right technology hacks, you can make your home office as productive as an actual office.
Here are some of our favorite solutions for staying on task, communicating with coworkers, and managing tasks:
If you share a home with family or roommates, noise-cancelling headphones are a must. This is especially true if you don’t have a separate room you can use as an office. These can help you devote your attention to writing that progress report, tackling your inbox, or taking meetings via video conference.
Video Conference Apps
Speaking of video conferences, doesn’t it seem like everyone is using Zoom these days? That’s certainly a good option thanks to how user-friendly it is, but there are plenty of other options if you want to branch out. Other top video conferencing apps for working remotely include GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Whereby, and UberConference (yes even Uber has a video conference app). If all else fails, there’s always good old fashioned Skype—a popular choice for those who aren’t especially tech-savvy, but not the best option if you’d rather not download software.
Team Workflow Apps
Ditch the neverending email threads and get with a team workflow app that facilitates communication and keeps track of who is doing what. Slack is a top choice for teams who want to chat often throughout the day. Basecamp is another good one for this. For teams with big to-do lists, organize things with Trello, Asana, or Monday.
Switch to Google Docs
If you’re using Microsoft Word, consider moving to Google Docs instead. This not only automatically saves live changes in your documents, but it allows your team to collaborate via commenting and suggesting changes. Even video conference adverse offices can get a lot done simply by hopping on a phone call and making live changes to a Google Doc together.
Have a Backup Wifi Plan
Working from home just doesn’t work without reliable internet. Check your wifi speed using your internet service provider’s instructions (most have these on their websites or can walk you through this over the phone). Consider how many people in your home will be using wifi at once, especially if you’re all going to be video conferencing, streaming, and using programs that take up a lot of bandwidth. Now may be the time to upgrade your speed if that’s an option.
In addition to this, it’s smart to have a backup plan for wifi outages and slowdowns. In fact, you probably already have one: your phone! If you have an iPhone, you can turn on your personal hotspot under Settings. More detailed instructions can be found here. While you’re at it, you may want to enable wifi calling if you live in an area with spotty cell service.
Looking for more advice on working from home? Check out our blog post on how to set up the perfect home office.