A puritanically-minded digital nomad may assert that, irrespective of appearance, all one needs to be successful in this increasingly popular lifestyle is a reliable laptop and access to the internet. With the ever-growing number of people working remotely, it is becoming increasingly necessary to have a dedicated workspace in one’s own home in order to keep up with the demand.
Employers who recognize the potential of remote working have started to use it as a factor in their candidate selection process. For example, Alex Turnbull, the creator of Groove, has been known to ask prospective employees about the home office space they have available.
An experienced remote worker will have their own office set up with all of the necessities for getting the job done.
If you are considering hiring a remote worker, we would be delighted to discuss how we can help you. It is important to bear in mind that remote workers need to have access to a well-equipped home office in order to be able to work effectively. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more.
Reasons why a reliable virtual office is essential
If a remote worker does sometimes work from a coffee shop or shared office, their primary workplace is still their own home.
If an employee has a dedicated space for work at home, it may be a good indicator that they are prepared to do remote work.
Is there any benefit to providing a home office to a worker who reports in remotely?
- It demonstrates that they have the freedom and resources to operate remotely.
- They’ll find it easier to transition from “home-mode” to “office-mode” if they have a designated workplace space.
- Having a home office shows that you are aware of the challenges associated with remote working, such as managing distractions in a domestic environment, and that you are capable of successfully tackling them.
- Improves their professionalism and stability in their daily job routine.
- Sends a message to household members that they are busy working and so unavailable.
- The time they would normally spend setting up each time would be saved by having a permanent office.
- They may alter the environment to better suit their demands, making it more favourable to their job and increasing their output.
- Having a “snow-day” is not an acceptable excuse since they do not need to go outdoors.
The key ingredients of a successful virtual office.
To anybody who works from home, the challenge of switching from “home mode” to “office mode” is a significant one.
Those who are fortunate enough to have an extra room in their home have the opportunity to convert it into a dedicated workspace. This provides them with the flexibility to carefully consider the placement of their workplace, allowing them to make decisions that are tailored to their individual needs and preferences.
The ideal environment to work in would be a tranquil, undisturbed area in the home, ideally one where distractions such as the inviting comfort of the nearby sofa or the sound of the dishwasher chime cannot be seen or heard.
The configuration, apart from the location, may be as simple or complex as desired.
Important basics consist of:
- A workstation with a chair and desk that can be adjusted to optimise health and comfort
- It’s a laptop, not a notebook
- Uninterrupted connectivity to the internet, maybe through a high-speed router
- Devices like a mouse, keyboard, and monitor are helpful but not required for programmers to do their jobs.
- Sound system including speakers, microphone, and earplugs
- Natural light and the table lamp provide for good illumination.
- Paper goods and tools for analogue thought, such whiteboards and painted chalkboards
- Power banks, surge protectors, and phone chargers
- Portable hard drives have become the de facto standard for digital workers in need of a secure, easily accessible file solution.
- Extras: coffee machine, “just do it” signs, stress balls, canine photos, and anything else that helps them focus on the task at hand
Is there a plan b if a potential worker’s house office doesn’t cut it?
If you come across a potential employee whose toolkit is missing a tool necessary for remote work, it is important to consider the importance of the missing detail. Depending on its significance, you may need to decide whether it is essential for the employee to have the tool in order to fulfil the job role.
During the interview process, a critical gap in the application should trigger red flags.
You have to question the developer’s competence if they work from home using a notebook instead of a laptop.
Indicators of a temporary nature of a work area include the absence of desks and lights.
What, no headphones or audio equipment? Maybe they can get by with their laptop.
Your business’s workflow may call for the use of additional tools. Every member of the HotJar team has access to a common digital reading library.
In this instance, you must either provide the gadget to your new hire (as HotJar does) or provide them with a budget to purchase one themselves.
Application software can be used to facilitate the organisation of tasks for employees who work remotely. The same criteria may be utilised to assess if an individual is suitable for working outside of the office.
Skype/Zoom/Trello It is difficult to comprehend how an experienced remote worker could not already be familiar with these technologies, or those of a similar nature. It is certainly a cause for concern if the individual has never heard of them.
Company-specific SaaS It is likely that they do not yet have a subscription, so it would be advisable to purchase one for them. That way, you can be sure that any work they do is entirely their own.
An examination of a home office
This author has been doing full-time remote work since at least 2007, so don’t tell me that it’s a recent phenomenon.
I only ever had one job after graduation that required me to really “go to work.”
In little time at all, I saw that the typical 9 to 5 workday was pointless. In this case, sure, because of travel time. Also, at the office.
At times, we managed to get a lot done. Then, for a number of hours, nothing much happened. Yet it was mandatory that we show up.
After nine months of driving to and from a DC office, I was ready to try working from home.
Back then, however, the concept of remote employment was heavily criticised. People who worked from home were often looked down upon.
It took a great deal of courage and determination to ignore the distractions and concentrate on the main point: that effective work can be achieved in an environment other than a conventional office.
I first made a makeshift office in a nook of my room, complete with a desk, chair, laptop, and Wi-Fi.
Since 2007, I have relocated across two countries (and one continent). No matter where I call home, my first priority is to create a comfortable work environment. All I need is a comfortable chair, a laptop, and access to Wi-Fi. On occasion, I even add a Bojesen monkey, a bubble machine, and food boxes to the mix!
The most important point to take away from this is that when it comes to computers and toys, as long as they are able to fulfil their purpose, then a remote work arrangement is satisfactory. The real key to achieving success with remote working, however, is understanding that any location can be used as a workspace.
Get in touch if you need help connecting with seasoned remote employees who have already established themselves in their workspace.