5 Essential Technologies for Effective Remote Working

Whether through necessity or choice, more and more people are working from home. While at first, this might appear to be as simple as plugging in a laptop and having a cellphone nearby, the reality is that it takes more than that to be able to work from home effectively. It can be difficult to stay motivated and productive when working from home, particularly if you are balancing family commitments at the same time. It can also be hard to stay connected to your colleagues if you do not have the right equipment at hand. Here are five essential technologies that all remote workers should have at their disposal.

1. Laptop and accessories

You need your laptop, of course, but you should also consider other pieces of hardware for your home office environment. For example, it is often much easier to work on complex projects with multiple tabs when you have a second monitor. You should also have a headset so you can take calls efficiently and an ergonomic mouse mat to prevent your wrist from developing repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Note: While not technically technology, it is also important to invest in a comfortable and supportive work chair to prevent back injuries.

2. High-quality Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is obviously essential, but you may find that your domestic Wi-Fi speed is not enough for your work needs. To ensure you can attend virtual meetings and work without interruption or delays, consider upgrading to a more reliable, secure, and faster connection. You might also want to consider adaptive Wi-Fi, which will automatically allocate bandwidth depending on which devices require the most.

3. Virtual meeting platforms

The virtual meeting is here to stay. Emails and phone calls are fine, but sometimes only a ‘face to face’ meeting will do. There are lots of examples of video calling software to consider, but all will enable you to connect with colleagues, clients, and customers wherever you are in the world.

4. Communication and collaboration software

Of course, it is not always necessary to arrange a virtual meeting or type out an email, as often you want to be able to communicate succinctly and quickly with colleagues when collaborating on projects. This is where instant chat tools, collaboration, and project management software come into their own. The best platforms enable you to chat privately with one colleague or in groups/teams. Working from home with software like CoAmplifi enables you to share and edit documents in real-time, track your progress, and stay on top of multiple projects at once.

5. Digital/voice-activated assistant

Digital assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Echo are often thought of as a domestic product, but they have the potential to support home working as well. You can tell a digital assistant to make a call, send an email, take notes, and check facts on the internet while carrying on with another task or making a coffee. Used as multitasking tools, digital assistants can significantly improve efficiency and productivity. Click here to find out which is the best digital assistant product on the market.

Can you run a Background Check on Your Neighbor

Sometimes, we know precious little about the people living right next door. In fact, we know only what our neighbors have told us about themselves. For decades, it’s been commonplace to share a building with virtual strangers. We often don’t even know our neighbors’ names.

Needless to say, there are certain risks that go with this. You don’t have to take them because the majority of background check sites are quite easy to use. Providers like CheckPeople.com can help you find the information you need to put your mind at ease.  

When to Check Criminal History

You might choose to delve into the possibility of your neighbor’s having a criminal background in certain situations. We outline some of these below. 

  • Their behavior is erratic, indicating the possibility of addiction
  • You feel like they’re watching you come and go
  • They avoid other neighbors, including you
  • They have a lot of visitors at night, even if there’s little noise
  • They make your child or spouse feel anxious
  • You’ll need them to babysit or do odd jobs for you around the house

How to Run a Criminal Background Check

As criminal records are public, it’s not hard to obtain them at all. Doing research is a great way to stop feeling uneasy about a neighbor’s questionable behavior. Hopefully, you’ll unearth a clean record and feel safer in your home and in the neighborhood. But will research violate their privacy? You obviously don’t want problems with the law. 

To put your mind at ease: getting a neighbor’s criminal records is perfectly legal because they’re not considered private data. They’re not like ID and credit information, which you need the subject’s consent to check.

Getting Your Questions Answered

Online background checks reveal information from a large variety of sources, including town census data, records within sex offender registries, property ownership records, court records, professional license details, and more. Typically, background checks yield information about past addresses, business information, former names, names and addresses of next of kin, workplace and occupation, age, and registered or owned boats or other recreational vehicles. You will also find social network information or even news if your neighbor has received coverage for whatever reason.

How Much Information do You Need to Run a Check?

