The changing world of work has opened up the possibility for more and more people to work remotely. Whether they’re traveling or have kids to look after, more and more businesses are accepting that their staff all have different responsibilities and routines that mean they can’t adhere to a 9-to-5 schedule.
Because of this, many businesses are equipping their staff with laptops to work on away from the office. The danger here is the potential for a lack of productivity. Laptops can be frustrating if you’re used to a certain standard of equipment and the home comforts of your desk. They don’t have to be though. Here are some tips to keep your standards high and stop you from taking out your anger on the poor machine.
1. A Mouse and Keyboard Work Wonders!
It’s almost too simple a solution. The most conventional and recognizable computer equipment shouldn’t have such an impact on productivity levels, especially after all the investment in finding tech solutions to solve dropping productivity levels. And yet, the simplest ideas often have the biggest impact.
Anyone who has worked remotely on a laptop knows the struggles of a trackpad. While this technology has improved, most companies aren’t going to set you up with a state-of-the-art model. It’s more likely you’re stuck with an old laptop with a stiff and awkward trackpad.
So much of what we do on a computer at work is based on muscle memory and repetition, and suddenly working on the cramped, keyboard-and-mouse-less conditions of a laptop can bring you to a full stop.
Invest in a mouse and keyboard that fit your work style. There’s no need to splash out, even the most basic models will make a huge difference to how you can work and sit at your desk, but ergonomic sets such as the kind Posturite produce can help reduce pain and discomfort while you work on top of avoiding that frustration.
2. Invest in Technology
Keyboards and mice are the only technologies that can improve your productivity and state of mind while working from a laptop. There are lots of little quality-of-life changes you can make to turn your basic laptop from a device you deal with to supercomputer.
A second screen is one of the best investments a remote worker can make. Sure, sometimes you want to work with your laptop in its namesake position while you’re on the couch, but your productivity and posture will improve if you’re sat at a desk from time to time.
When you are doing this, having a second screen to work from can make your workload more manageable and ease pressure on your eyes. No more straining your eyes as you try to work through data on the screen.
By having two screens you can also use two windows at once. If you’ve never tried this, it cannot be understated how much it improves your productivity and stops you from getting lost alt-tabbing through a sea of windows. All of this can be facilitated through the use of docking stations such as the kind StarTech provide, adaptable tech focused on retaining your productivity levels.
These examples just scratch the surface of what you can add to your machine to make it not only more powerful but adapted to your specific work style. From hard drives to external webcams there are peripherals in abundance to aid you when remote working.
3. Voice Command Software
Voice control is the trend in technology today. From Alexa’s to smart thermostats, we’re obsessed with talking to technology. This isn’t just a quirky way to make an order through Amazon, it’s a way to improve your work productivity.
If your laptop comes with voice control technology or your company has invested in the software, you can free up your hands from typing and focus on another project while you write or take notes.
This isn’t a solution for everyone, and only has its use in specific tasks, but voice control can be very useful for some people, especially those who struggle to type to the same accuracy or speed on a laptop.
4. Get the Most Out of Your Laptop Battery
Battery levels vary from laptop to laptop. Some manufacturers make it a main concern, while others will completely ignore it in favor of other features. If you’re unlucky, or your business isn’t laptop-savvy, you could end up with a top of the range device that won’t last more than a couple of hours without being on charge. This, obviously, isn’t conducive to working remotely, as people may want to move around the house or work in a coffee shop.
There are a lot of ways you can maximize your battery performance though. Try reducing the screen to a lower brightness, although not to an extent where you’re straining to see what’s on the screen. Close programs you aren’t using and ones that require a high battery performance. Become a battery watcher, always cautious of poor performance.
Nothing is more frustrating when you’re working from a laptop than sitting down in the coffee shop and opening it up to find it’s dead. Learn how to game your battery and you’ll find yourself becoming more productive without even noticing.
There’s no reason remote working on a laptop has to be a frustrating or an unproductive experience. You may not be in the office with your usual machine or your preferred setup, but there are lots of things you can do to replicate those conditions and make your machine more powerful and functional than it has any right to be.