Whether you love or hate working from your home office, it looks as though the practice is here to stay. While COVID-19 pushed many employers across the sector to consider remote working for the first time, many of them are finding that it has plenty of benefits.
Productivity is up, so is the quality of work and employee morale. But office costs are down. With no commuting, employees are less tired and stressed, and the ability to work more flexibly is always a boost. Many employers are looking to make homeworking a continued possibility, with some even closing their offices down or relocating to smaller premises with significantly reduced costs.
If your move to home working looks like it might become permanent, here are some of the tools that you might need to make it successful.
So, the good news is, unless you’ve got a job that requires specific technology, you might be able to do everything that you need on your home computer or laptop. As long as it’s fast, you have a fast primary internet connection and lots of cloud storage, and the webcam works, you might not need to upgrade at all.
You might want to consider a tablet, or lightweight notebook to make working from outside of your home easier, and a good old pen and paper never hurt.
When it comes to software, again, there may be specific programs that your job requires. But, some of the basics that you may need include a good word processor, a PDF reader and knowledge of how to edit a pdf, OneDrive, or other cloud storage, an Email provider, and a video chat program to keep in touch with the office.
There are plenty of apps out there to help anyone working from home. You might want to use an app to help you manage your time, one to make lists, and if you are self-employed, to manage your invoices and receipts. There are apps for everything nowadays, and chances are, if you are struggling with something, there’s an app on the app store ready to help.
If there’s one thing that you need when working from home, it’s a good coffee machine, especially if you are used to sipping from cup after cup at your work desk. Make sure you’ve got plenty of coffee, lots of snacks (some healthy) and anything else you need to keep you comfortable.
GOOD DESK SETUP
Working on the sofa might be a fun novelty for a while, but if you are going to be working from home for longer, this will soon lead to backache, neck pain and headaches. Get your desk set up right, with a comfortable and supportive chair, and then clear away any clutter that may be distracting. Make sure you’ve got a good light source, and that you are able to focus and stay comfortable for long periods.
Lighting is one of the key drivers of both mood and productivity. Daylight is best so ensure you position yourself near a window. If your window has a great view then even better.
Depending upon the time of year and location around the globe, you might need additional lighting. Whilst many guidelines and best practices exist for lighting setups, we would suggest getting lighting that you yourself prefer. Smart lighting is something I personally use in the office as it lets me set the warmth of the white light to meet my mood.
Lastly, it is vital that you take proactive steps to ensure that you have an alternative method of connecting to the Internet should your ISP have scheduled maintenance, or downtime. One way that you can achieve this is by ensuring that your mobile phone has enough monthly data and can act as a hub. For you to be able to operate at normal productivity during these times, 5G is preferable. If that is not available, then 4G should suffice.
Working from home can be a fantastic opportunity, and these tools could help you to face any of the challenges that may come your way while doing it.