You don’t need more than their address and last name. People are often able to do criminal background checks and arrive at comprehensive, in-depth results just using a person’s address. If you have their number, you can do a reverse phone number search to find out more about them. Your best bet, however, is obtaining their full name, social security number, and birthdate.

Apart from their personal details, you might find information about their landlord, and their workplace, which will be very helpful should an issue arise, especially one that must be attended to urgently.

What Will You Find Out?

A rudimentary background check will yield enough information to get a general idea of what your neighbor is like. Filling in the gaps is your right and responsibility. You might find out that your neighbor is a lawyer with a lot of assets, but that doesn’t give you an insight into his character. That’s not even enough to know if he owns the cars parked out front.

The information might indicate certain patterns. You might unearth a history of financial problems, a series of failed marriages, or a lot of short-term past addresses. Links to social media accounts could provide additional information and clues, such as schools he went to, photos of activities, or people he associates with.

How to Protect Yourself

There are ways you can protect yourself if you find they have a criminal record. You could call the police if you believe or are sure they’re doing something illegal. Your family and home’s safety is most important in this situation, so you need to do what you need to do to protect them. Unless your rental agreement or homeowner bylaws stipulate it, you cannot force your neighbor to move.

Today, our neighbors’ identities are shrouded in mist. That lack of familiarity can lead to false assumptions and apprehension with regard to common issues like landscaping, noise, parking, and personal appearance. Instead of trying to stifle your unease, do what you can to get more information about your neighbor. You have every right to do so.

Effective Apps That Will Help Workers Monitor How Healthy They Are

It’s not enough to keep your employees happy with a good salary and amazing benefits. It’s also a must that you ensure that they are working under the best conditions possible and that they are always in good shape. A lot of companies tend to forget to manage their employee’s health but luckily, some apps are able to help those companies out.

If companies are going to make key changes in their work environment, then one of those should be with regards to employee health. Aside from offering good insurance and healthcare plans, companies can also try using a selection of health and wellness apps to keep in touch with their employee’s well-being.

Specialized Tracking Apps

Some industries should have better safety precautions than others such as the healthcare industry. Employee health in the sector is an even bigger priority now with the pandemic still active. Specialized tracking apps cater to the health monitoring needs of certain industries which is a must nowadays.

For hospitals and medical institutions, such apps are crucial to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. At the same time, these apps help healthcare workers continue on with their job of treating the infected. These apps come with symptom monitoring features that make it easier for management to detect if something’s amidst.

Fitness Trackers

The best cure will always be prevention. In this light, companies should invest in organizational fitness trackers. These function similarly to any other fitness trackers. They take note of calorie intake, calorie loss, heart rate, and a few other crucial metrics on a deeper scale. Some apps even allow workers to manage their dieting habits.

Fitness trackers are a great way to boost one’s overall health and heart health. Employees don’t always have the time to work out and keep track of their health. You can encourage your employees to try out fitness trackers by giving them subscriptions to the top options on the market.

Fitness trackers usually go well with smartwatches. It might be a great idea to invest in these gadgets as well.

Mental Health Focused Apps

Health isn’t just about the physical aspects of the body. It’s also about mental health. Employees go through stress and fatigue on a daily basis. Poor mental health makes it harder for them to focus on work and become more productive. This is especially the case now considering that people also have the pandemic to worry about.

Mental health apps can help your employees effectively manage the other spectrum of one’s well-being. Aside from giving your employees access to mind relaxing puzzles, audio,  and self-help guides, these mental health apps can also check in on your employees regularly if they are undergoing something serious like anxiety or depression.

Being the top company is no longer about giving your employees the best benefits and healthcare plans. It’s also about making sure that they are fit and healthy all year-round. These apps are going to be great additions to your company’s healthcare plans and these also help you manage their health on a deeper level.

10 Accessories for your Work from Home Setup

Theoretically, working from home requires a stable internet connection and a PC but  paperwork shows that the reality is very different. This activity is mostly performed by handicaps and jobless people and oftenly, for those who are living in unbalanced environmental conditions.

As we know, we need a stable internet and PC or computer for Online Work. But in addition to it, we recommend you to buy an external monitor and a good mouse to make your work more easy and comfortable. 

