When moving house or buying your first home there are so many big and little things we have to take into consideration, from dealing with estate agents, solicitors and the removal company, to informing your bank(s), utilities, DVLA… of a change of address and inevitably the list doesn’t just end their, and that’s why one of the very first things you should do when moving home is to create a checklist, makes sense right.
Now while setting up and running your desk or office from home doesn’t likely require as many check boxes as moving house, much does seem to get left behind, forgotten about or simply ignored when setting up an office from home, because one can make do with what we have got, though the dangers of gambling with ‘it will do’ won’t do at all if for example your computer decides to pack-up and you didn’t make back-ups of your clients files on an external hard drive. So to help prevent the unforeseen, we have compiled a list of all that you will need to keep your office up and running and to help keep yourselves motivated. We have also created a Remote Working Checklist for you to download for FREE.
The Main Components
So without further ado, at number 1 we have possibly the most obvious necessity, a computer or laptop, of course it goes without saying that the largest proportion of us use a computer to carry out our daily work and 9 times out of 10 we have a computer or laptop at home for our non-working lives too, so there certainly isn’t a shortage! However, subject to your companies procedures you may not be able to use your own/home computer, not necessarily a bad thing as it saves wear and tear, if it is the case your company will be supplying you with either device to work from, they will likely have everything you need setup and ready to go like internet and network security. Many companies on the other-hand due to the sensitive data stored on these devices will not allow those computers to leave the office, there may be a system in place to provide you with a device to work from, but that not being the case you want to ensure your home computer is running smoothly, kept updated and is free from viruses, if it is a shared/family computer you should consider setting up a ‘local user’ or ‘administrator account’ on your windows or mac device so that only you have access to the work files and programs. At the same time if this is a shared device it would be worthwhile buying yourself another computer for at least a back-up just in case.
There are several other things you may need to accompany your computer and or laptop to help improve activity, ease of use and to carry out live meetings. If you are looking to use a laptop, is the monitor big enough so that you are not straining your eyes, if it is decent enough then you may wish to consider purchasing a laptop stand, keyboard and mouse so you are viewing and working in a more comfortable position. If your monitor isn’t going to cut the mustard then you may wish to get your hands on a new monitor, you could in fact use your television as a monitor if so required.
Most laptops nowadays already come packed with speakers, a web camera and microphone, whereas most desktop computers don’t, so if you are a regular on the likes of Zoom or Teams then you will definitely need to get your hands on these items. There are many to choose from inevitably all vary in price and quality, don’t always go for the cheapest and do your research looking at reviews on the best options available to you.
Other Items You May Need!
We all have the internet at home but as we have all experienced at some point in time that internet connection can go out for many reasons as explained in our excellent article on how to deal with internet and router issues found HERE. As outlined within that article it is worthwhile having a backup router just in-case. But what if your internet is down and your network provider is working on the issue that may take a day or three to resolve? Then subject to your mobile data allowance you could tether your phones 4G or 5G internet to your computer, Lifewire has saved me the bother and written an excellent how-to on tethering your phone’s internet to your computer, so I shall leave a link to their excellent article here: https://www.lifewire.com/set-up-usb-tethering-windows-10-4584419. Alternatively you may wish to ask your company if they will be willing to provide you with an internet dongle (USB internet stick).
Apart from the above and subject to your industry as their maybe more tailored devices that you will need to carry out you daily work tasks, which are usually provided by your company, you may require a printer, yes one of those things that you would have thought would have been fazed out with the fax machines but weren’t, but are surprisingly still being used by plenty today! There are some very affordable options available but not all that glitters is gold, in many instances the cheaper devices have more expensive ink cartridge refills, but if you don’t require something with high definition detail, then there are plenty of affordable printers that are free from ink cartridges altogether.
Now you have your computer or laptop, hardware and devices… You are almost good to go, but before you get started, where are you going to be working from, and is the chair and desk that you are going to use comfortable enough to work from. A comfortable chair for lounging around on of an evening isn’t going to give you the support you need when sitting in front of your computer, and as the chosen table or worktop doesn’t come as a pair with your comfy chair there could be an uncomfortable height difference for your arms and neck when typing and viewing the screen, so the first and possibly only option if you do not have the space for another table or desk, is to buy an office chair that not only has great support for your arms and back, but also is height adjustable so that any table, desk or counter will pretty much do.
And finally, how to stay motivated?
Not everyone is cut out for working from home. There can be either too many distractions, a lack of drive due to a lack of routine or a lack of a vibrant office environment… no matter the situation there are things that you can put in place to help improve your already successful work from home routine, or to vastly improve your current situation, and a little bit of ‘me’ time is an essential piece of the pie.
I would create and stick to a timetable; set a time in the morning to wake up, wash, have breakfast, and go for a walk as you are likely walking less… and then start your working day. If you have exchanged your usual office attire of smart clothes for casuals or worse yet, PJs 🤦♂️ then it’s time to put on your work clothes once more!
Before you do anything send a good morning social email to your colleagues, as this is one of the first subconscious pick me ups we would normally receive within an office environment and within that email try to arrange between 2 to 4, 10 to 15 minute conversations with some of your work colleagues spread out across the day, preferably via video call as it’s nicer to see someone’s face when talking to them and it feels like we have had a small enjoyable break from our work.
Get some more exercise, before and or after your lunch either do a spot of exercise or go for another walk, and why not treat yourself to a bit of chocolate, crisps… after you have had your lunch as these little snacks help us to naturally produce the positive chemicals in our brains we so desperately need from time to time to pick our moods up, like serotonin that make us feel happy.
And to finish up your day send a goodbye email to your colleagues and go for one last walk, this last walk will help you to separate/switch off your home working day from your home life. If you can avoid it, do not return to your desk until the next working day.
If however you require help setting up your home office or need help setting up your staff with all the tools they need to work remotely, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us via telephone: 01737 824 003 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively take a look through our remote working IT solutions page to discover more on what services we can provide.