The internet and technology continue to allow more and more people to work from home. This creates obvious efficiencies such as eliminating commute time and fuel costs, as well as eliminating the need to find office space for employees that work from home. However, those who have worked from home will attest that eliminating your commute does not automatically translate into an efficient working environment.
There are many obvious ways to encourage efficiency when working from home, including the need to set physical office boundaries as well as boundaries for the time you spend “at work”. There are myriad articles across the internet touching on these efficiencies. Instead, here are 5 tips involving the latest conference room technologies, wireless presentation, and collaboration tools, and that will go a long way to improving your efficiency.
- Enable Calendar Sharing with Colleagues. When you choose to work remotely, it can be very easy to lose touch with what is going on around you. If you work with others on a team who are not physically located in the same place, it becomes even more important to share your calendar. There are many free and paid services (including google) that allow you to see your coworker’s schedules, and allow them to see yours. This makes collaboration so much more efficient by allowing you to see at a glance when a colleague is available for a meeting or to help out on a project.
- Learn to Master Wireless Presentation and Screen Sharing Technology. Remote meetings are pretty much unavoidable when working from home. This is where Ubiq comes to play, we are soon coming out with remote presentation where you can access a presentation from any location. This makes working from home so much easier rather than physically being in meetings. Emails and phone conferences are probably a big part of the day. Some jobs require you to present complex ideas over the phone or through online meetings. Taking the time to learn features and functions of your chosen presentation technology will help you relay your ideas more efficiently. If you can learn to create short, succinct presentations via PowerPoint, video, or by just sharing your screen, you will find it easier to make the sell, or to relay your ideas.
- BROADBAND! This probably goes without saying, but if you work from home, make sure you have the best internet service that you can afford. This is probably the most important tool you have. Nothing kills efficiency like waiting for a page to load, or losing a connection during an important online presentation.
- Invest in the Right Headset, or Microphone and Speakers. If you do spend a lot of time in online meetings, you will want to invest in the right audio visual setup. Just like having the right conference room technology in a physical office, your computer, wireless presentation equipment, and internet connection ARE your conference room. Having the right headset, or microphone will increase the efficiency of your meetings by eliminating disturbing background noise, and other distractions that require you to repeat yourself.
- Consider using apps that track activities and/or manage team projects. There are many online collaboration applications that allow you to segment any project into smaller portions that can be completed by different individuals and then show the combined results in one central location. Many of these applications also provide internal messaging systems for communication back and forth between team members. Constantly updated project information will decrease lag time waiting for replies to emails, or returning phone calls. Everybody’s work is there for all to see in real time.