How should I set up my new work computer?

How should I set up my new work computer?

Starting a New Job

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The days when the humble Biro was the most valued and trusted tool that you had at your disposal have gone and most of today's workers are dependant upon their computers to perform their roles effectively.

When you start a new job, you have to get to grips with your new computer as quickly as possible to make sure it works to your advantage.

Logging on
Before you begin, make sure that you are connected to the network.

An initial set-up of your computer will have been done prior to your employment start date. Ensure that your computer ID has been activated - usually you will have been provided with these details as part of your employee Welcome pack.

Your user name and initial password will already be assigned to you but you will have the option to change the password to one of your choosing once you have activated your computer.

Equipment
Check that the office printers have been installed on your computer. You can do this simply by clicking Start –Printers & Faxes.

If you are expected to use your computer for more than four hours each day, then request a VDU screen from your Human Resources department. And don't forget that you are also entitled to a free eye test under law.

Shortcuts
Over the first few days of your job you will find out which files and folders are important for you to do your job effectively. The best method to ensure these can be quickly accessed is to create shortcuts on your desktop. To do this simply right-click on any icon

Bookmarks
The internet is your friend and there are plenty of sites that will help you do your job more effectively. Bookmarking these pages will help you to access them quickly when you need to, which can be done by pressing ctrl-d on your keyboard.

Passwords
It can be a nightmare trying to remember usernames and passwords for all the various programmes you use in your job. A simple method is to open a plain text file called ‘useful stuff' that you can quickly access to give you a reminder when required.

Email
You're likely to be faced with a barrage of emails in your first few weeks regarding procedures, strategies, log in details, as well as your day-to-day tasks. Try to set up a few clearly defined folders that you can move each email into to help you stay on top of things and not have to spend 10 minutes looking for every email you need.

Calendar
Are there any regular meetings you must attend, deadlines you have to meet or things you have to check every week? Put them all in your computer's calendar and you'll receive reminders when you need to be somewhere or when something's due.

Ergonomics
Long hours at a poorly designed computer workstation can cause aches and pains in the neck and back, shoulders, lower extremities, arms, wrists, hands, eyestrain, and create a general feeling of tension and irritability. Reduce your risk of such complaints by:

  • Placing the monitor directly in front of you at eye level
  • Ensure that the monitor is at arm's length from your eyes
  • Position yourself so your forearms are parallel to the floor when typing

Training
Every company has their own bespoke computer programmes, so it is important that you are educated about all the software and programmes that you will need to use in order to perform your job. Make sure that you keep a list of any questions that you are unsure about.=

And if your knowledge or experience is weak in some applications such as MS Excel, then use this training as an opportunity to develop your skills.

Aesthetics
Finally, if your company permits it, set up a nice image for your computer's wallpaper to give it a bit of personality. There are millions of free images available on Google Image Search, so type in a keyword and find one you like, right-click and select the ‘Set as Background' option. Your Hawaiian paradise awaits!