Working from home is something more of us are becoming familiar with – and the tech set-up you have can make a big difference to how connected and productive you are.
So, if you’ve got your computer, phone and internet connection, what else do you need to work well remotely?
Of course, you’ll probably already have the basic devices you need to work remotely, such as:
- a fast and reliable internet connection (usually 3-5 megabits)
- a computer
- your phone
- web cam (this may be built in to a laptop)
- headset or earbuds.
You may also want to think about getting a surge protector to ensure your devices are protected from any voltage spikes. Don’t forget to ensure your anti-virus software is up to date and that your devices have the latest software updates installed.
Technology to help you work remotely
There are more communication tools than ever to help you feel connected and part of team when you’re working from home.
- Task-management apps
Instant messaging apps like Slack are also a great way to keep in touch with colleagues and keep the team spirit alive while you’re not seeing people face to face. In some ways, these apps become like an online staff room or water cooler.
- Video calling
When you can’t see your colleagues in person, video calling or conferencing technology can keep you connected. Programs like Zoom allow you to easily call your peers to check in, conduct meetings or share what you’ve been working on, and being able to share your own computer screen is a handy feature.
- Online documents
Wading through long email threads or trying to keep track of different versions of a document? Web-based versions of word processors, spreadsheets and presentations can make things much easier. Options such as Google Docs, Google Sheets and Dropbox Paper let multiple users share and edit documents in real time and communicate, too.
Technology to help you connect, have fun and stay sane
While working remotely can increase your productivity, the isolation can mean your days lack the colour and fun a busy workplace can offer. Here are some ways to inject it:
- Set up a music playlist
Plenty of us listen to music while we work, so why not create a team playlist where everyone can add a few favourite songs? Who knows, you may even find a working from home team anthem.
- Virtual catch ups
It might not be the same as heading out to a local café together, but organising a collective Zoom call so your team can have morning tea together (or Friday afternoon drinks), can really help maintain social connection and boost morale.
- Create polls
If you’re in a traditional workplace, every day you tend to discover new things about the people you work with. But when you’re working at home, you don’t have as many of these opportunities. Think about running a fun poll on Slack or using an online quiz game like QuizBreaker to help your team connect and bond.
If you operate solo, see if you could start up a network with friends, professional connections or others in your industry to try some of the above ways to stay social.
With great options out there, it’s pretty easy to get set up with the technology you need to work remotely. And even better, there are so many ways to use technology so you stay motivated, connected and positive as part of your working day at home.