Home Office Essentials for Productive Remote Work
Until the spring of 2020, remote working was much more an exception than a rule. Only some people were able to work from home, while some were granted such permission solely as a reward. However, things have changed a lot since this time last year. The pandemic has spread across the whole world and some nations have come to a complete standstill. That meant that most institutions had to reorganize their operations to allow people to stay at home, isolated from co-workers.
For many people, these requirements presented numerous obstacles and we all tried to cope with them the best we could. Now that a year has passed, we can say we’ve learned what is required for productive work from home and we’d like to share our findings with you. So, here is a list of the top essentials for remote working.
A dedicated workspace
It takes much more than just a desk and comfortable chair to be productive while working from home. To begin with, you need to find a dedicated space, ideally a room, where you can focus on your work alone. This is especially true if you have little kids and/or pets running around, happy to see you at home 24/7. Your space should also have adequate shelves, drawers, electric outlets, and lighting. Try to find a space with as much natural light as possible, since it’s much better for your eyesight than artificial. Finally, make sure that your space can be ventilated regularly since you need a lot of fresh air to stay focused and productive.
With so many activities now restricted to the Internet, it goes without saying that you need a fast and reliable internet connection. The importance of having such access is even greater if there are more people using the same network at your home (kids attending online classes, your partner working…). So, invest in a reliable broadband connection, such as a fast internet fiber connection to make sure you won’t have problems running even the most demanding applications. That will also prevent many moments of frustration caused by the slow internet, which inevitably leads to a drop in your productivity.
Depending on the work you do, it might be shrewd to upgrade to a dual monitor setup. Having an additional monitor will allow you to run several apps at the same time and give you a comprehensive view of everything you’re working on. The good news is that you don’t need any extra software to use a second monitor, but you do need a desk big enough.
Working from home can be rather frustrating for many reasons and unexpected noise is most certainly one of them. Kids yelling and shouting, dogs barking, and city traffic are things that can easily break your concentration. Since there is little you can do about people and animals making noise, your best shot at solving the problem is to get a pair of top-quality noise-canceling headphones, which can block outside noises and allow you to work undisturbed by unwanted noise. What’s more, such headphones enable you to hear the conversation on the other line clearly and isolate your voice from external sounds.
It may be impossible to replicate your office at home, but there are some things you definitely need. The list probably includes notepads, planners, pens, paper, markers, etc. They should all be purchased before you start working from home because you don’t want to deal with such activities when you’re supposed to be completely focused on your work. So, make a list of all supplies you need and get them before you start working.
Even though you need to convert a part of your home into an office, it doesn’t mean it has to be dull and uninspiring, like many offices. On the contrary, you’re a human being, sensitive to your surroundings, so make sure you feel great in your makeshift office. Bring in some flowerpots with plants, as well as essential oils for a natural scent. That will help you relax while working and when taking a break. You can also include pictures of your loved ones, but try not to overdo it, since having many photos around your workplace can be quite distracting. Finally, if possible, you might want to have a quality sound system installed, provided that you’ve realized that listening to music makes you more productive. Otherwise, it’s a bad idea, since it could disturb your concentration.
As you can see, all these essentials are quite necessary if you want to be productive while working remotely. On the bright side, they really don’t require substantial financial resources and effort and since we really don’t know when we’ll be back to our regular offices, we should make our home offices well-equipped with the right tools.
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