Remote working has become more common in recent years, but the events of 2020 have pushed many employers, who were sitting on the fence, to make working from home a viable option for their employees. In fact, it looks likely that many people will continue to work from home even when the pandemic is under control.
Unfortunately, a lot of remote workers do not have the correct setup or kit to ensure they can work from home safely and productively. If working from home looks like it will become more regular for you next year, this guide outlines how to best kit out your home for work.
Create a dedicated space
While in the short-term, setting up at the kitchen table can work fine but when you are working from home for a long time, it is best to create an area of your home which is just for work.
During working hours, you should be able to shut the door on household noise, and then be able to leave work behind when you clock off. This is important when maintaining boundaries between work and home life. Consider converting a spare room, utility room, conservatory, or even a garden shed into an office. Some people go as far as getting an online loan to build an office space in their garden.
Choosing a desk and chair
The desk you work at should be at the correct height or should be adjustable. Taller people may need this to be higher (and shorter people may need a lower desk). Unfortunately, too many people try to work at their kitchen table, which is bad as using a desk which is wrongly positioned can lead to pain and discomfort. The height of the desk should also be different depending on whether you are writing by hand or typing on a keyboard. When you are sitting upright, your forearms should be parallel to the ground with no need to bend your wrist when typing or using the mouse.
In addition to an adjustable desk, it is important to consider your chair. While the sofa might feel comfortable at first, you will end up struggling with your posture and will find that you develop aches and pains through poor support. Ergonomic chairs are designed to support you in the all the right places, including your back, arms, and legs, and can be adapted to suit your desk height.
The technology you need to work from home will vary depending on your job, of course, but there are some core items which almost every worker needs in their home office. This includes a laptop as well as at least one other monitor so you can work on multiple screens. Monitors, like desks and chairs, should be height adjustable so you are not straining your neck or eyes. Other pieces of technology you should have include a keyboard, mouse, and a headset. A headset will not only enable you to drown out household noise when working, but also keep online work meetings professional. Depending on your role, you might also want a printer, as printing documents can be useful in some situations.
One of the most common issues for people working from home is inadequate lighting. Your workspace will, ideally, be near to windows where you can enjoy plenty of natural light, but you should also have overhead lighting. Lamps can be used, but they should not be positioned in a place where they create glare. It is also important to adjust your monitor’s brightness.
Strong and reliable internet
Slow or unreliable internet will make your job a lot harder and can make it difficult to stay in touch with your colleagues. Invest in a high-speed internet connection of at least 50Mbps. For the strongest connection, use an ethernet cable to connect your laptop to the router, but most people are able to work using Wi-Fi. Visit Expert Reviews to compare broadband providers.