As a rule, technology exists solely to make things easier for humans. Great technology can make it easy for you to automate tasks, cut down on your workload, and increase your output. But scratch a little deeper behind the theory and things aren’t quite so clear cut. Is technology actually hindering your productivity in your home business, rather than being a helpful and invaluable tool to assist you in achieving your goals? The truth is there are two sides to every story, so today we’re going to take a look at how tech could be slowing your progress. Read on to find out more.
Disturbance of work flow
There is some fantastic technology out there for businesses that can help you work at super fast speed. But there is also some amazing tech out there that is great for entertainment purposes. And the reality is that all these interesting and engaging services are accessible from the same devices – the computer you use to create documents can also be used to watch TV, check your Facebook, and listen to music. The smartphone in your pocket could be pinging notifications every five minutes, taking you away from the task at hand. And your television screen, e-book reader, and iPod are a constant temptation when you work from home, and it’s a fierce battle of discipline to ensure you don’t get side tracked.
Breakdowns and problems
As good as modern technology is, it’s incredibly delicate and susceptible to damage, breakdowns, and failures. Given the fact you are a home based business, it can stymie your day – possibly even week – if something goes wrong. Your computer will freeze on occasion, and you are guaranteed to suffer from hardware failure at some point, whether it’s your drive breaking down or a keyboard playing up. It is essential that you maintain your office equipment properly. Make sure you know the name of a reputable PC or Mac repair company in your locale, too. And always keep your data backed up – preferably on the cloud – so you can access it from another device should your primary workstation go down.
Updates and Security
By now, everyone should understand the importance of security on all your technology devices. The news headlines regarding data breaches, incidents of hacking, and viruses/malware tend to be about the major companies and organizations of the world, but the reality is that small business is at huge risk, too. And while it’s vital to make sure all your systems, firewalls, and virus protections are up to date, it can also be terribly time-consuming. Even automated updates can be a significant pain, and interrupt you when you least need it – take the long and drawn out Windows updates as the perfect example. It’s important to make sure that you are scheduling all systems updates for when you aren’t working, and automating them as much as possible. Cloud services are another essential option, as most cloud companies will take care of all this for you, and let you update your system when you are good and ready.
Another huge issue for home-based businesses is that you never really get away from your work – it’s always there, invading your home life night and day. And if you can’t switch off – both your mind and your devices – it will be damaging your productivity in an enormous amount of ways. You might find yourself having to stay up late, for example; breaking your regular sleep patterns and making you feel like you are always trying to catch up on rest. An incident at home can mean you have to deal with it, causing you to delay your current project until later in the evening. And if you are working with people from different time zones, there will be many occasions when sleepless nights are inevitable. To ensure these common problems don’t interfere with your productivity, you need to make sure you are setting strict boundaries with your time. Ultimately, you need to get your rest to perform well in business – and life. And if your devices and technology are stopping you from getting that all-important shuteye, your company will end up paying the price.
Systems and hosting
Of course, not every problem with technology will be down to your equipment and devices. We are all reliant on a huge range of systems and services from other companies these days, and the reality is that some are better than others. A poor quality web host, for example, will have a lot of downtime and system outages, all of which will reflect poorly on your business and make it impossible to update your site at various times. When it comes to finding resources for your business, you really do get what you pay for. And without thorough research beforehand, the end result will have an impact on your business productivity if you aren’t careful. Make sure you choose a web host with an excellent record of keeping downtime to a minimum. Use the cloud wherever possible, too – and always find a service that offers 24/7 support. Ultimately, your website could go down at any time of day, and if the company you are getting your service from is only open 9-5, it will end up costing you money.
As you can see, there is a multitude of ways that technology can actually hinder your productivity when working in your home-based business. And whether you are trying to build up a blog following, corner the market for your ecommerce store, or score big wins as an affiliate marketer, it’s important to ensure your technology is working to your benefit. When your tech goes wrong, it can cost you sales, visitors, and regular customers, and no company will survive taking those hits on a regular basis. Technology should be used for one thing only – to make your business more efficient. If you find it isn’t, now could be a good time to seek out alternatives and change the way you work for the better.