Therefore, We are going to talk about some gadgets and accessories that you will require for your online Work. 

However, Online Working has many pros and it is mostly loved by the people as it is free from sitting discomfort, dress up issues, environmental health issues etc.  After observing all, we have bought our 10 best home articles that are the basic need of each and every person who wants to work from home.

1 Portable Storage

You will find various  accessories for working from home but one of my best is the Samsung Portable SSD T5 external hard drive that costs : $60. Use this as your backup storage device to save all old files for future use. 

Sometimes, we don’t need some old files at the moment but after some time we suddenly need them and we always struggle to find those files at the moment. To avoid this situation, we will use this as our backup storage device to  keep an offline backup of important data in a hard disk.

2 Computer or Laptop Desk

If you don’t have a PC and you are spending more than 8 hours per day in front of your laptop then you need to put the display in front of your eye level to reduce the stress from your eyes. 

For this condition, we bring an amazing office desk that adjusts up to eight positions and eliminates back and neck pain. Also, it comes with mesh fabric pads for extreme comfort and stability.

3 Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

No need to go anywhere. Now, prepare your Breakfast within 5 minutes with the help of Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker.

4 Wireless Earphones

Wireless Earphones play an important role in online Work for attending calls and meetings. You don’t need to buy expensive Apple Airpods for these tasks.These Tozo Bluetooth wireless earbuds are also a good option for you.

5 Black + Decker 12-Cup Coffeemaker

Some people are habitual of coffee during work hours. For those people, this Black + Decker 12-cup programmable coffee maker will be very helpful. 

6 Ergonomic Chairs

 Now, it comes to the ergonomic chairs. We suggest you to go with gaming chairs instead of office chairs because gaming chairs are made up of high quality material and are for rough and tough use. Also, your kids can use the same chair for gaming purposes. Check out the best gaming chairs for home and office on the market.

7 Connectivity and Ports

There is one major con of laptops that they have only few connectivity ports. On observing this, we bought an external hub for those people who don’t have a PC and are using laptops.

8 External Displays

External displays are also very important for those people who are working from home. It doesn’t matter whether you have a PC or laptop, You must have an external display in order to boost up your work. For that, A large monitor of 16 or 17 inches is Sufficient to perform Enormous functions in your external display.

9 Surge Protector

Surge Protector plays an important role in protecting your Computer from theLoss of Low or High Voltages. Sometimes, Amount of Voltage is too high or too low that your PC can’t handle and gets damaged. For that condition, we suggest you go with the Belkin 4-socket surge protector that costs around ($26).

10 Wireless Mouse for your Home Office

Logitech’s MX Master Wireless Mouse is one of the best computer mouse for various reasons. It comes with an ergonomic design which is much  comfortable for long use. If you are spending more than 8 hours on your computer or PC, then your mouse must be handy so that you can use it  hours and hours. Moreover, It allows the user to customize its scroll speed and the functions of the buttons which will enhance your productivity.

How to Reduce Confusion When Communicating Virtually

For all of the good that comes with running a remote business or virtual team, there are a number of unique challenges that emerge when you’re no longer interacting with your people face to face. Confusion and miscommunication are chief among these issues.

3 Tactics for Reducing and Avoiding Confusion

Virtual teams are great. Not only do they provide a tremendous amount of flexibility, but they also allow each member of the team to work in an environment that’s comfortable and suited to their own needs. However, ignoring the shortcomings of virtual teams does everyone a disservice.

If you want your business to run as smoothly as possible, you need to be forthcoming about the challenges that exist with communicating 100 percent virtually. More specifically, you have to address the issue of confusion and the friction that exists when communicating tasks, facilitating feedback loops, or managing projects.

While nothing can replace the clarity of face-to-face interactions with your team, there are ways you can reduce confusion in a virtual setting and enjoy optimum productivity and efficiency. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Set Ground Rules

The first step is to establish clear and precise guidelines for how team members are to communicate with one another. This might seem like such an obvious thing, but the reality is that everyone has their own preferred methods and modes. By creating ground rules, so to speak, you cultivate consistency and pave the way for less confusion.

