How to hack mobile device batteries for a productive remote working shift

At the time this article was posted, LinkedIn had 1,539 remote work opportunities in the greater Charlotte area. Combined with a boom in the so-called “gig economy,” working from home, the road, or a trendy co-working space has become more acceptable than ever before.

Although the change is due in part to a shift in business culture, the remote-work craze owes most of its success to cheaper cloud services and mobile devices. So whether you’re a business owner who wants to get more out of your remote employees, or a remote employee who wants to get the most of your mobile devices, here are nine no-nonsense battery-saving tips for working away outside the office.

Extending the Life of your Laptops

Depending on the model, a new laptop could get anywhere between 3 and 20 hours of battery life in remote working conditions. Regardless of where your hardware stands in that spectrum, there are few things you can do to stretch it a little further:

  • Update Windows and macOS – Most operating system updates come with features that reduce energy consumption relative to computing power.
  • Keep it cool – Temperatures above 86 degree Fahrenheit will speed up power discharge, so think twice about taking your work to the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks.
  • Close browser tabs – Chrome may be notorious for using up memory, but other web browsers aren’t much better. The more tabs you have open, the shorter your battery life will be.

Getting More Juice Out of Smartphones

Android and Apple phones have become so deeply ingrained in our personal and professional lives that everyone has their own battery-saving superstitions. Turning down the screen brightness and disabling GPS are no-brainers, but there are a few lesser known hacks:

  • Turn off vibration and haptic feedback – phones use more battery when vibrating than they do when ringing it. If your device vibrates every time you tap on the keyboard, that’s a lot of battery consumed throughout the day.
  • Skip the widgets and “live” wallpapers – Android users love customizing their home screen with animated backgrounds and apps that display updates without being opened, but both of these take a sizable chunk out of your battery.
  • Give your AI assistants the boot – Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant constantly listen for you to say their name so they can provide quick responses, which unsurprisingly comes with consequences. Turn off AI assistants from the settings menu if you don’t use them.

Some of these items even fit perfectly into a centralized mobile device management plan. You wouldn’t even need to educate your staff on battery usage and data security if you could manage all company-registered smartphones remotely!

Keeping Peripherals From Dying Unexpectedly

It’s easy to forget just how many other devices we connect to laptops and phones. A dead wireless mouse won’t exactly keep you from working, but it will put a damper on your productivity. The trick is to always prepare for the worst:

  • Keep analog backups on hand – Wireless headphones, keyboards, and mice are all better than their older counterparts, but worthless when they die. Wired alternatives are a cheap safety net when you need them.
  • Sometimes AAs are better than lithium ion – As great as built-in rechargeable batteries are, they’re an absolute nightmare when run dry. If you stick to peripherals that run on AAs, you’ll never be out of commission for more than a few minutes; all you’ll need is a pack of swappable batteries.
  • Invest a little more in fast-charging hardware – the latest wireless devices are capable of juicing up over 25% of their batteries in just 15 minutes. For wireless headsets, this means the worst case scenario goes from cancelling a call with a sales lead to fixing a minor delay.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t be that guy in the coffee shop trying to smash the last few clicks out of your wireless mouse before it dies. Nobody likes angry-remote-worker guy.

Our technicians love what they do, and most of the time that involves digging around the inside of a server rack. But as our website promises, we are business technology specialists, and sometimes all you really need is a securely managed cloud and some useful battery tips.

Call us today for answers to IT questions large and small.


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