The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has already made an impact on our daily lives. Many companies are beginning to institute remote work protocols to help prevent the potential spread of the pandemic in the U.S. and we’ve seen the cancellation or postponement of major events like NBA basketball games and Special Olympics Wisconsin.
While much of life is going on like usual, there’s much uncertainty on the horizon, especially when it comes to school closings or employers directing their staff to work from home.
Approximately 54% of U.S. workers work remotely at least once per month
Remote working has been on the rise even before the Coronavirus, with 30% of Americans working remotely full-time, and 54% telecommuting at least once per month.
One of the best things you can do in the interim of waiting to see what major life changes about to come next due to the outbreak is to prepare for the potential of having to telecommute, so you’ll be ready with what you need.
Luckily, today’s home networks and cloud solutions have made working from home much easier than even just a decade ago. But there are a few things you’ll need to ensure you can do it successfully.
Remote Work Technology Checklist
Big companies, like Apple, Microsoft, and Indeed have already begun having their employees work from home, and many small and mid-sized companies are making contingency plans for remote work if things get worse in their areas so they can protect employees.
You want to ensure you have what you need now to successfully telecommute from home so you’re not left without access to files that are on your work desktop or having trouble doing a video conference.
For some employees, telecommuting may be a career goal for them, so being ready and showing you can be as (or more) productive when working remotely, could help convince an employer to institute a permanent telecommuting policy.
Here are the types of technology and support you should have in place.
All PCs are not created equal. Whether you have a desktop or laptop, you need to have a PC that can handle the type of work you normally do for your job. Companies will typically buy business-grade computers, which may have more processing power than your home PC.
You don’t want to end up taking longer to do certain tasks because your personal computer doesn’t have enough memory or power to work in your business applications without lagging.
Here are two ways to fix an issue if your home PC isn’t quite ready to take over from a work PC:
- Ask your employer if you can use take your business PC home if remote work is instituted.
Get a PC tune-up, with potential upgrade of memory or an SSD, which can make a big difference in performance.
Computer Headset & Camera for Video Conferencing
One way that employers help keep their team connected and from feeling isolated when there are working from different locations is through video conferencing. This is also a way to meet with clients when you can’t meet in person.
Another reason you may need a headset is if your employer uses a VoIP phone system and you’re going to be answering customer calls.
Using a headset helps to cut down on any background noise. Most computers come with built-in video cameras these days, but if not, you’ll want to purchase a webcam. Video conferencing adds a personal touch that you just can’t get from phone only.
Cloud Team Applications
Cloud business applications are something your employer should be instituting to ensure their staff can access their work and files from a remote location. But, if you work for a smaller company, they may not have thought through the types of solutions they may need to keep your team connected and communicating.
Some potential software that can enable team communication are:
- Microsoft Teams
PC and Network Security
When you’re handling sensitive business data and transmitting it back and forth over your home network, you want to make sure you don’t end up with a data breach that could hurt your company.
Make sure you have things in place like an antivirus, web protection, and secure internet connection (i.e. don’t leave your Wi-Fi unlocked without a password).
One of the best ways that you can strengthen your internet and device security is through a Quantum Careplan, which provides you security, hardware and software maintenance, much needed remote support, and more!
A few other tips to set yourself up for a successful transition to working remotely are:
- Keep your same schedule, start/stop times, lunch, breaks, etc.
- Set up your “home office” away from main traffic areas of your house
- Call for remote tech support when you need it (it’s a real time-saver!)
- Communicate more than you did at the office, i.e. about when you’re on a break, what tasks you’re working on, etc.
Get Remote Support from the Pros at Quantum PC
Whether you’re working at the office or from home, Quantum PC is here for you! We can help you with a PC tune up, a set up of cloud solutions that will allow you to connect to your files from anywhere, and even log in remotely to fix an issue fast.
Contact Quantum PC today to see if you’re remote work ready. Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.