Recent years (and COVID-19) brought about many changes to the way we work. Many of us now find working remotely to be our new norm. But doing so can come with challenges, especially when it comes to technology—including keeping your data safe and the speed of your Wi-Fi, to setting up a home office with limited space. At Asurion, we help our 300 million customers (and counting!) get the most out of their devices, appliances, and tech. Here are 5 work from home tips and tech hacks from our experts to help make working remotely work for you.
Boost your Wi-Fi
Having a fast internet connection is an absolute necessity when you're working from your home office, especially when you're relying heavily on video chat to stay connected with your team. When working from home, you may be wondering how to improve your Wi-Fi signal. If your Wi-Fi is slow or sluggish, try these do-it-yourself adjustments to your router to speed things up.
How to boost your Wi-Fi signal:
- Make sure your router is in an open, central place, away from other devices.
- Regularly update your router's software by looking for updates on its admin page.
- Secure your network by going to your router's admin page online, choosing security level WPA2, then entering a strong password.
If you're encountering Wi-Fi dead zones, perhaps due to your home having an out-of-the-ordinary layout or several interior brick walls, you might also consider a wireless mesh network to create a more stable connection.
Don't let your boss see your messy living room
Virtual meetings are a great way to make working from home feel less isolating. But remember, everyone on Skype or Google Hangouts can see what's behind you—whether it's your cat chasing a laser or your dishes piling up in the sink. Here at Asurion, we use Zoom to hold virtual meetings, and often create customized backgrounds. Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to make one of your own.
While you're at it, also change your Zoom settings to avoid uninvited guests from appearing in your meetings and taking over the screen. It's a real thing that's happening, known as ZoomBombing—check out our instructions on how to prevent virtual meeting mishaps.
Away messages are your friend
Messaging services, such as Teams and Slack, are key to communicating with your co-workers in the office. They're even more important when you're working remotely. Sometimes, however, all that messaging can get to be a little too much when you're trying to focus on a task. Setting your status to away for a bit can help you to get through your to-do list. Here's a good Slack hack: Put up an away message if you'll be away from your computer for awhile. When you get back, quickly catch up on who's talking to you by clicking the @ symbol.
How to use a TV as a monitor
Hate your laptop's small screen? Many people don’t realize that you can use a TV as a monitor. You can stream your computer and tablet, or cast your phone to your TV using media players such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku. If you're looking for maximum ease, the Amazon Fire TV Cube lets you control your TV and smart home devices completely hands-free.
How to prevent hacking and secure your tech
In the office, there are whole teams devoted to keeping your work data safe. But what happens when your home office becomes your only office? There's a work hack that can keep your identity, location, and browsing history out of hackers' hands. The tool is called a virtual private network (VPN), and it provides an extra layer of security to your Wi-Fi connection. Check with your employer to see if they provide access to a VPN service. If not, there are also affordable and effective ones available for a monthly fee, like Surfshark. Check out even more tips from our experts on how to secure your home network from hackers.