As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work became inevitable and led to some uncertainty amongst team members about necessary tools. Managers and employees have been trying out various set-ups to figure out the best working environment for optimal productivity.
Due to the growing popularity of working from home, it’s important for employers to ensure that their employees have access to all the necessary resources required for their job roles. While the needs may differ for each individual worker, there are some essential tools that will be helpful for all professionals. The accompanying video provides a detailed overview of these resources, while the following points offer additional information.
Household Furnishings and Fixtures
Sitting for extended periods, especially in incorrect posture, can cause stiffness in muscles, joint problems, and repetitive stress injuries. Therefore, employees must arrange their office furniture correctly to maintain good posture and avoid such issues. The ideal setup entails having thighs and forearms parallel to the floor, with proper back support to prevent slouching. Achieving this requires an appropriately sized workstation and a comfortable chair.
To prevent health risks associated with prolonged sitting, an alternative option is a standing or adjustable desk setup, which can help employees avoid potential health risks related to inactive behaviour. Different styles and designs are available, and companies may opt for desk-mounted stands to serve the same purpose.
Suitable equipment can assist in maintaining good posture in the workplace. To ensure that the screen is at the correct height (with eyes slightly looking downwards), employees can use a laptop stand, or opt for a larger monitor to eliminate squinting. To attain the ideal height, keyboard trays can be used as another alternative to adjustable desks. Additionally, for shorter individuals who may require help in achieving the correct leg angle, a footrest may be provided.
In order to work remotely, employees would need access to a computer, which can either be their personal laptop or one provided by the organisation. Although using a company-issued computer is the most secure option, it’s essential for every business to have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to safeguard their employees’ personal devices.
In addition, the workforce requires computer peripherals such as:
Keyboardshould be appropriate for the user and their working environment
Pointing and clicking devices– should be user-friendly and compatible with the current configuration
Monitor– It should be at eye level and large enough to read comfortably without straining
Copy machine and/or scanner– It must be compact enough to be stored in a convenient location.
External disk drive– must be kept handy as a backup
Voltage suppressor– Is necessary to ensure data security
Other accessories– should be determined based on the requirements of the job role
Remote workers need a computer system to complete their work from a distant location, but aside from that, they also require services and security measures to guarantee the protection of their data. Let’s explore some of these crucial aspects now.
Internet Service Providers.The team members must have a broadband connection with minimum download speeds of 50 Mbps to operate the applications essential for remote work. A faster connection may be required if multiple individuals need to work or study from home. While Wi-Fi is suitable for general office tasks, wired Ethernet connections offer better reliability.
Router.A home router must have essential features such as Wi-Fi dual band and backward compatibility with earlier standards like 802.11b/g/n and b/g/n.
Malware and Virus Protection Software.It is critical for all workstations to have reliable software installed to safeguard against cyberattacks that could jeopardize the entire network, rather than only an individual’s PC. All the companies must identify trustworthy software, use this constantly, and ensure that it is up to date across all computers, including those situated outside of the office space.
When team members work remotely, having efficient communication through messaging, video conferencing, phone calls, and online discussion forums is critical for decision-making and getting answers. Investing in high-quality technology can simplify and improve communication among employees. Crucial factors to consider include:
Webcam.A high-quality webcam is essential for virtual meetings because it provides an accurate view of each team member.
Microphone.Microphones are a significant addition to any team, as they enable clear communication during phone and video conferences. Moreover, executives and marketers can use them to record voice-overs for podcasts.
Headset.Headsets are versatile and can be used for purposes other than communication. Noise-cancelling headsets can limit distracting background noise while working, studying, or relaxing at home. They can also be used for phone or video calls.
Communication Tools.The software utilised can significantly impact internal communication quality within the team. Therefore, it is crucial that companies conduct extensive research into the available options before deciding on a system that would be beneficial for all departments.
Security of Valuables
When compared to working in an office, remote working poses unique security challenges. Although incidents like coffee spills occur more frequently in a working space, homes have other potential hazards, such as those posed by children and pets. To safeguard information and assets, it is essential to secure computer equipment and other expensive machinery when not in use. One way of doing this is by storing equipment in a locked cabinet or drawer.
Employees may need additional storage space for items essential for their jobs but unrelated to computers. Filing cabinets provide drawers that are perfect for such articles. For individuals with limited space, under-bed storage containers may serve as a suitable solution for storing their mobile office when not in use.
Employees who frequently work from different locations (including their homes, coffee shops, offices, airports, and clients’ offices) need appropriate bags or luggage to move their belongings from one place to another.
Lay the Foundations
Numerous business owners and employees have discovered that remote working can be equally as productive as working in the office full time. However, remote workers may only maximise their potential if their tools and technology allow it. To achieve the best outcomes, it is crucial to implement the steps outlined below initially and then listen to team members to identify any other measures that could help increase their productivity.