For example, how should new assignments be distributed? (Is the project manager supposed to send an email, make a phone call, or schedule a Zoom meeting to discuss?)

Or what about simple details like receiving a message on Slack? (Consider creating a universal symbol of acknowledgment that the message has been received and read – such as a checkmark or thumbs up.)

Little details like these can help your team avoid the issues that so-often plague virtual teams and put a chokehold on productivity. 

2. Choose the Right Medium

Be intentional with the various forms of communication you allow in your business. While there is no shortage of options, some solutions are much better than others – particularly when clarity is the primary objective.

  • Email: Good for non-urgent messages where you want to document something and/or provide thorough detail. Also great for sending large attachments and links that someone needs to open on their computer.
  • SMS: Designed for short and concise messages. Ideal when you want to get straight to the point. SMS emphasizes clarity by forcing you to strip out any filler language and focus on the “meat” of the issue.
  • Video conferencing: If you have something important to discuss with a group of three or more, a quick video conference can help you get on the same page with one another. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to see body language.
  • Voice call: Looking for the quickest possible way to communicate an idea without the possibility of the meaning being misconstrued in a text format? A voice call allows you to explain yourself and leverage inflection and tone to ensure complete clarity. 

There’s a time and a place for each of these modes of communication. The important thing is that you set clear rules on when each is preferred so that your team knows what to do in any situation.

3. Practice Empathy

If you want to reduce confusion, you (and your team) must learn to be empathetic with the person you’re communicating with.

“We often think that others are more in sync with what we’re thinking than they really are. The obvious fix for this illusion is greater empathy,” Harvard Business Review mentions. “Put yourself in the position of the other person. Actually visualize that individual in his office as you send him an email.”

Remember that simple details like grammar and spelling can make a huge difference. Always read your message prior to identify issues like misplaced commas, misspelled words, missing words, etc. Correcting an issue like this upfront can prevent unnecessary back-and-forth.

Restore Clarity in Your Organization

A healthy amount of clarity within your organization can help you avoid and overcome a litany of issues that so often plague virtual teams. By emphasizing frictionless communication, you’ll find it possible to get more done in less time (and with better quality). 

Now’s the time to step up and embrace this all-important challenge of restoring clarity to your business. Which tips will you put into action first?

Key Features to Look for When Buying Headphones

One of the best ways to cancel the world around you is to put the headphones on and press play. Whether you listen to your favorite band or some kind of podcast, you will be able to relax and enjoy this part of your day. Or you simply want to concentrate on your work and eliminate the chatter of coworkers around you.

Just like with the rest of tech gadgets, making a decision which headphones will be a perfect fit for you is not necessarily easy. There is a wide variety of models to choose from and the price ranges also significantly very. Let’s see what are the most important things to look for in headphones.

Different Types

When it comes to models there are several things to take into consideration. Each type has its pros and cons and that will be able to help you decide which one is the best for you.

In-Ear Headphones/Earbuds

The greatest advantage of this type is that they are small which makes them portable. They don’t weigh a lot and don’t take up too much space. You can put them in your pocket or simply hang them around your neck. If you like to run or do any kind of exercise, they are going to be very practical for those occasions. Also, they are great for noise isolation.

However, due to the small drivers, they generate a sound of lower quality. And the most annoying part, the wires get easily tangled, and undoing this is quite a nerve-racking process.    

Wireless Earbuds

Just like the type above, these have all the same advantages plus one more. You will not have to think about tangled wires. However, they have the battery that needs to be recharged. Given the fact that these batteries are quite small, the recharge is going to be needed sooner rather than later.

In and Over-Ear Headphones  

If the size is not an issue, then these two types are going to be perfect for you. Although they are not as portable as the previous ones, they provide you with much better quality. Given the better sound, it’s not a surprise that prices are significantly higher.

Bluetooth Headphones

This is a bit of a controversial choice. Although sound quality is much better than several years ago and that there are no wires that can catch up on things, still there are some serious downsides to using them. The battery life depends on the size. Another important thing to think about is compatibility between your device and headphones.

