Do you prefer working from home? Or would you rather take on that daily commute to work? Studies show that around 43 percent of white-collar workers in the US spent at least a part of their billable hours working from the comfort of their home. I have been working from home for the last five years and I really love it! There are a few basic essentials in order to make working-from-home work. Here’s our take on the essentials for ensuring a successful remote working experience.
Working from home is one of the ‘greenest things’ that you can do.Commuting daily to office and back is a wastage of energy, time and efficiency. It also adds to your carbon footprint. Apart from all the comforts of not having to leave your home for work, we believe that remote working has an environmental perspective too. It helps you reduce your carbon footprint to an extent. Skeptical? hmmm…
Working from home has helped reduced 54 million tons of greenhouse emissions annually by avoiding the daily commuting. So by just choosing not to commute, you’d be saving a ton of fossil fuels and thereby a contributing to a cleaner environment. But before you make the big decision, ensure to invest in these basic essentials that you’d need to make your work-from-home experience a highly productive one.
1. A Workspace
Your workplace is the one place that should help you focus on your work. If you’re a newbie to remote working, it is always advisable to dedicate a workspace for you. It could be a room, a corner, a table or the corner of a table – that depends on your personal preferences as well as your finances. Go for something that you are comfortable with, but something you can afford. The workspace also helps you to get into that ‘work mood’, not just relax around in the chaise.
It would be nice to have the essentials handy while you’re working from home. You should be able to get these without having to walk around the home. Consider what all you would need while you are working and keep those handy. For example, if your work involves frequent phone calls, keep an extension phone or smartphone handy. If you prefer to write down points the good old way, keep a notepad or journal and pens or pencils somewhere reachable. A bottle of water nearby also helps. In a nutshell, take proactive measures to eliminate distractions as far as possible.
Keep some photos, a small green plant or some curio to make you feel good. If you prefer to move things around or need different moods for different types of work, like me, you can also try creating multiple temporary workspaces. This also helps to eliminate the monotonous feel of being in the same physical space all the time. Setting your table near a window with an awesome view also work wonders. Once you get used to working-from-home, you should be able to figure out what helps you to improve your productivity.
Now the most important tool for remote working is your workstation – a desktop or a laptop – and that’s our next point.
2. Portable workstations (laptop/computer)
An efficient and reliable workstation is a necessity for working from home. Choose something that meets your hardware and software requirements, while providing a decent battery backup. I recommend lightweight laptops for the purpose. I personally use an Apple MacBook Pro. Not only it is light, it has good charge retention and less heating. Having a second system handy in case of contingencies is preferable, but can do without one, if your finances don’t approve of it.
In today’s world of multitasking, you can’t imagine being productive in a remote environment without a smartphone. Choose something that has enough memory to run your official apps and keep your contacts and social connections active.
Ergonomic chairs are a must if your work involves long hours in front of the computer. Having a great chair that suits your body not only contributes to better physical posture and efficiency but also reduces your medical bills in the long term.
5. Wireless headsets
6. Power spike
With a multitude of gadgets comes the need for multiple charging points. Invest in a good quality power spike to keep all your power-hungry devices satiated.
7. Coffee maker/Teapot
Goes without a saying! Invest in a good quality coffee maker to save you time, energy and the hassles of coffee making. Alternatively, invest in a good teapot and high-quality tea leaves/tea bags if you’d rather have a tea.
Long working hours can induce several health problems. In an office, you may routinely take a break and chat with others, or take a walk just for the sake of it. In the comfort of your home-office, we, the workaholics, can get absorbed into the world of virtual reality and forget our physical existence altogether! That’s why it’s so important to keep some small exercising tools handy, to remind us of our physical body and its need for action.
These are some of the exercising tools that you can use with a few 10-minute breaks.
9. Office stationery
Ensure to keep some basic stationery handy. A notepad, some pens and pencils, a glue stick, printer and scanner, A4 sheets, stapler and some mouth freshener should cover the basics.
10. Internet connection
This goes without saying – the lifeline of a successful remote working environment is a reliable, high-speed broadband/internet connection. Have at least two connection from two different service providers to cover for any downtime, line repairs and the like. Your employers and clients won’t be too happy if you go off-grid without proper notice. That would be detrimental to your remote working before you even start.
So, what is your take on successful remote working? Do you prefer working-from-home or from your office? Let us know – drop a line in our comments section.
The authors of this article have a combined work experience of 20+ years, of which more than a half has been from their home-office.They really love it!