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How To Turn Your Printer Into A Cloud Printer

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How To Turn Your Printer Into A Cloud Printer

Google currently offers a cloud printer service through which anyone can make just about any printer accessible via the web. If you need be able to access a printer from anywhere on any of your devices, this post will tell you what needs to be done to get it set up. You will be able to print from anywhere in the world, and from any device that has an Internet connection.

Now, why would you be interested in a cloud printer? There could be occasions where the option to print from anywhere and from any device could come in handy; businesses, especially, could benefit from cloud-enabled printers. Let’s imagine you’re away from the office and you need to print a document for a co-worker. You can just pick up your smartphone and have it printed in the office thanks to the cloud.

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The fact that you can print directly via the Internet also means that you don’t even need to install potential software on your computer or your smartphone. You can just use your browser, which all computers and smartphones already have in the first place.

I could mention many other examples of why a cloud-enabled printer could be a good thing, but let’s keep it down to one example. You may very well end up in a situation one day where you wish you could just print a document or image via the cloud, but you don’t have your printer set up for it.

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Many newer model printers come standard with Google’s Cloud print built right in, and they’re capable of taking commands directly over a web connection. It’s really not that difficult to get one of the older printers connected, though. If the printer that you’re going to be using is not capable of accessing the Internet, what you’ll have to do is leave the computer it’s attached to running. That makes the printer connected to the internet via the computer, which is a requirement for this to work.

Before going any further, you should connect the printer to your main computer, the one you’ll be accessing it through. Consult your owner’s manual or your manufacturer’s support team whenever you need to, and particularly if you don’t know how to connect your computer to your printer.

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Step 1: Connection

The first step is basically to have the printer and computer connected. Once you’ve set the printer up so that it is recognized by your computer, you will then be able to add it to Cloud Print.

Step 2: Installation

The next step is to get Google Chrome installed if you don’t already have it. To bring up the list of devices on your computer that Chrome can currently work with go to the address bar and enter chrome://devices then click the Add Printer button that appears, making sure the printer you wish to connect is ticked. Note that you can also manage any of your printers from this same screen.

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Step 3: Access

From here, simply click the Manage button next to either printer that you see listed in order to add a new printing job, remove or rename a printer, or share your printer by assigning someone access to it.

Other Options

You can also print from your mobile devices as well; to do so, you’ll need to open the Cloud Print app on your Android device and the print option will appear. This option is not quite as simple, but you can still set the cloud print up so it prints from Google’s iOS apps. As an alternative, you can also use PrintCentral Pro. This setup will also work fine with Chromebooks.

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Featured photo credit: Fernando Arcos via pexels.com

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Bilal Khoja

System Engineer

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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