Employees suddenly switching to working from home may not have all the technology they need. Discover tech tools that can optimize your job performance.
As the coronavirus forces companies to halt on-site operations, increasing numbers of employees are working from home. People who are new to working remotely may not have all the tools they need to perform their jobs optimally. Here are some technology “must-haves” for employers and their teams who are new to working from home.
Using laptop keyboards and trackpads can become tedious. When spending hours at your desk, you will appreciate an ergonomically-designed keyboard and mouse that won’t give your wrists and hands a workout. Wireless options mean you don’t have to deal with the constraints of cords and making sure you have enough power sources to plug everything in.
Your home may not have the extensive connective capabilities you enjoy at the office. It’s incredibly frustrating to conduct online meetings, research, and other Web-based tasks when you have a wavering connection. If you’re tied down by an ethernet cable or a weak wireless signal, consider upgrading your connective capabilities. You can invest in a router that covers your entire home to give you more flexibility in setting up your workspace. You may also want to opt for faster Internet.
If you share your home with children, pets, or other family members, they may have difficulty understanding that even though you’re at home, you’re still working. Noise-canceling headphones can help you tune out distractions when you need to focus. When you are holding online meetings, a quality headset can improve sound quality, too. If you are connecting with colleagues on multiple devices, you can find versatile headphones that connect to computers, smartphones, and tablets.
If noise-canceling headphones aren’t a practical option for you, investing in a quality speaker can help you tune out background noise without taking you completely out of reach if your family needs your attention.
When employees who are used to working together in relatively close proximity must suddenly shift to remote work, they need access to platforms that allow them to connect virtually. CBS News reports that 96% of businesses participate in virtual meetings. Companies that have already been using technologies, such as VoIP and chat, may want to adopt new tools that allow team members to connect almost as if they were face-to-face. Younger workers, especially, are capitalizing on the video capabilities of platforms such as Zoom and Skype, as they more closely simulate in-person interactions. Features such as screen-sharing enable colleagues to share information in real time effectively.
Methods for managing and coordinating tasks can suddenly be upended when your workers must disperse to carry out their roles from home. Virtual task-management tools can minimize the need for meetings and can reduce phone calls and email traffic. Virtual task-management enables teams to create an online to-do list essentially, gage their progress (without micromanaging), hold each other accountable, and check off completed tasks. This easily keeps everyone on the same page about what needs to be done.
When shifting from an on-site to a remote work setup, companies are likely to experience a few glitches here and there. Providing employee-engagement tools can help them seamlessly obtain feedback from their team about areas that need improvement. Furthermore, employers can more readily track employee performance, as they can recognize problems, such as workflow disruptions, early, before they become serious bottlenecks.
In 2019, 4.3 million US employees engaged in some form of remote work. In light of the recent pandemic, that number is rapidly on the rise. Finding technology solutions for a remote workforce can seem overwhelming, but it’s increasingly becoming the norm. With the right tools, companies and their staff can make the transition as stress-free as possible. Incorporating helpful technology and partnering with a reputable IT company allow you to continue business as usual, even when the circumstances are unusual.