The COVID-19 pandemic has represented a wake-up call for many companies to adopt remote working. While some organizations have gone fully remote, others have opted for various hybrid work environments. At present, a growing number of enterprises are offering remote opportunities, letting some or all of their employees work from home permanently. With more team members collaborating at a distance, technology is of the essence. Technology makes it possible to work more efficiently, so it’s an invaluable asset to the development of businesses. Companies use remote desktops, mobile devices, and collaboration suites.
Working from home poses both challenges and opportunities. The flexibility to work outside of the traditional office environment fosters wellbeing, but doesn’t necessarily contribute to productivity. With the WFH trend set to continue, it’s never been more important to stay productive. Technology can do the heavy lifting for you and allow you to focus on core business tasks. Technology can be a distraction or a tool for productivity. It all depends on how you use it. Technology can make your home office more streamlined and efficient.
If you’re curious to know how technology can help you be more productive when working from home, take a look at these powerful tools.
1. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
One way you can increase productivity while telecommuting is by using a virtual private network. Not only does it protect you from unnecessary exposure to cybercriminals, but it also allows you to bypass geo-blocks and censorship. Several websites and services are blocked based on the physical location of the user. Not being able to access a certain resource can negatively affect your productivity. You can work more productively knowing that your connection is secure whether you’re at home or you’re having a cup of Joe in your favorite café.
The VPN protects your data as you interact with apps and web properties over the Internet. File sharing becomes more convenient, although the process requires a large bandwidth. Your device and the network are encrypted. The VPN eliminates the need for a central data transfer server. This basically means that computer users exchange data instead of having separate computers. When working from home, you create, edit, and update data. As a result, you need to connect to the work network to access files remotely. The VPN establishes a secure point-to-point tunnel through the Internet.
2. Video Conferencing Software
An online meeting is better than an email. You can speak with colleagues face-to-face to build meaningful relationships. While written communication is essential, it’s up for interpretation. Misinterpreting only leads to disagreements in teams. Rather than wasting a great amount of time on an email, you should better connect to a video conferencing app from your laptop. You can say what you have to say in less time than it takes to respond to an email. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, get the team together on a group call and work using the Pomodoro method.
Virtual team building is a crucial aspect of remote work. It creates deep bonds, similar to an in-office setting. Team building activities for conference calls include Can you hear me now?, Bingo, and rapid-fire questions. When it comes to virtual meetings, norms around appearance don’t apply anymore. Of course, you shouldn’t put on your worn PJs to a Zoom call. According to This Is J, with some minor style adjustments, you can wear any one of your loungewear sets to a virtual meeting. You’ll look a little put together. It doesn’t take much to make a simple outfit look more stylish.
3. Cloud Technology
The cloud is the backbone of working from home. All your work-related activities are automatically backed up to the server. Service providers tend to operate on a shared responsibility model where the cloud provider is responsible for the overall security of the platform. There are many benefits to saving your files in the cloud, including but not limited to decluttering your computer, having access to your files no matter what happens (e.g., loss of your device), and protecting sensitive data. The cloud is only going to grow and get more advanced, so don’t waste any more time and sign up for an account.
4. Virtual To-Do List
At times, you must go back to certain tasks and fix them simply because you didn’t have time to focus on them sufficiently. This can be avoided if you use a to-do list. It will help you prioritize important tasks, so you won’t forget anything important. A to-do list can even be used for time management as you can see what requires your immediate attention and what you can leave until later. Even if you’re telecommuting, you won’t have a hard time managing projects. If you prefer a more visual approach, there are plenty of drag-and-drop apps to help you.
You need more than one to-do list. Have lists that cover the major categories of your work. Unlike a written to-do list, you can’t lose a virtual to-do list. The items on your to-do list should be specific, measurable, achievable, and time-based. When your goals and the to-do list work in harmony, you can transform your life into a flow experience. Make sure to set dates, reminders, and notifications to power up your to-do list. This will keep you and your projects on track. When getting the job done, you have to be as efficient as possible.
5. Time-Tracking Software
When you work remotely, you go back and forth between work and personal life. You put in more hours than normal to give the appearance of being productive. As a home worker, you’re at an increased risk of burnout. Trying to squeeze in more work is counterproductive, not to mention detrimental to your wellbeing. Time-tracking software can help you stick to your contracted hours. It ensures you don’t work beyond what’s required. Burnout can come with severe consequences and disrupt the smooth functioning of the team. If you want to work overtime and make more money, document everything. This way, you’ll receive payment for your work.