I recently received a request from Porch.com to weigh in on an article they were writing called “How to Succeed as a Remote Worker: Q&A from the Experts.” In writing my piece, I got inspired to write an entire article on the subject of remote work equipment. It’s often so much more than just a laptop. Here is the result of that inspiration. You can read additional thoughts from me and other business leaders in the Porch article, linked above.
Many business owners and employees are working from home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. And, while you likely have some kind of home office setup, it may not be ideal or efficient. You may have an okay computer, but a poor wifi connection. Or it could be that your webcam, coupled with your office lighting, makes you look like a ghost from the Victorian Era when you join video calls.
As you continue to work from home, we wanted to share what equipment is essential and then pan out and include equipment that will help you to do things like improve video quality for calls, webinars, and recorded events. Additionally, for those remote workers who need to improve organizational systems, there are pieces of furniture that may help you but that you may not have in your home right now.
What is most crucial to your work-from-home setup?
The essential pieces of remote office equipment are a computer, a phone, and a dependable internet connection. These three elements are vital to any work-from-home setup.
Reliability is critical for office equipment, and it’s important to consider this in every aspect of your home office. For example, your desktop computer or laptop must have all of the appropriate software installed that you need to do your job. It should also have the RAM necessary to ensure you can work reliably, along with cloud or physical storage. Finally, computer security is critical. You must ensure that security software is run regularly to keep your information secure and private.
Another piece of equipment upon which you likely depend is your phone. Use your cell phone to test reception and locate any dead zones where you do not have reception. Not every house has appropriate cell phone coverage. If coverage is a problem, you might want to look at installing a landline phone system, VOIP system, or switching carriers.
Finally, ensure that your internet connection is reliable and that you have the correct upload and download speed requirements, as well as an ethernet connection. We recommend setting up a backup for your internet in case it goes down. Some remote workers set up a hot spot via their cell phone to use when wifi coverage fails.
Accessories and Furniture
It is crucial that you are comfortable while working, so the next category includes the accessories and furniture you need to make your home office work for you.
Here are five essentials for the modern remote office:
1. Comfortable chair and desk: So many remote “offices” are really at the kitchen table or on the couch. This setup is not comfortable in the long term unless there is some other benefit to the workspace. If you are genuinely working in your home, get a designated chair and desk set up exactly as you like them.
2. Headset: Invest in a good headset with noise-canceling functions, especially if you are working in a noisy environment or sharing the space with other household members. This will help you to focus on your work even if you aren’t on a call.
3. Microphone: Your microphone may come in combination with your headset, but it’s vital to check both to ensure your communication is clear and easily understood
4. External camera: Many of us are working with the webcams that came with our laptops. But if you are primarily working through video, a good external camera can make a big difference in how you come across. Additionally, if you are doing presentations or video interviews, investing in a complimentary camera setup is a smart move.
5. Lighting: Excellent lighting will not only help you when presenting over a video conferencing app, but it can also improve your mood and make your work environment more comfortable. Do your research and purchase the right lighting for your home office needs. You can find good lighting that is relatively inexpensive but can make a big difference to your workday.
On top of these five essentials, it’s important to consider additional accessories and furniture to create the most comfortable and productive work environment possible. Here are a few other elements that you should consider including in your home office upgrade:
- Second monitor
- Laptop stand
- External keyboard
- Wireless mouse
- File cabinet
- Paper tray
- Cord organizers
- Appropriate shelving
All of these elements will elevate your home office to improve productivity so that you can spend more time doing what you love.
While we rarely discuss the physical aspects necessary to remote work here at Business Success Consulting Group, we do consider them as we help businesses optimize and systematize. If you are ready to increase efficiency and create the best remote working environment possible for you and your employees, get in touch today.