Working virtually has become very popular with both employees and employers in a whole host of different industries. But there is a little bit more to it than just having a table, chair and Internet connection if you want to make the home office experience as successful and pleasurable as possible. There are a few main areas that you should consider before diving into the working from idea and we hope that we can provide some practical advice for you.
The first thing you should look at carefully is where you are going to be doing most of your work. Is there a place in your home that you can ideally close a door behind you so that you create a designated work space? If you have kids then this factor becomes even more important as noise distraction can have a big impact on your ability to work. You should also have a good and solid desk and a comfortable chair that provides you with good back support. If you spend a lot of time at your desk then you want to make sure that you do end up with bad posture resulting back pain.
Having a good and reliable Internet connection is going to be vital to your ability to work successfully from home. There is no fool proof way to finding a reliable service, but the best thing to do is avoid the cheapest and also newest ISPs. Without a track record and significant customer reviews it is difficult to tell whether the service is going to be good. But just because a provider has been around for a long time does not mean that the service is going to be dependable. Do a lot of research and talk to colleagues, family and friends about their experiences.
The speed of your connection will depend on what you use it for. If you have lots of video conferences and you have to upload and download very large files on a regular basis then higher speeds will be advisable. They come at an extra cost, but there is nothing more frustrating than waiting for files to become available or constant interruption is a video call.
For most home office workers there is not a huge amount of communications equipment needed. Your ISP will provide you with a broadband router, but you may also want to look into setting up a VOIP phone system. These have become increasingly simple and cheap to set up and can save you a ton of money on calls. All you need is a VOIP routing box and you will be able to connect a standard cordless or corded phone.
If you have lots of contacts and you make a lot of calls then you probably want to be investing in a decent cordless phone system, with ideally a traditional style base set. The more advanced features will give you the ability to store lots of numbers, use headsets and speaker to allow you to type at the same time. Check out our reviews of cordless phones for a better idea of what will satisfy your needs.
This very much depends on the industry you work in, but if you still have a lot of paper based communications that require signed copies then you will need a few extra things. Envelopes, printer paper, stamps and pens will be a must have. And don’t forget those stickies 😉
Keep on top of your supplies as it can be very annoying to run out of paper, pens or even printer ink when you most need them. All these items can be bought quite cheaply and will provide you with great flexibility.
With just a few simple steps you can ensure that your home office environment will be a success and provide you with a productive work space. The more efficient you can work in your home office the better this will reflect on your performance as an employee. And it is very important to show that being at home does not negatively impact your ability to work.