Never before has the global business population been asked to universally work from home. But that day has come, and home we will work. As dedicated professionals across every field, suddenly we are faced with the challenge of connecting with our teams and doing our work, each remotely from the safety of our own homes.
Fortunately, we've never been better equipped. The hardware, software, and internet infrastructure necessary to accomplish this incredible task is all available. And in the midst of this global health crisis, many of the providers are offering the necessary technology at a steep discount for all those who suddenly need at-home work technology for the first time in your careers.
If you're looking at a laptop a mostly unused desk wondering where to get started, we're here to help. Here's a quick list of the technology every professional needs to work from home successfully.
1) Your Computer
Naturally, it all starts with your computer. Most tablets and phones are both too small and not powerful enough to handle a full load of work tasks. But if you need to order a home computer, you can probably keep in touch and take care of some things on a powerful mobile device. Make sure your home computer, laptop or desktop, has the resources (memory, RAM, and graphics) necessary to perform your work tasks.
2) Comfortable Devices
Even if you have an all-in-one laptop, take it from remote work veterans: It helps to have a separate mouse and keyboard. This allows you to customize your ergonomic situation and can help prevent the laptop-hunch. You're about to be spending a lot of time with your work-at-home setup. Give yourself a better chance with comfortable equipment.
3) High-Speed Internet
Many households need just enough internet to check email, browse social media, and maybe watch a little TV in the evenings. But suddenly your workload is on your home internet bandwidth and your service may not be enough. Many nation-wide and local internet providers are offering smaller high-speed packages for free to those currently working from home, so an upgrade may be more affordable than you realize.
4) Cloud Storage
The best way to share documents and projects with a remote team is through the cloud. Sharing a cloud storage server allows all of you to edit documents live and work together without having to download/upload and become asynchronous with local copies instead.
5) Communication Software
Communication is key to working from home. You must maintain constant communication with your team and the business structure to stay productive. That's where communication software comes in. A high-powered communications platform can include video calls, conferencing, presentations, chat, messages, and even e-learning features. There are many available. Be sure to choose one designed for business use, not jus casual calls.
6) Collaboration Software
Collaboration software is different, though it can be wrapped into the same platform. Collaboration software allows you and your team to work on the same projects together and often tracks who makes what changes through refined version control. There are many basic collaboration platforms, and a few industry-specific platforms for businesses with a specialized workflow.
7) Scheduling Tools
The last technology many professionals need working from home is self-scheduling tools. Using apps and online tools to help you map your progress and track your time can really help to maintain focus. Working from home, it's easy to get distracted by the all-too-familiar environment. Not to mention the enjoyable presence of your family who are also home to stay safe from the pandemic. Scheduling yourself and tracking your tasks will keep you on-point and coordinated with your team.