Top tech tips for homeworkers.
Thanks to modern broadband and affordable computers, home working is becoming increasingly popular. Many of us have the option to work remotely and there are a growing numbers of freelancers and self-employed people who run their own businesses from a home office.
I caught up with Matt Powell from BroadbandGenie.co.uk, an independent broadband and mobile comparison site, to get some top tech tips to help those of us working from home.
Over to you Matt!
Choosing the right broadband service
For many home workers a regular home broadband package will suffice, but there are a couple of things to look out for which can make your life easier.
Upload speed may be more important if the connection is being used for work. If you’re going to be transferring files to clients or the computer in your office it will help to have a superfast fibre optic broadband service, which is capable of much greater upload rates than ADSL broadband. It’s probably best to avoid a package with a download limit, too. You might use a lot more data if the connection is functioning as a business link for eight hours a day and an unlimited package will avoid the issue of unexpected bills or service restrictions.
Harness the cloud
Cloud storage services can be extremely helpful for home workers.
Firstly, they make it very easy to work in multiple locations by keeping your important data stored on a server that can be accessed from anywhere. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive automatically synchronise data so there’s no worries about copying over the latest copy of your work.
They’re also excellent for safely backing up your files as the local copies are uploaded to a server. Many cloud storage services also offer the ability to access previous or deleted versions of files. Plus, if you want to back up a very large amount of data, services like BackBlaze or Crashplan provide unlimited storage for a low monthly fee.
Working from home means additional distractions you wouldn’t get in an office, and organisation is really important to stay on top of your workload.
But there are plenty of tools to help out here. For task tracking and organisation, Trello is a free service that makes it really easy to manage even the largest projects, and you can easily collaborate by inviting others to view and edit.
If you need to keep a close eye on the time you spend on each task, Toggl is a wonderfully simple time tracker. Just click when you start or finish and Toggl will make a note of the time spent, and provide the ability to tag the event and assign it to a project.
You shouldn’t neglect your health either. It’s easy to spend much longer in front of the computer when working at home, which is where the Chrome browser add-on eyeCare comes in, reminding you to take regular screen breaks. Another fantastic tool is F.lux, which adjusts the colour of your monitor according to the time of day. This helps to reduce eye strain and can improve your sleep by lowering the amount of blue light in the evening.
I’d love to know which of these you already use or if you can recommend something else that works for you – do share!
This is a guest post from BroadBand Genie