Okay the above scenarios are probably not quite the norm….its more likely if you are working remotely you are working from home , a cosy coffee shop somewhere, or a friends house etc.  To ensure the experience is as blissful as possible here are 5 invaluable office hacks!


1. Ensure all Essential Files are Easy to Access – Online Storage

This may take some organising, especially if you’ve previously saved everything to your hard drive.  However for freedom and remote working purposes online storage is essential.  Nearly all of us have online storage available to us..OneDrive, Google Drive, Drop Box etc.…as a tip check your internet provider / mobile phone contract, quite often they also provide free online storage.  Obviously for online storage to be useful you need to ensure good internet access.  Please see our previous blog 5 Easy Steps to a Better Wi-Fi Connection and our free training video ‘How to get a Better Wi-Fi Signal for tips on this!

Just a note about Folder Management, once you set up your online storage.  The saying 'a tidy desk, a tidy mind’ also applies to our online desk or working environment. There is nothing worse than not being able to find desperately needed files. Tips for file management:

  • Name all Folders, Sub-Folders and Files clearly

  • Start off small and get bigger.  Create a simple file management hierarchical system. Once you've created a logical filing system it will be easy to find what you're looking for.  


2. Organise Your Passwords

Passwords are a part of everyone's life.  Working remotely means we need quick and easy access to our passwords. Passwords are keys to our online world.  The main issues with passwords are:

  • Can’t remember them!

  • Generating new Passwords is a headache

  • You’ve wiped your device settings clean and all previous passwords have been forgotten. Arrgh!


For blissful remote working, passwords need to be easily accessible.  Days can be spent just looking for that illusive password and username.

You may worry about storing passwords in a Secure Password Manager App, however search through reviews and security ratings that are available. If you're going to pay for an app a good Password Management App is worth its weight in Gold.  Unless of course you have a perfect memory! 

3. Manage Your Notifications

To work successfully you need to be focused!  This can be a challenge when all our devices are screaming for attention in the way of flashing lights, vibrations, ringtones and pop ups!

How to Control Notifications:

  • Manage Notifications in your Windows 10 Settings: Choose which pop ups you want or don’t want to see.  If you have them all selected, each time an update is available, a new email arrives, there are changes to any files in OneDrive,  you will receive a notification.  This can be annoying, so be sure to turn them off and on as needed. Instead, why not check your email once an hour, you can set up an alarm to remind you. 

  • Mute What's App Groups:  Many of us are part of a What's App group. However, if its pinging every 2 minutes with messages and pictures this can be extremely distracting.  You can mute messages from any group from 8 hours up to 1 year.  You can unmute again at any time.

  • Schedule Breaks: This will really help you focus…and give you a short term goal or reward.  This could be in the form of going for a walk and stretch (recommended if your sitting at your desk all day) or a tasty treat or simply catching up on your social media messages.


4. Eat the Frog (not literally of course!)

Eat the frog is a metaphor used to describe the most challenging task of your day.  So you’ve written your to do list…but there is an important task that you simply don’t want to do, or a person that you don't want to call, or an important email that you don’t want to write.  Yes this is procrastination and of course it happens to us all.  Having something that we know needs doing but keep putting off can start to distract us and eventually cause anxiety. Once the frog is eaten…everything else will be piece of cake!


5. Learn a Few Simple Keyboard Shortcuts

There are many good reasons for becoming familiar with keyboard shortcuts:

  • Less mouse work…can help avoid Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

  • Speed…especially If you are using one monitor to work with lots of apps open in the background

  • If you don’t have access to a separate mouse - learning keyboard shorts will enable you to use your laptop with ease.

Here at Computer Tutoring we especially love these 5 Keyboard Shortcuts:


1: Alt Tab to switch between screens

2: Windows key and type to search for apps or documents

3: Windows Key and E for File Explorer

4:Ctrl C & Ctrl V copy and paste

5: Ctrl & F to search for text in pretty much any application. (Then you can press enter to move down the page).


For more cheeky shortcuts, please see the below free downloads!

Great tips to help us use our time efficiently by learning Microsoft Office Hints and Tips can transform the way we work!  We find these videos especially helpful!

How to Indent Paragraphs in Microsoft Word

How to use Tabs in Microsoft Word

How to Create a Pivot Table in Microsoft Excel

How to use Excel to Calculate Monthly Loan Repayments