Most commuters in offices around the world are now making the transition to telecommuting. For many, this is a brand new experience, bringing its own challenges. Some office workers do not have a home computer. Some have no home work space, desk chair, or office desk. You may not know where to begin and are floundering under the pressure of performing your same daily tasks in an environment in which you are used to relaxing. Every telecommuter needs to go above and beyond the bare minimum for remote work. They need to trick out their work-from-home setup to fit their style.
Location, Location, Location
Just like starting a business, where you position your home office is just as important as what you do there. Some homes already have a spare bedroom that works perfectly as a quiet space for managing daily tasks. The den could be a good fit if your family isn’t running rampant through there, watching cartoons. Maybe you don’t have a comfortable office chair, and you decide to use your easy chair or couch. Or your desk chair is too comfortable, and you move to the kitchen table. Where can you work with the least distractions and the quickest access to facilities? Natural light goes overlooked in this location scouting, but it can cut down on fatigue, frequent breaks, and Vitamin D deficiency. During quarantine, sunrays are a premium commodity.
Desk Chairs, Office Desks, and Your Throne Room
Throwing together your work-from-home setup is the perfect opportunity to design your dream office. Are the desk chairs at headquarters too old? Too squeaky? Is the padding all but gone? Perhaps your desk and chair never can reach the perfect alignment for an ergonomic position. Consider a trip to Ikea for the best desk chair and office desk combo you can muster. Target online also has quite the assortment and are offering deals for online orders and curbside pickup. Practice social distancing while you pick out an ottoman. You may even want to buy two desks while sales last. Then you can create…megadesk!
There is almost no way to work from home without the World Wide Web (except carrier pigeon – sometimes faster than email). For that, you need a speedy connection. Some bloggers have recently opined that the extra daytime stress on residential infrastructures will tax the system to a breaking point. But infrastructures have already been tested for evening use at higher volumes – this is when kids are home playing online videogames and parents are experiencing a well-deserved date night with a gripping HBO drama. By contrast, WFH usage largely consists of emails and idle web searches. Some workers like to crank some tunes. This just doesn’t measure up against streaming HD video and multiplayer online games. Rather, any daytime outages in residential areas are largely due to routine maintenance schedules and low traffic fallow hours that haven’t shifted yet. But to be certain you’re getting the most out of your home internet, we recommend shopping around for a modem and router. The equipment provided by ISPs during installation is serviceable, but there is no replacement for personal due diligence. Check out a local Microcenter, Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, or other local tech shop for a wide array of WiFi options. Consider a wired Ethernet connection for your computer to reduce latency and maximize connectivity.
Have you always wanted to build a gaming computer from scratch and then use it for excel spreadsheets just for kicks? Now is your chance! It is beginning to dawn on the desk-based American workforce that their cheap keyboard and monitor they’ve been using for short sessions at home will not cut it 8-hours-a-day. It’s time for a few upgrades. If you’re easily distracted at work and enjoy the peace of an office door that closes, meetings at the kitchen table during morning cartoons and screaming toddlers will be a rude awakening. How about some noise cancelling headphones? These puppies will cancel the ambient noise around you, like low frequency construction a few houses down and traffic out the window. To keep conversations and cartoons at bay, try ear defenders and ear muffs. Even better than shutting that heavy office door. This may also be your chance to create the perfect desktop setup. Get a second monitor or a third. You’ll be able to keep half a dozen spreadsheets open at once for perusal. Now is a great time to pick up a fancy mechanical keyboard. These offer a variety of key switch types, which can influence typing speed and accuracy.
Programs and Software Solutions – WFH Necessities
Accessing my files while working from home: a major concern of everyone under quarantine right now. Conferencing apps and chat functions like Zoom and Slack have already seen worldwide adoption. The Office suite is enough for most basic business tasks, like presentations and organizing microdata. How can teams access documents remotely, though? How can disparate teams collaborate to manage business processes efficiently? Enterprise Content Management systems have been prepared for major adoption for years as outsourcing and telecommuting have steadily risen. These solutions allow organizations to store files in a consolidated structure, accessible to everyone on internal teams with permissions, and inaccessible to everyone else. Files can be stored in local servers at the office and logged into remotely, or they can be hosted in the cloud. With deployment options for the install or web clients and your choice between concurrent seats, named seats (ideal right now), or both, there are endless ways to configure an ECM like Contentverse to fit your unique needs in this unprecedented time.
Beyond the Desktop
Accessories for your PC won’t complete the remote office package. You need to accessorize your entire workspace. Throw up pictures of your favorite inspirations – such as famous quotes, infographics for your industry, or a signed poster of Michael Jordan from ‘95. No need to keep family photos at your desk when they’re five feet away. Instead, make a collage of your coworkers from the last company picnic and post the results on social media for all of those pictured to call out your quarantine cabin fever. While you’re decorating the drab walls, order yourself a mounted whiteboard. It will do you some good to stretch your legs and visualize project goals on a surface other than your three monitors. To reduce the time you spend running back and forth to the kitchen for cups of coffee, add a Keurig and a mini fridge to your home office setup. No better way to get through your day than wheeling your chair a foot to the left and snagging a Starbucks Iced Latte or a spare hoagie every so often. You can keep any snacks you like there too. Deviled eggs. Baby carrots. Blueberries. Snickers.
Working a Workout Routine into Your Work Routine
If you’re going to chow down on that many Snickers a day, you’ll have to add some crunches into the mix. With gyms closed and park access reduced, options seem limited. Fear not! If you sign up for the Gaiam app, you can follow along with yoga instructors like Rodney Yee from the comfort of your home. You have probably been putting off getting a treadmill or spin bike for personal workout routines. Of course, many states and countries are allowing (and even encouraging) citizens to take short walks around their neighborhood while maintaining social distancing guidelines. All full on fresh air? Ring Fit and other device-based workout tools will measure your progress and tell you when you need to work harder or pedal back. Think of your work from home like time on the ISS. You need to work out a bit everyday or else your body will disintegrate or turn to goop. That’s how it works, right?
Work-From-Home Can Be Its Own Permanent Solution
There are countless benefits to a remote office. Flexible hours. No commute. Easy access to a kitchen and home workout equipment for daily home-cooked meals and exercise. You could become a healthier, happier you. And so could your colleagues and employees. There are of course some cons. But when you trick out your WFH setup, you nip most downsides in the bud. The truth is that this way of doing business doesn’t just help each of us but all of us. Less traffic pollution, and less need for personal vehicles in general. Less congestion in metropolitan areas. Less need for sprawling office parks. And of course, the quarantine decreases the spread of disease at this time. The benefits are abundant and can lead to a brighter future. Welcome to the remote workforce.