The transition to working remotely was an abrupt one and one that many companies and employees might not have been ready for.
Unfortunately, however, given the current circumstances, it was something that was necessary. Many people have a hard time adjusting to a work from home (WFM) lifestyle. People struggle with feelings of isolation, or maybe become more easily distracted. One of the biggest aids that people can rely on during this time is their technology, something that allows us to work efficiently and stay connected regardless of distance. Knowing how to get the most out of your technology will help you along this somewhat uncertain path, and in the end, make your life while working remotely much easier. Here are several tech tips to help ease you into the transition of working from home.
Make sure to stay connected
Working from home can often be stressful for people, as you are more isolated and have less face-to-face contact with your coworkers. Making sure that you are still able to interact with your coworkers and friends is not only an important factor in a rewarding workday, but is also helpful for the social connection that it brings. There are plenty of great video conferencing tools available, the most commonly talked about one being Zoom, that you can use to help keep everyone connected and mitigate the stress that social distancing can bring.
It’s also helpful to have some instant-messaging apps installed and ready to go. For the times where you don’t want to have a full-blown video call, these small and quick messages can offer a simpler yet effective solution. It’s also a great way to simulate those quick and spontaneous conversations that you have with your coworkers as you pass in the office, and can help it feel more like an office environment.
Social media is also a great way to stay connected with your coworkers and friends. Explore Top Left Design’s social media training to help harness the full power of your social media profiles. From staying in touch with people you already know to branching out and finding new followers and friends, social media platforms offer a unique opportunity that should be taken advantage of.
Keep your data safe
Working from home also poses several challenges in regards to data safety, a critical aspect that is often overlooked. With an unsecured connection, people can not only view and steal your important work-related information, but they can gain access to your personal data as well. In order to combat this, all companies of various sizes can utilise some type of security option; one that is commonly used is an SD-WAN solution. An SD-WAN, or Software-Defined Wide-Area Network, combines the security of a firewall with a quick and easy direct connection to the internet. Many vendors who sell similar products consult on the installation making it quick and easy.
During periods of greater confusion and uncertainty, “phishing” attempts become more common. Phishing is where someone stages themselves as an authoritative site or person, and attempts to trick you into giving them your personal information. This is most commonly done through emails that you receive or though suspicious and harmful files that you could download by mistake. There are several common ways to recognise a phishing email:
- The email contains a questionable link within it
- The address you receive the email from is very similar to one you recognise, but off by a very small detail, often a single letter or number.
- The email often stresses an “urgent” situation
Phishing attempts typically target very important personal data, like bank account passwords or social security numbers. It’s crucial that you are able to recognise phishing attempts and know how to handle them if you see them. Gmail offers an option to report the phishing email directly through their site, or you can report the attempt through the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an international group attempting to combat phishing attempts.
The cloud is your friend
The cloud refers to a place online where you can keep your data, and have access to it wherever you are. This is extremely helpful given the current environment for obvious reasons, but many people don’t take advantage of the flexibility that it offers. Learning to use the cloud can help you remain adaptable in challenging situations by allowing you to be versatile and have access to your information whenever and wherever.
Storing your data in the cloud means that you can easily access all business-essential data while remote. If it was stored on an office computer, you wouldn’t be able to access everything you needed, but by using the cloud, you can work from the park, at home, or wherever you find most convenient. In this case, the cloud acts like one large hard drive that you can access from anywhere. You can both upload and download files from the cloud, meaning that you can work on something at your home computer, upload it to the cloud, then work on it from the office without having to remember your computer or a storage device.
Making sure that you are taking full advantage of your technology can help you work efficiently and maintain a high level of productivity despite working from home. Video conferencing tools can help you maintain an effective level of communication among your coworkers and help you stay connected despite not being in the office. Keeping your work and personal data safe from outside threats can help you relax and put your mind at ease. Using the cloud allows you to be flexible in your work, and makes sure that you have access to all the information that you need to do your job. Try any or all of these suggestions to start getting your technology to work for you, and help you adjust to your remote work lifestyle.