When the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a shift to remote working, not everybody on the team was clear on the tools they would require. Managers and employees have since experimented with a variety of set-ups in order to find the most effective working environment for productivity.
As working from home becomes an increasingly common practice, employers should ensure that their staff have access to all the necessary resources for their roles. Although individual requirements may vary, there are some essential tools that will benefit all professionals. The following video explains the features of these resources in more detail, and the points outlined below provide further information.
Home Furnishings and Fixtures
Prolonged sitting, particularly in poor posture, can lead to muscle stiffness, joint issues, and repetitive stress injuries. To prevent these problems, employees should ensure their office furniture is set up correctly to promote good posture. The optimal setup involves the thighs and forearms being parallel to the floor, and the back being supported to avoid slouching. This should be achieved with an appropriately sized workstation and a comfortable chair.
An alternative to sitting for extended periods of time is a sitting-standing desk, which can help employees to avoid potential health risks associated with sedentary behaviour. Different designs are available, and businesses may choose to invest in desk-mounted stands for the same purpose.
Good posture in the workplace can be supported by the use of suitable equipment. A laptop stand can be used to ensure that the screen is at the correct height (the eyes should be looking slightly downwards), or a larger monitor can be used to avoid squinting. An alternative to an adjustable desk is to use a keyboard tray to bring the work surface to the ideal height. To further aid those of shorter stature in maintaining the correct leg angle, a footrest may be provided.
Employees who wish to work remotely will require access to a computer, either their own laptop or one provided by the organisation. Whilst utilising a company computer is the safest option, it is important for all businesses to have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place to protect employees’ personal devices.
The workforce also need computer peripherals such as:
Keyboardshould be well-suited to the user and the current environment
Devices for pointing and clicking– be user-friendly and compatible with the current configuration
MonitorIt should be at eye level and big enough to read without straining
Copy machine and/or scannerIt has to be compact enough to be stashed in a convenient location.
Disk drive, externalto have on hand as a safety net
Voltage suppressorThe need for data security
Various Appurtenances– based on the needs of the position
Telecommuters require a computer to work remotely, but additionally, they need services and security measures to ensure their data is kept secure. Let us now discuss some of the most important ones.
Providers of the World Wide Web.Team members should have a broadband connection with minimum download speeds of 50 Mbps to run the applications required for remote working. If multiple people in the household need to work or study from home, a faster connection may be required. Whilst Wi-Fi is adequate for general office tasks, wired Ethernet connections provide improved reliability.
Router.Wi-Fi dual band and backwards compatibility with previous standards like 802.11b/g/n and b/g/n are essential features for a home router.
Malware and virus detection and removal tools.It is essential that all workstations have the necessary software installed to protect against cyberattacks which could compromise the entire network, not just an individual’s PC. All businesses must identify reliable software, use this exclusively and ensure that it is kept up to date across all computers, even those located outside of the office.
Hardware for Verbal Exchange
When team members work remotely, having the ability to communicate effectively via messaging, video conferences, phone calls and online discussion forums is essential for making decisions and obtaining answers. Investing in higher quality technology can help facilitate clearer and more effective communication among employees. Key elements to consider include:
Webcam.High-quality webcams are crucial for virtual meetings because they provide everyone an accurate look at each team member.
Microphone.Microphones are an important component of any team, as they allow for clear communication during phone and video conferences. Furthermore, they can be utilised by executives and marketers to record voice-overs for podcasts.
Headset.Headsets have a multitude of uses beyond just communication. Noise-cancelling headsets can help to reduce distracting background noise while working, studying, or playing at home. They can also be used for phone or video calls.
Tools for establishing contact.The quality of internal group communication can be significantly affected by the software employed. Therefore, it is important that businesses conduct thorough research into the available options before choosing a system that will be beneficial to all departments.
Safekeeping of Valuables
When compared to working in an office, working from home presents its own unique security challenges. Accidents such as coffee spills are more likely to happen in the workplace, however, at home, there are more potential risks, such as those posed by children and pets. To ensure the security of information and assets, it is important to ensure that computer equipment and other expensive machinery is secured when not in use. This can be achieved by storing the equipment in a locked cabinet or drawer.
Employees may require additional storage space for items which are necessary for their job, but are not related to computers. Filing cabinets offer drawers which are ideal for such items. For those with limited space, under-bed storage bins may be a suitable solution for keeping their mobile office when not in use.
Employees who are regularly working from multiple locations (including their homes, coffee shops, offices, airports, and clients’ offices) require suitable bags or luggage to transport their items from one location to the next.
Put the Foundations in Place
Many business owners and employees have discovered that remote working can be just as effective as being in the office full time. Nevertheless, remote workers may only be able to meet their full potential if their technology and tools permit. To ensure the best results, it is important to initially implement the measures outlined below, and then listen to team members to identify any additional measures that may help them work productively.