Some digital nomads may adhere to the belief that the keys to success in this burgeoning lifestyle lie in owning a dependable laptop and internet connectivity, regardless of other factors. However, as the number of remote workers continues to grow, having a personal workspace within one’s home has become a critical requirement to meet the rising demand.
Forward-thinking employers have begun to consider remote work as a hiring criterion. As an illustration, Alex Turnbull, the brains behind Groove, reportedly inquires about the home office setup of job candidates.
A seasoned remote worker will have set up their own workstation equipped with all the essentials needed to carry out their work efficiently.
If you’re contemplating employing remote workers, we’d be thrilled to help you explore your options. Do keep in mind that remote workers require access to a well-equipped home office to be productive, as highlighted in our article. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any queries or would like to know more.
Why a dependable virtual office is a must-have
While a remote worker may occasionally work from a coffee shop or coworking space, their home office remains their primary work location.
When an employee has set aside a specific area for work at home, it could signal that they are ready for remote work.
Would offering a home office to a remote worker yield any advantages?
- It showcases their ability to work remotely with autonomy and adequate resources.
- Having a designated workspace will help them switch from “home-mode” to “office-mode” more smoothly.
- A home office indicates that you recognise the hurdles that come with remote working, such as managing domestic interruptions, and that you have the skills to overcome them.
- Enhances their professionalism and fosters stability in their daily work routine.
- Conveys to family members that they are engaged in work and therefore not available.
- A dedicated office saves the time they would otherwise spend setting up their work area each time.
- They have the flexibility to customise their environment according to their needs, making it more conducive to their work and potentially boosting their productivity.
- Inclement weather is not a valid excuse for missing work as remote workers do not have to commute to an office.
The essential components for a thriving virtual workspace.
For those who work from home, mastering the transition from “home mode” to “office mode” can be a significant obstacle.
Those who have the privilege of an additional room in their home can transform it into a designated workspace. This affords them the flexibility to select the ideal location for their office, enabling them to make choices that cater to their unique requirements and preferences.
The optimal work setting is a peaceful, uninterrupted space in the home, preferably one that is free of distractions such as the comfortable pull of the nearby couch or the ringing of the dishwasher.
The setup, in addition to the placement, can be as uncomplicated or intricate as preferred.
Critical fundamentals include:
- A desk and chair set up that can be adjusted to promote physical health and comfort
- This is a laptop, not a notebook
- Reliable and consistent internet connection, possibly via a high-speed router
- Tools such as a mouse, keyboard, and monitor can be useful, but not essential for programmers to perform their work.
- An audio system with speakers, microphone, and earplugs
- Natural light and a desk lamp offer suitable lighting.
- Tools for analog thinking, such as whiteboards and painted chalkboards, as well as paper goods
- Phone chargers, surge protectors, and power banks
- For digital workers requiring a secure and easily accessible file solution, portable hard drives have become the go-to standard. Learn how to improve productivity for remote workers.
- Add-ons: Coffee machines, “just do it” signs, stress balls, pictures of dogs, and anything else that aids in concentrating on the task at hand
What is the backup plan if a prospective worker’s home office is insufficient?
When evaluating a potential employee whose remote work toolkit lacks a vital tool, it is crucial to determine the importance of the missing element. Based on its significance, it may be necessary to determine whether the tool is essential for the employee to fulfil their job role.
When interviewing candidates, a significant gap in their application should be a cause for concern.
It is reasonable to question the proficiency of a developer who uses a notebook instead of a laptop while working from home.
Absence of desks and lighting are signs of a temporary work area.
No headphones or audio equipment? Perhaps they can make do with their laptop.
Your company’s workflow may necessitate the use of supplementary tools. The HotJar team has access to a shared digital library to read from.
In such cases, you either need to supply the device to your new hire (like HotJar does), or allocate a budget for them to purchase it themselves.
Application software can aid in managing tasks for remote workers. The same standards can be applied to evaluate the suitability of an individual for remote work.
Skype/Zoom/Trello: It is hard to imagine that an experienced remote worker is not already acquainted with these technologies or similar ones. It is definitely a matter of concern if the individual has never heard of them.
Company-specific SaaS: It is probable that they have not yet subscribed, so it is recommended to arrange a subscription for them so that you can ensure that their work is exclusively their own.
Evaluating a Home Office
This writer has been engaged in full-time remote work since at least 2007, so do not claim it as a novel occurrence.
I have had only one job after graduation that necessitated me to physically “go to work.”
Very soon, I realized that the standard 9-to-5 workday was meaningless. This was particularly true because of travel time, and even inside the office.
Occasionally, we were very productive. However, for several hours, little got accomplished, yet we were required to be present.
Following nine months of commuting to a DC office, I was prepared to attempt working from home.
Nevertheless, during that period, the idea of remote work was severely criticised and those who worked from home were frequently considered inferior.
It required a lot of bravery and resolve to overlook the interruptions and focus on the core issue: that an efficient workflow can be attained in a non-traditional office setting.
Initially, I created an improvised office in a corner of my room, equipped with a desk, chair, laptop and Wi-Fi.
From 2007, I have moved across two countries (and one continent). Regardless of my location, my top priority is to establish a comfortable workspace. All I need is a cozy chair, a laptop, and internet connectivity. I sometimes incorporate additional components such as a Bojesen monkey, a bubble machine, and food containers!
The most essential takeaway from this is that when it comes to computers and toys, as long as they are functional, remote work is viable. Yet, the true secret to succeeding in a remote work arrangement is acknowledging that any place can be converted into a workspace.
Contact us if you require assistance connecting with veteran remote workers who have already established their workspace.