Many employers have moved to a completely remote work environment amid a pandemic that has turned our world upside down. Many employees who have traditionally commuted to their place of employment are now commuting just a few feet to their home office. This is something freelance workers have been doing for years, but now the work-from-home environment has become even more common.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of August 2021, more than 13 percent of full-time employees are still working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When you add in those who work as freelancers full-time, you get many people working from their own homes.
While working from home has its benefits, there are also challenges. The most vital component of a successful work-from-home situation is to have a workspace that is appropriately set up for productivity.
There is a certain balance that should be struck when setting up a home office. It is essential that this space feel comfortable, but it cannot be so comfortable as to promote procrastination and counteract productivity. Many who find themselves thrust into a situation where they will be working from home will simply sit at the dining room table or, even worse, on the couch with their laptop — and this is not conducive to productivity.
Instead, it is crucial to set up a dedicated workspace that is separate from leisure spaces. If there is a spare or unused room in your home, the ideal scenario would be to convert this space into a home office. Delineating your workspace from the rest of your home will prevent distractions and put you into a work mindset.
If you are working from home, it is vital to have the proper equipment. Most communication and information transfer is done digitally, and as such, a reliable computer is of the utmost importance. Just how powerful a computer you need depends on the type of work you do, of course, but the key is to have a machine that you can count on to complete the tasks assigned to you.
In many situations, it is helpful to also have some type of tablet device available. Digital notetaking with a pen stylus is very useful, and a touchscreen adds a lot of flexibility to how you work. There are several options for devices that are a hybrid laptop and tablet, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7.
It is also essential to have a comfortable office chair. Sitting through an entire workday in a poor-quality chair can lead to pain and discomfort. If you are uncomfortable, productivity is sure to plummet. If you are accustomed to working in a traditional office, you probably don’t even think about the effort to choose your chair. Be sure to choose something that is adjustable, and that provides proper lower back support.
No home office would be complete, of course, without an internet connection. You probably have an internet connection at home already, but is your current connection speed up to snuff?
Your home office will likely be sharing a connection with the rest of the devices already in your home. Even if you are the only person living in your home, you likely have at minimum of 5 Wi-Fi connected devices and probably many more. Each of these devices will eat into your bandwidth.
So, what is a good internet speed? Well, the answer depends on the types of activities that you will be using the internet for.
If you are working from home, chances are you will utilize some type of video conferencing application to attend remote meetings with your colleagues. These applications require high-speed internet to function to their full capability. To determine the minimum internet speed you should strive for, contact your internet provider.
Setting up your home office is an essential but straightforward task. The critical aspects to keep in mind are comfort, professionalism, and having the proper technology. If you focus on these keys, your work from home experience will be a success.