During the Fall and Winter months, working from the comfort of your own home sounds like heaven. Think about all of the things you would avoid, like rush hour, the freezing elements and even having to worry about getting dressed. If you don't plan properly, working from home can end up being a challenge. If you thought you had many distractions in a traditional office, think about all of the distractions you can have at home. If want to get the most out of working from home and avoid the frustrations that can come with it, I've come up with a list of tips that will help you stay more productive in your home office.
1.Find a Great Work Space in Your Home.
There are numerous distractions at home such as TV shows, noisy children (and fur babies), and the list goes on and on. Find yourself a space at home that is exclusive yours for work. Doing so will increase your productivity and shut out all of those home distractions. Also, add your own personal flair to make that space your space. Another tip for having a productive workspace is to stream music from your favorite service. There are many channels on YouTube designed specifically to provide music to those working or studying. Using a pair of noise cancelling headphones will help keep your mind on your work tasks.
2. Get a Powerful Computer and Fast Internet.
When working from home, don't settle with working on an old laptop and slow Internet speed? Get the best equipment you can afford and bump up your Internet speed. Windows or Macintosh, you should be using a computer with an Intel i7 processor with 16 Gigabytes of RAM. How can you check? Windows Users: Click Start.Select the Control Panel.Navigating to the Control Panel from the Start Menu in Windows Select System. Some users will have to select System and Security, and then select System from the next window.The Control Panel in Windows Select the General tab. Here you can find your processor type and speed, its amount of memory (or RAM), and your operating system.The General tab in the Control Panel displaying system information -
Macintosh Users: Click on the Apple icon.Select About This Mac from the drop-down menu.The Apple drop-down menu - Mac OS X Click the More Info button. Here you can find your processor type and speed, its amount of memory (or RAM), and your operating system.About this Mac - Mac OS X
Your Internet speed should have a download speed of at least 20Mbps (Megabits Per Second). To test your Internet speed, visit www.speedtest.net
I know we are in the day and age when desktop computers aren't desired anymore, but if you are working from home, having a desktop Windows or Macintosh computer will give you added value. I use a combination of a desktop and a laptop computer. With cloud storage services like DropBox, OneDrive or Google Drive, I can save my files to the cloud and then access them when I am out and about from my laptop. It's temping to do everything from one computer, but if that computer fails, it's good to have something to fall back to. Speaking of cloud storage services ....
3. Consolidate all of your Cloud Services with Otixo. Sure you may use USB sticks, but it makes more sense to save that stuff to the cloud. I always recommend people choose one cloud service and stick with it, but in this day and age, most of you have multiple cloud services. Fear not. Now you can use Otixo to access all your cloud accounts in one place. Connect to cloud sources such as Amazon Cloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Search them all at once and drag and drop to move files between services.
4. Use Backup .... With Redundancy.
Yes, it's tempting to store your files with cloud storage services, but there isn't any redundancy. If your computer gets hit with Ransomware or if there is a glitch with OneDrive, Google Drive or iCloud and your files are deleted. You're screwed ... because there isn't a backup of the backup. The solution: Use Carbonite (www.carbonite.com) Carbonite backs your information to the cloud and keeps multiple copies of your files on servers across the globe. Something bad happens, your files can always be retrieved.
5. Eliminate Browser Distractions.
Every application and program has a plug in that will integrate with your desktop or laptop browser. While these are great at keeping you informed with changes in CRM software, Email and Social Media, they can always be a cause for distractions and can make your production drop to zero.
6. Use More Cloud Based Applications.
The cloud is a wonderful thing for those who work from home and remotely. The idea behind cloud based applications is the ability to stay productive wherever you go. When working from home, there will come a point in time when you just want a change in environment and decide to work in another location. Cloud based software makes this possible, because you don't have to worry about installing applications on each of your devices. Your work is just an internet connection and a web browser away.
7. Make Sure Your Work Area is Ergonomic.
Put simply, ergonomics is all about ensuring that the desk you put in the spare bedroom and that laptop you're using on the couch or at the desk isn't causing a strain on your body. If you can, get a comfortable chair and desk and even spring for an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Also, remember to take breaks from time to time to give your body a chance to heal after sitting for long periods of time at your desk.
If you have any questions about your technology and your devices, please feel free to contact us. Our friendly tech experts at Integral are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun.
If you enjoyed this story, please recommend and share to help others find it.
Technology Expert Burton Kelso
I'm the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. My job is to find the most interesting and useful topics to write about for our customers and readers. Let me know if there is any topic that you want to hear about.