Optimize Your Computer For Working From Home

By Jacob Eberhart, IT Specialist, Excelicon

While we’re all away from our desks but at our keyboards, here are a few tips to keep your computers running smoothly. After all, technology is the key for working remotely during this time of self-isolation, so we want to do everything we can to keep it functioning properly.

Sit your laptop on a flat surface
This may seem strange, but your laptop has fans and vents to opti­mize airflow when your laptop is on a flat surface. If it’s on your lap (hence, Laptop) or on a blanket, the airflow isn’t great and the computer can’t cool down as well. When the laptop can’t cool down, it can’t perform well.

Turn off your computer at night
Just like humans, laptops are not meant to be on 24/7. Some comput­ers, such as servers, are built for this, but not your laptop. In order to install updates (as mentioned above) and cool down (as mentioned above), it’s best to turn off your computer at night.

I know that if I try to work too many hours without a break, I can get burned out. Same thing for your laptop. The electrical elements that make a computer run need time to refresh and reload, otherwise they will go bad, and that may be sooner rather than later. It’s not impossible to replace a laptop, but during this time it will be more difficult.

Don’t expose your  laptop to lots of heat or cold
We hope we get back to work sooner rather than later, but there’s always a chance of a warm sunny day during our work-from-home schedule. Your laptop works well in average temperatures, but it is made of a metal casing and will overheat if left outside in direct sunlight for long periods of time. It’s reasonable to say 75 degrees or warmer in direct sunlight is most likely too hot for your laptop for a long period of time.

Although not really applicable during spring, unless you work in a walk-in freezer, your laptop will slooooooow down if left in cold tem­peratures for long periods of time. It may seem silly, but I have witnessed laptops malfunctioning from over­heating and extreme cold, so it most definitely is possible.

Don’t let your laptop fall
While Aerosmith may champion living on the edge, it’s bad for your laptop. When your laptop is on the edge of a table, a chair, a bed, or a counter, it is very possible it could be knocked over. I have seen this happen in person multiple times; once it even resulted in a colleague knocking over a laptop and breaking their screen. It’s not cheap but fairly easy to replace a cell phone if the screen breaks during this time, but if you break your laptop screen during this time it will be a fairly complicat­ed and difficult process. Better to set the laptop aside, out of the way of falls, feet and other obstacles, just in case.