Tips for Working from Home

Working from home presents new challenges to many people who are not used to operating in a “remote” setting. Not only is it a challenge to determine whether your home system is adequate to do what you need to do, but there isn’t an IT Geek down the hall to walk you through the process.

Tip #1 - YouTube

Besides prayer, YouTube is literally one of the best resources in the world when it comes to learning or troubleshooting hardware and software. Obviously, some videos are better than others, but YouTube is as close as you can get to having a personal Guru available to walk you through an IT challenge. Amidst the plethora of videos on car maintenance, sewing and “unboxing” of the latest Amazon wares, you can usually find a good video to walk and talk you through pretty much every piece of hardware and software that you might need.

And by the way, if you could sneak into the Geek Squad room at Best Buy on any given day (or any Help Desk for that matter), I can guarantee you there are guys hanging out on YouTube to troubleshoot issues that have been called in to them. Even if you weren’t born with your IT gene enabled, you can develop it to the point that you’re at least fully functional.

Tip #2 – Friends & Family

Along with YouTube, you also have friends and family who can be very valuable resources to you in a hardware or software crisis. This is where your Phone, Email, and Teleconferencing capabilities are crucial tools to utilize. Everyone who uses technology knows that it’s sometimes glitchy, inconsistent, slow, or just downright cantankerous… so don’t feel like you’re a “dummy” if you can’t get things to work. Asking for help should not be your last resort – because the more you learn, the more you will be able to help others in the future.

You’ve probably got a younger kid or relative who seems to have been born with an electronic device attached to them, and while they can be impatient with your own lack of skills, use this as an opportunity to bridge a gap with them. Sit down and let them cremate you in an electronic game… it’s probably not going to make you lose any sleep tonight. Swallow your pride and ask them to show you how things work… it’s a great opportunity to spend time with them and show appreciation for how smart they are. Those “kids” who are now flying X-Wings in a Star Wars game are going to be the same kids flying the F-35s and drones of tomorrow, so don’t be too discouraged at their obsession with technology.

Tip #3 – When all else fails, read the instructions

Yep, most of your hardware and software did come with instructions… and you don’t even have to “get off your rear” to take advantage of them. Find your manuals, guide sheets, or even the original container, and READ IT. If you can't find your instructions, look them up online.

You can access Tips #1 and #2 again as necessary. (Note that many hardware and software providers now resort to Tip #1 as their standard training tool.)

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