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Monday, May 21, 2012

Home Workers Should Forget the Old Laptop Balancing Act

When I first started working from home the only problem I had was that my home office resembled a child’s nursery with a battered old laptop in it.

That is probably because that’s exactly what it was. The only place I could find to work from was my little girl’s old room, and my old computer had definitely seen better days long ago. I sat there with the laptop balanced on my knee and surrounded by Barney the dinosaur, a scary looking doll and assorted ducks as I tried to work. Needless to say, I soon found out that spending a bit of time and money on a good home office is worth it.

home office
home office (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Find the Right Place

A nursery is no place to work from, and instead I found a nice corner of the kitchen where I could hook up to the internet and munch on yoghurts at the same time. Somewhere with plenty of light and fresh air is ideal and my kitchen fits the bill nicely as I can leave the patio door open when the sun comes out.

Get the Right Equipment

The laptop I used to use was no good at all for working with. It was slow, it crashed when I tried to do too many things on it once and it had no decent music on it. As I was just starting out as a home worker (do they still say telecommuter or does that make me sound old fashioned?) I was a bit worried about spending a lot of money on new machinery. The final straw came one day when the blooming thing didn’t boot up until 10 in the morning. Admittedly I had only switched it on at 10 to 10 but it was still far too long a wait for me. I got a shiny new desktop PC which promised to lead me down the technological highway (that’s another outdated phrase, is it?) at breakneck speed. I couldn’t believe how fast it was and how many games were pre-installed on it. Now my only problem is that I want to spend a bit of time each day poking around it to see what else it does.

Sort the Furniture

My spanking new PC sat on a wonky old table at first, with the speakers on the floor and the keyboard on my lap. My wife asked me why I didn’t buy a computer table at the same time and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t. I quickly got onto the task and before the week was out my computer was perched on a glass topped table with loads of shelves for my cartons of juice and a nice drawer to keep my biscuits in.

Protect Yourself

I had only ever used the internet for fun before; looking up football results, seeing what on Earth that Facebook malarkey was all about and helping my Mum find out what latest contagious disease she is apparently suffering from. Then one day my sister said to me that I should be wary of rookits, spyware and Trojan horses. When she told me that people could grab control of my computer and steal the money I had been working hard to build up I immediately panicked and started looking for all the protection I could find. Thankfully she told me that all I really needed was a good antivirus and that this would protect me against all of the current risks. As a home worker this is one of the most important things I have done and while it might be a less obvious improvement than some of the other ones it is nevertheless something which I am glad I did.


Every home worker should be sure to protect their data with a good program like the McAfee antivirus.

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