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If you are new to remote work, you may be unfamiliar with the importance of a well-functioning computer. It is essential to have a reliable PC to do your job well and meet deadlines. Here are some things you can do to have your computer ready to work from home during Covid-19.
First of all, you have to know how old your PC is. If your desktop computer or laptop is more than ten years old, it will be best to buy a new one. You have to realize that remote work is here to stay and that you will probably continue to work remotely, at least partially, in the next few months if not years.
It also depends on your profession. If your tasks on the computer are minimal, you could just make some upgrades to your PC one and be ready for work. However, even if you aren’t a data scientist, you will probably have to do video conferencing and collaborate on documents. It will still be best to buy a new machine.
If the computer you use to work from home isn’t new, the first thing you should do before turning it on is to clean it. Like anything else, computers gather dust. If we don’t use them often they accumulate a lot of microscopic particles inside. A dirty computer can cause sudden crashes and shutdowns. If you don’t feel like you are handy enough, take your machine to a professional.
However, if you do like to do that kind of stuff, the process of cleaning is really easy. Be careful when cleaning all the components. You can use a brush or a compressed air bottle. Whatever you do, don’t get it wet. After completing the process, you can proceed to clean it on the inside. This means deleting documents, applications, or programs you don’t need anymore.
Also, if you feel like it is too much work and you are sure you don’t want to recover any of the files, you can do a clean install. It will clear completely your computer as if it was brand new. It is a pretty easy process and you will make sure you will only install and save things that you need for remote work.
If the computer isn’t so old, you could upgrade some parts to make it run as a newer model at half the price of buying a new one. For example, you could change the hard drive to a version with more memory. If the hard drive is mechanical, you can change it to a solid-state drive. Another common upgrade is to expand the RAM.
These upgrades will cost a hundred bucks at most, but you can do it for less too. Another upgrade that doesn’t cost you a penny is to download the latest version of the operating system. In most cases, this makes the computer run smoothly because the providers are constantly correcting errors in the system.
Backing up your files is something everyone should do. It gives another layer of security to your information. At least if something happens, you won’t lose all your docs, photos, videos, or whatever else you save on your computer. Also, cyberattacks have increased during the pandemic—you could be a victim of a cyberattack and lose all your information.
You can use any cloud service out there. For example, Google Drive offers 15GB for free. Other options are OneDrive and Dropbox. You can install them on your computer and set it up to do the backup automatically. All Windows computers come with OneDrive and you just have to sign up with your Microsoft Account. If you are in a tech career like software engineering, you could back up your projects to Github or similar platforms.
When you start working from home you will need different tools to communicate and collaborate with your team. You can make sure you install all the programs and applications you will need to do your job. For example, Zoom for video conferencing and Slack for team communication. Make a list of the ones your company uses and have your PC ready.
Your PC will be the only connection with your job, so you should have it ready before starting to work from home. First, clean it on the outside and the inside. Make sure your computer isn’t too old and give it some upgrades that are cheap and will make it run smoother. Back up all your files in case something happens, and install all the tools necessary for remote work.