Home and mobile working increases in line with better technology

It’s hard to imagine bit there was once a time when ownership of a powerful personal computer was the exception rather than the norm.

It’s hard to imagine bit there was once a time when ownership of a powerful personal computer was the exception rather than the norm. In this day and age most of us own not one, but two computers; often a laptop in your shoulder bag and a smart phone in your pocket.
This proliferation of technology allows us to communicate, create and solve problems whilst on the move and offers new avenues for working outside of the traditional office environment. However, the fastest computer in the world will not solve your problems on its own. Having the appropriate software to allow you to tackle problems and achieve your goals face will make all the difference.
Thankfully the software market has never been more vibrant, with an explosion of applications dedicated to specific businesses. In large, this is thanks to the growth in the Smartphone ownership and the Apple App Store and Google’s Android marketplace are awash with titles to aid you in your quest for increased productivity.
Many of these bespoke applications are designed to help professionals within a given niche to go about their jobs.
Given this, its no surprise that many employees are allowing their staff to take a more flexible approach to tackling their jobs. Many are not giving up the office altogether, but cherry picking the best of mobile computer technology to spend some of their time free from their desks.
This is great news for both employers and employees as overheads are considerably reduced for remote workers. It's also great news for the environment, cutting daily commutes down to a more reasonable size and helping reduce pollution from traffic, one of the U.K.'s largest causes of CO2 emissions.
What’s most important to consider if you choose to liberate yourself from the office and work from home? A combination of factors deserves your attention. The building blocks of most jobs are communication and collaboration, so the tools to achieve this remotely should be your first concern. A fast and reliable Internet connection should be your primary concern as this will be your main conduit for communicating and sharing information with your colleagues. Depending on your job description, you may find yourself videoconferencing on a daily basis, or working on with shared documents via a cloud-based web service. The speed and reliability of your Internet connection will fundamentally define how efficiently you can accomplish these goals. A specialist provider like Talk Talk Business can provide guaranteed connections speeds. It’s worth considering this over a standard domestic installation for the extra reliability.
The next bottleneck to considered is your computing power. Whilst an ageing laptop may be fine for e-mail, many of today's web applications require a powerful machine. If you work with images or video a suitably fast machine will speed up your workflow, and reduce the amount of time spent waiting for the computer to catch up with.
One of the biggest buzzes in the world of computing recently has been the advent of cloud applications. These are applications such as word processors or spreadsheets that operate via a web interface. The beauty of such tools is that all your work is stored online, can be accessed and edited from any PC anywhere in the world and is a doddle to disseminate to your colleagues. Add a web storage solution like Dropbox, to provide an online documents folder that you can share with colleagues, and a screening sharing service like Teamviewer and it is possible to work with someone on the other side of the world as if they were alongside you.
Back Up is an essential area for the home worker that is often forgotten until too late. The hard drive inside your computer has a working life like any other piece of machinery and ultimately is guaranteed to fail. In this event it’s essential to have both an on-site and offsite backup solution. Most modern operating systems include backup facilities, such as Apple's Time Machine, which will incrementally save your work to an external hard drive. Add a web-based solution such as Crashplan, which will save your valuable information to a remote web server, and you have a bulletproof solution of which you will be very thankful if disaster strikes


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer