To go with the last blog, I wanted to talk about another aspect of remote work. A couple of tips and tricks to help adapt to our new “normal.” Some of our technical tools that are available for you to utilize during this time.
As a reminder, I’ve been working remotely over twelve years both as an employee and as a business owner. I’m a certified records manager and have done a lot of online software training, so I’m very comfortable with being able to teach and work over the internet and over a remote session. In addition to being a trainer and doing a lot of that over the internet, I’ve also presented helpful webinars to business owners who are wanting to talk about their services or products as well. Over the years, I’ve gone through different platforms either as someone who utilizes them from the presenter perspective or as someone joining different platforms because my clients may have them such as: Webex, Zoom, Teams, and Easy Webinar.
Once you have your business office in place, you’ll want to take into consideration some of the tools that will allow you to keep working remotely.
Virtual Meeting Software
Recently, I used Zoom. Other platforms that people use are Microsoft Teams or Webex. There are multiple different software options available.
Stable Internet Connection
If you don’t have the internet at home, hooking up a stable internet connection may be important. If you are having issues with the connection, some things that people have done include making sure to connect directly into your internet versus having wifi. And if you’re finding that your wifi is starting to not work as well, you may want to try that.
Upgraded Wifi System
Because many people are using lots of different internet-connected tools nowadays if you’re trying to conduct business from home as well as use your wifi for any of the other items; like if you have an Alexa at home, iPads, iPhones, different types of gadgets, you may have to upgrade your wifi like we did. Doing that allows you to delegate and put your business computer versus your kids’ iPads under higher priority. If you’re in a meeting and it starts sputtering and whatnot, that might be something to keep in mind if you haven’t upgraded your wifi in the last two years.
A webcam is also something that you’ll want to consider. There are many computers that already have a built-in one. If that works for you, that’s awesome. For others who may be doing a lot more training and whatnot on your computer, you may want to invest in a webcam. I use a Logitech one that’s basically just a USB connected into your computer. Use what you can and then as needed, if you think things need to get upgraded, you can always add-on.
Additionally, you may want to consider headphones or a microphone. If your built-in microphone or speakers on your computer are not working very well what you may want to do is invest in a headset. I tend to use the one that’s just in my laptop but if you find that you need to get a headset, you can invest in something like that. Especially if you have multiple people you want to be able to focus. Use a headset or a microphone in order to get better quality.
Look into getting remote access to your documents, databases, and software. For those who have been used to conducting business within an office, this might be a challenge because you don’t have access to your paper documents, paper files, and things as you did in-person. What I’m finding is many people who have already invested in a document management system or a virtual document sharing system have been able to continue in their business quicker than other organizations. For example, some of my clients are using Dropbox For Business. There are other kinds of platforms as well where you can share information between your different office workers and teams. Others are using some of the features that are embedded in Microsoft Office, like OneDrive. Still others may already have a document management system where some tweaks may be necessary from your IT team to allow people to have remote access to those systems so you can file away documents, access documents, and continue to manage your business from home offices.
There are many options available for audio and video conferencing out there. One of the main ones that people have used is Skype for Business which has a free download that’s available. For those who are using Facebook, there’s Facebook Messenger which includes a video component, so you can actually do calls and videos face-to-face with your clients. Then, there’s Zoom. There is a free version of Zoom. There is GoToMeeting. Both Zoom and GoToMeeting have webinar support so you can definitely use those as a part of your virtual meeting tools. There’s a TeamViewer that’s available for screen sharing and audio and video conferencing. Microsoft Teams. If you are already using Office365, you probably already have Microsoft Teams as well. It allows you to do Instant Messaging, video conferences, and audio calls as well. You can also do recordings.
Again, you’ll want to look at security with any of these. You want to understand the different bells and whistles that come with each platform.
These are just some of the tools to consider to continue working on your business during this new “normal.”