Become your own tech department when working from home

Online support. Toolbox with tools on laptop.

When you’re on your own when working from home, you’ve got to take on many roles – including tech expert. Here’s what you need to know…

Working from home has a number of benefits – but not having direct access to hands-on tech support from central office isn’t one of them.

While remote control of computers and online reporting services can help, the best way to get the support you need is to provide it yourself.

Here are few starting points on the road to becoming your own tech support team…

Know your computer inside and out
Knowing how your computer runs, which software it’s using and what version of the operating system you’re on is a good place to start. It’ll help with not only searching for regular problems but also for making sure that everything is up to date.

After that, you need to know how it connects to your central office network. A bit of basic knowledge about how these networks work will help solve many problems.

Learn the lingo
If you’re searching for a solution to a problem, it’s always good to know what the problem is actually called.

The website PC Advisor has an excellent glossary of tech terms that you should become familiar with.

Not only will they help you learn a bit about your computer and how it runs, but it’ll also make it seem like you know what you’re talking about if you have to contact an outside tech team. And it’ll help them get to the route of the problem faster.

Prevent problems before they begin
Keeping your computer safe from attacks is one of the most basic aspects of being a tech department – but one that’s often forgotten.

Download a trusted and well-reviewed anti-virus programme and make sure it’s set to run regular sweeps. It’s also worth checking that the software is up to date as new viruses are invented every day.

On top of that, be cautious with what you download or plug in to your computer. If in doubt, leave it out. Don’t download or click on any emails that are too good to be true.

Another good tool is the Microsoft’s System Configuration, which can help boost your computer’s overall performance. It lets you control which applications automatically launch when booting your computer. Many of these run in the background and can slow your computer. Pause ones you don’t need.

depressed businessman at office working on computer asking for help

Clean up
Every month or so, make sure you do a proper spring clean of your computer. This means getting rid of any files you don’t need and backing up the ones you do need to an external hard disc drive.

It also means removing temporary internet files and using the Disk Clean-up function to clear out unnecessary files.

Once you’ve done your clean up, run some checks. A speed test can spot issues with your broadband connection. You can also check whether all your drivers are up to date. Again, run an all-inclusive virus scan as well.

Have a cable handy
It might sound like an odd one but if you’re having problems with your internet connection you’ll need a cable handy.

This is to check whether the problem is with your Wi-Fi or your internet. If you can connect when using a Ethernet cable, it’ll mean there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi box.

Sign up to forums
There are loads of advice forums available on line with people willing to offer near expert advice when you’re in trouble.

Sign up to a few of these and start browsing around. If you have a question, post it but make sure you include as much detail as possible from operating systems to screenshots of errors.

And if in doubt, restart…
It’s a classic, but sometimes turning it off and on again does work. And not just for your computers, but also for your routers and printers.


Posted by The Secret Businessman