When you are working from home, as a Freelancer or Virtual Assistant. Having tech issues is an occupational hazard that cannot impact your client’s work. There are deliverables for a reason. Now, life can happen where something is completely beyond your control – i.e. a major Telecommunications carrier has a massive outage across their multiple platforms (internet, phone, and mobile) – this happened in 2019 for almost 24 hours – where no amount of backups could help.
But, there are some ways to prevent technology from curbing your productivity for the day. Here are a few to consider:
Set up remote access to your computer
With this powerful browser, Chrome Extension, did you know that there is an extension/app to be able to remote access your computer? This enables you to pull up your desktop from another computer if you are away from your own, the computer won’t work or any other reason you aren’t near your own laptop/PC.
This allows you to work anywhere – if a 911 call comes in for help from your client – your spare computer gets spilled on by the kiddos and you need to borrow a friend’s computer or any other emergency that could come up. It helps you to maintain your professionalism, not completely get frustrated if you need to get your work done, or in the case of what happened to me today – there was an error on my Adobe Reader so I had to reinstall it but the deliverable had a short deadline – you can’t let the deadline pass – this tool helps you to do that!
Adding your Work Apps to your Phone or Tablet
Especially now, the mobile office is handy when it comes to running around after young children or supporting elders in your family/friends, that it just isn’t justifiable to carry around your laptop.
By utilizing the mobile apps where you can, you can be open to tasks being done on the road, while not being strapped down by a laptop. There are many apps out there that most remote workers utilize that offer mobile apps. Some of them are: Slack or any other client messaging tool, Toggl/Teamwork for keeping track of your time, Paypal/Wave/QB or any other invoicing app, Canva or any other design app, Asana or Trello, social media scheduling apps like Hootsuite, etc).
By using each of these programs, you are not only keeping yourself available on the road but you are also expanding your opportunities to be able to continue going above and beyond for your client, where it makes sense.
Always Save your Work! Don’t just rely on the Cloud.
Depending on the type of work you do, relying on the cloud may or may not be the best decision. Stuff can happen, servers can go down, the internet can go down or you might need to refresh your computer and didn’t get a chance to update the cloud before you do.
By utilizing tools like portable hard drives or USB back up – this allows you to quickly recover files (programs, etc) in a hurry from anywhere. As well, as mentioned before, depending on the client or the work needed, cloud services may not be “compliant” to the client you are working with.
Something to consider, just like a good ergonomic chair and keyboard system, it is something you didn’t know you should have multiple backups of until you hit a situation that requires fast-moving or getting a computer tech to work on in a hurry!
Zapier – a virtual worker’s best friend!
If there isn’t an app or any other reason, think about using Zapier to create automations or integrations for systems you use that aren’t mobile friendly. Zapier was created for the purpose of connecting apps and services, without relying on developers or code to get working.
Their guide will walk you through getting started with Zapier – and their support channels are very helpful in helping your figure out what they need. Their Zaps are automated workflows that connects your apps and services together when you turn on your Zap, it will run the action steps every time a trigger occurs.
There are tons of videos to better explain functionality etc. Let me know what you found out could be done to link up apps and if Zapier helped! This teachable moment could save a great many freelancers opportunities to keep working!
As always, these tips are not the exhaustive list – there are plenty of opportunities to utilize tech in ways to make your issue-laden technology issues to become more productive, efficient, and able to engage and assist in more areas the more aware you are.
What other tools do you use in times of technology issues? It could be if the internet goes down or your computer hard drive decides to crash, these are situations to look at with your plans for equipment as you growing your business. I would love to read about the comments below!