Coronavirus: What you need to work from home
Due to recent events for people to stay at home from the Prime Minister, many employees and businesses have to change their normal routine. Many workers are still able to attend their career physically, but for a lot of people this means they must work from home.
The first thing to cover
One of the first obstacles to overcome is getting hold of a machine. If you have a laptop or a home computer – Great! If not – you will definitely need to invest in a computer for your home office. There are many different types of specifications so you need to make sure it will be able to handle your requirements! A 12 Inch – 14 Inch screen has the best balance between display and portability, although if it isn’t going to leave the house then a larger screen would work great.
Spending around £500 – £600, it’s best to go for these minimum requirements to ensure that your laptop will not hold you back. A Core i5 CPU, with 8GB of RAM, 1080p display and SSD storage is the ideal machine for regular use. If you are using heavier programs or work with graphics, you may need something with a graphics card to handle your workload. Be sure to do your research before buying!
Aside from the computer itself, there are a couple more things to own which are essential for some users. A wireless mouse and keyboard will provide you with much more accessibility when typing. For instance, many recent laptops – due to their size, are not manufactured with a number pad. For some users, this is a must have and it can certainly increase your ease of use. Most standard size wireless/USB keyboards will come with a number pad if you require it. Additionally, a wireless/USB mouse will be far easier to use than the track pad on the laptop, though this does come down to personal preference.
Anyone who spends their day working at their PC, staring at a monitor for hours on end, would know that having a display of the highest quality is extremely important as it needs to be comfortable and safe to use. And, the best business monitors satisfy this need. Look for monitors that have height and tilt adjustments to give you the optimum reading position. IPS display technology gives you excellent viewing angles and colour reproduction.
So you’ve got yourself a new laptop. But how do you access all of your programs, data etc? Luckily, there are free solutions for remote connections that are very simple to setup! TeamViewer is ideal due to being so quick and simple to setup. Once it’s downloaded for free (On both of the machines) all you will need is the ID and Password from the Host machine which you are connecting to. From there you can simply enter those details into the TeamViewer client on your home machine and away you go! Be sure to change the Windows power settings if nobody will be in the office for a longer period of time. This will ensure that the computer doesn’t switch off and leave you without access!
Another crucial requirement for working from home is a stable and capable internet connection. Remote software requires fairly strong connection in order to work reliably, not to mention downloads, audio conferences etc. You can test your own connection speed by going to https://www.speedtest.net/ . It is best to connect to the router using an ethernet cable for an accurate reading. For standard tasks such as Emails, remote software and group video calls, 10+ Mbps is recommended. If you are a user who will need to download a lot or perform large file transfers regularly, 40+ Mbps is recommended. Finding a good provider comes down to looking for the best money to speed ratio. You will also need a reliable provider which is best in the top internet providers such as Sky, Virgin Media or Plusnet.
Once you have your connection set up at home, it is important to think about wireless coverage. Wi-Fi transmissions only transmit so far, and generally people should aim to keep the router in a central location of the home. This is because you do not want a great percentage of your wireless coverage being wasted outside. It is also important to position the router away from any other electronics or large metal objects that could potentially disrupt the signal. If you have a large home, you may need to extend your area of wireless coverage. This is best to do with devices like range extenders. You can plug the device into the mains electricity inside the wireless coverage area for it to further extend the range of your Wi-Fi signal in that area.
One of the very common IT questions asked today is “Do I really need Antivirus”. This is due to the fact that Windows 10 comes with “Defender” – an on board, basic Antivirus. The fact is, there are better solutions for Antivirus than sticking with Windows Defender. Bitdefender is a great alternative Antivirus service. This software will offer you a higher level of security meaning better protection from Malware, Spyware, Worms etc. The software offers many enhanced-security features that will take care of these for you, such as Anti-Phishing, Secure browsing, Webcam Protection, Safe Files and many more.
It is just as important to maintain the latest operating system on your machine for your security. Always make sure to complete Windows / MacOS updates where possible as running older versions will make you more vulnerable!
If you still require any further support with queries such as working from home, you can always call us on 01335 81 80 81 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.