It’s no secret that technology has been making life easier over the last couple of decades, with loads of people around the world embracing the tools the digital field has to offer. When it comes to business, it’s practically impossible to get things done without computers, phones, and other devices. As someone working from home, you probably rely on things like this, too. Figuring out exactly what you should be using isn’t always an easy challenge to overcome, though. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the key tech you’ll be needing if you want to work from home, giving you the chance to get started.
Your computer is the most important tool you have, and it can handle the bulk of your work on its own. These machines have been developed very rapidly over the last couple of decades, with faster components and better features coming out all the time. As a big part of this, older machines usually won’t cut it in the modern age, with their parts lacking functionality and operating slowly. This makes it worth avoiding the secondhand market unless you know a thing or two about computers. It can be very easy to buy something which will make you work very hard, especially if it isn’t prepared properly for you.
The first choice you will have to make will be the form factor of your machine. A lot of people go for laptops, and loads of people like to use desktops, giving you a host of options to choose from. If your business means spending a lot of time out of the house, a laptop can prove to be invaluable, giving you the chance to move your office around with you. You will often have to pay a little bit more for the convenience, and this won’t always be worth it for those who spend most of their working day at home. Laptop hardware simply won’t perform like it will in a desktop, and this makes it worth looking up actual benchmarks for each of the devices in your price range to determine their value.
Once you’ve got an idea of the form factor you’d like to go for, you can start to think about the type of system you’d like to use. Windows is the most popular operating system out there, and this means that most people are used to it. Alternatively, though, a lot of people will also like to use Mac OS or Linux. You can’t buy many machines running Linux, and it’s compatibility isn’t great for inexperienced users, making it worth avoiding unless you want to do some learning. Mac OS ties you down to an Apple computer, but is far more recognised, providing great features for those working in creative fields.
When it comes to choosing the device you’ll be using, it’s always worth reading some reviews. Computers have started to come in loads of shapes and sizes, resulting in huge performance differences between options with the same hardware inside them. Along with this, some products simply don’t give you as much for you money. Most companies only need to have basic machines to be able to handle their work. If you do anything more challenging, though, it could be worth looking at some workstations.
The Internet & Phone
Communication is crucial when you’re working from the comfort of your living room. The people you work with will want to stay in constant talks to make sure that work is going smoothly, and this means that you will need to have the right tools available to do it. Email has become the preferred option for most companies, taking over the world when it comes to keeping busy people in touch. Instant messenger and voice calls are also popular, providing quick and easy ways to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Without a good internet connection and a phone, you would struggle to get anything done.
Finding a speedy network connection isn’t too difficult, nowadays. There are loads of companies out there which offer high-speed broadband, making it easy to find fast internet in your area, and most of them can provide the numbers which they advertise, but a good connection is more than the transfer rates. Along with this, you also need to think about up-time. Unlike normal home customers, you can’t risk being without the Internet during your working hours. This makes it well worth looking for a provider with a history of good service, ensuring that you’re never left without one of the most important tools you have.
Along with a solid internet connection, you will also need to think about the phone you use for your work. A lot of people opt for a landline for this, as this will make it look more professional than a cell phone number, but this isn’t always the best route to take. There are loads of companies out there which can offer special business phone numbers which come on a normal sim card. This makes it possible to use a smartphone, enabling you to travel while still handling important work. A lot of people don’t realise that they can make their home working so mobile, especially when it comes to things like phones.
Before you can get to work with your computer and internet connection, it will be important to think about the software you will be using for your work. There are loads of tools our there which are designed to make life easier when you’re working from home, and you might have no choice when it comes to some of the programs out there. Below, you can find a list of some of the most popular options used by home workers. With this in mind, it will always be worth reading some reviews before you buy into software, as everyone will prefer slightly different ways of working.
Office Software: One of the key areas which has made Microsoft so popular over the years has been the Office software which they produce. Enabling users to create documents of all different varieties, tools like this have become essential over the last couple of years, and you have more options than ever before. Office 365 and G Suite are the most popular, and they both give you the opportunity to access you work from any computer. This is a great way to handle a couple of different jobs with the same tool.
Accounting: Not everyone who works from home is working for themselves, but it is still always worth keeping track of your finances. For this, modern accounting software is the very best choice, with a huge range of competing applications for you to pick between. Of course, though, if you want to get the most of this, you will need to do some research for yourself. When you have so many choices like this, you can start to make your choices based on things like their UIs and ease of use.
Specialist Tools: Depending on the type of work which you do, there could be a host of other pieces of software which you will need. For example, a lot of designers like to make use of many of the tools from the Adobe Suite. You don’t have much choice here, and will have to spring for the real thing if you want to get the best results, with free and open source offerings only scratching the surface of what the professional software can do. This is always worth it when you have an important job to do.
Making It Work Together
Technology isn’t always the easiest field to understand. With things moving so rapidly, information being confusing, and loads of people being put off of the idea of learning about it, it’s easy to see why it can be such a challenge. Of course, though, if you want to use these tools effectively, you’re going to have to learn about them, and this could take more than simply browsing around the web. Websites like Lynda have been working for years to create resources to help people with skills like this. Making learning cost-effective, it’s always worth looking at routes like this when you need to educate yourself.
Some people might not have the time to learn about computers, and others will probably find the field to boring to sink their time into. In this case, you may not feel like you’re able to throw yourself into it. Instead, to make it easier, you could look at the idea of hiring someone to give you advice. There are loads of companies and freelancers out there with the knowledge and skills to build an easy home working system for your space. Of course, though, you will have to pay for this kind of service.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of choosing the technology you use to make your home working situation easier to manage. A lot of people struggle when they are in this position, finding it hard to know how to handle this side of their life.