5 Best Ways to Use Technology for Working Remotely

Jobstreet content teamupdated on 04 May, 2022
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It is way past work hours and you are still hunched over your computer at your home office desk, replying to emails and typing reports. You do not even notice the time until you feel a burn in your stomach, signalling that you have not eaten in the last few hours. In this hybrid workplace setting where the boundaries between work and personal time are blurred because you are always online, how do you use the best technology for working remotely to your advantage?

What Employees Think About Remote Work

Don't get us wrong. Employees welcome this new work-from-anywhere arrangement which allows them to use the best technology for working remotely. In the study Decoding Global Ways of Working, most employees have expressed a desire for flexibility in where they do their work. Only 7 per cent of Asia’s workforce now want to commit fully to an onsite work arrangement. However, while technology has made it easier for employees to work from home or wherever they want, the proper use of technology is a different matter.

Find out if the job roles you want are here: Emerging job roles in Singapore

In an ideal setting, technology is meant to increase productivity. However, it's a double-edged sword. Too much of a good thing can also bring stress and anxiety if you do not use it properly. Prevent work from taking over your life–at work and home–by having the discipline and making the effort to observe the proper use of technology.

How to Use the Best Technology for Working Remotely

Here are the secrets to maximising the best technology for working remotely.

1. Determining whether meetings should be an audio or video call

Think of what type of communications app to use when scheduling a meeting. You may have a go-to app for status updates, project pitches, and the like, but it may not always be the most appropriate. You can conduct some meetings through video conferencing. However, you can opt to take others through a simple video call.

One of the main advantages of video conferencing apps? It allows you to share presentations and even collaborate with your team members using a digital workspace. If you find these features useful for your meeting, then use a video communications app like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Make sure that you have the time to set it up, and the internet bandwidth to support the app for the meeting.

Otherwise, if it is a quick update or alignment meeting, then it would be better to make a phone call or an audio conference call on Google Chat. There is no need for complicated setups, plus it is simple to arrange.

2. Scheduling blocks of time for checking email

Keeping your email window open the whole day means messages will be popping up on your computer screen now and then. Most likely, you will read, reply, or attend to the latest message immediately after you receive it, no matter whether you are supposed to be taking a break or preparing for another meeting.

Schedule blocks of time during the day to check your email and write your replies. For example, open your email at 11 a.m. and then again at 4 p.m., depending on what you have on your calendar for the day. Set an end time as well, so you can complete other tasks. Attend first to those requiring your immediate response. For less urgent emails, schedule another time for replying to your co-workers. Gmail allows you to choose a specific date and time for sending your emails so you do not inadvertently send co-workers an email after work hours.

3. Turning off notifications and setting your status to “away” or “do not disturb”

Chat groups have become a must especially when you are collaborating with other team members on an assignment. With a long list of chat messages on your Viber, Google Chat, or Slack, your device notifications must be going off several times within an hour. Imagine how much work you can get done if you temporarily stop reading and replying to these group chat messages?

Put your notifications on silent mode when you need to concentrate on a specific item on your to-do list. Set your status on group chats as “Do not disturb” to let your co-workers know that you will be unable to read their messages and reply instantly. When you are taking a break or logging off for the day, physically move away from your work area so you can truly take a breather.

Also read: How to deal with work-related body aches

4. Enabling multi-factor authentication to protect passwords better

Ensuring the safe use of digital technology is necessary, especially when you work remotely. Using a password manager like LastPass or Google Password Manager avoids instances wherein you have to reset your password and repeat logging in to your account because you forgot your password.

Do not stop at choosing a strong password i.e. one that others would not be able to guess easily. Take it a step further and enable multi-factor authentication so you have an extra layer of security in the unlikely event that someone gets a hold of your password. The safe use of technology through password managers is not only for your security and protection, but it also streamlines the process of logging in and reduces the risk of being locked out of your account for wrong password attempts, making for a more efficient workflow.

5. Seeing the bigger picture using collaborative tools to determine what to prioritise

Collaborative tools like Trello organise your projects into boards and tell you who is doing what, what tasks have been completed, and what stage of the project you are in. Information is updated regularly, so it keeps the entire team abreast of the timelines – and how you're keeping up.

Rather than using collaboration tools just as a visual checklist, employ them to look at the bigger picture. When you can see who is assigned to do the different tasks and their deadlines, it helps you avoid duplicating someone else’s work. It also provides you with a clearer view of your team's progress. Having this perspective saves time for your company and allows you to improve your ways of working.

The proper use of technology entails more than just knowing where to point your cursor or where to log in. It also requires you to explore the tech tools you use, familiarise yourself with the features, and determine which ones could help you and your team become more productive and not make you a slave to your work.

You're now a master of using the best technology for working remotely. If you want to learn more ways to be productive, read our Career Resources page. Love articles like this? Download the JobStreet mobile app to get faster access to work opportunities and career advice. It’s available on Google Play and the App Store.

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