Key Features to Think About

As we mentioned above, the sound quality will depend on the size of the drivers. So, if you want to have first-class sound, you will probably have to learn to deal with bulkier models.

Also, when it comes to sound, you should check out the specifications of the headphones and look for sensitivity. This is especially important for those who like to listen to the music a bit louder. In most cases, this is around 110dB/mW but if you find a model that’s visually amazing but sensitivity is 85dB/mW or lower, you should skip on those.

If you’re someone who likes to hear a strong bass, then look for frequency response. In most models, this characteristic is between 20 and 20000 Hz. However, for the bigger bass, you will need a wider range than this.

It’s important to learn the difference between noise isolation and cancelation. As stated by the experts at Head Phones Pro Review, these features will allow you to enjoy the music to the fullest. Although you will have to spend more money to get the best ones, it will be worth it. Both types have the same goal but they don’t work in the same way. The first one means there is a physical barrier between your eardrum and the outside world while the other one is working on eliminating unwanted noise by pushing away the outside sound waves.

Some headphones come with a built-in microphone and control module that will make your life much easier. With these features, you will not have to take your phone out of the pocket in order to manage your playlist or answer a phone call.

Given the time we spend with the headphones by our side, it’s important to choose the ones that suit your needs the best. These are the most important characteristics you need to keep in mind when you enter the store. To make a perfect choice, you will have to think about your personal preferences as well as your budget.    

How to Help Remote Workers Address Information Technology Issues

The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic may have forced an employer like you to send your employees working from home. This might seem promising at first, at the apparent freedom it grants, but not until they encounter information technology issues. Without a helping hand and expertise from the IT department, they might find themselves lost in a daze. It is your duty to lend them support by teaching them technological independence.

Remote Working IT Issues

  1. Unstable or slow internet connection
  2. Low-resolution screens
  3. Unlimited distractions
  4. I.T illiteracy

Promote IT Literacy

Workers lacking experience with technology might feel prehistoric when faced with a maze of buttons to press. If you’re from a busy place like New York, switching modes of working is no easy ordeal, so expect first-timers to be clueless as newborns. They might seek help from IT support New York or similar businesses and websites that offer IT consultation and other services. Of course, this can’t be the case all the time, eventually, they have to be independent.

Going digital is now the new normal, but transitioning comes with its own set of challenges. The greatest barrier is IT illiteracy, so you have to work on educating them to ensure a productive workforce. And because you can’t keep watch on them physically, IT problems could go unresolved. If you equip them with the right knowledge and training, they could solve them unaided.

Less Is More

Teach your employees the virtue of simplicity. You don’t want to come across as overbearing when you load them with tasks whose deadlines they must chase. The solution to the tech problems aforementioned above lies in your hands. Bombarding workers with countless digital tools may only cause a decline in productivity. 

Choose wisely and unify digital platforms, and choose those that cater efficiently. The ideal tool grants workers flexible work schedules, offer high-quality video conferences and easy connectivity. Free them of headache from glitches and the unnecessary crowding of applications. 

Keep the number of gadgets and apps at a minimum. Having too much will only divert one’s attention to unimportant matters. Go for efficiency when evaluating options.

The Best Free Video Conferencing Apps

  1. Google Meet
  2. Zoom
  3. Skype

Limit Distractions

Because you can’t monitor them physically, distractions can siphon profit from squandered time. Workers might stray off duties and scroll mindlessly on social media instead. Remote workers have improvised workstations that, in most cases, are ineffective. You don’t want to add on the burden of workers resisting distractions.

Top Digital Distractions

  1. Social Media Sites
  2. Video Games
  3. Entertainment Websites

Staying indoors requires discipline in the use of technology and entertainment. You can sharpen the time-management skills of your workers by relying on apps. Likewise, this can increase their productivity by monitoring their performance.

The pandemic will bring about a radical shift in our workplaces and mold how we use technology. As a result, information technology issues will become more prevalent. Remote workers need to adapt quickly in order to sustain their business or company. You must assist them in every way possible to use technology as an effective tool for profit.