If you’re used to working in an office full-time, the prospect of remote working can be a little daunting to start off with.
However, the notion of working from home is becoming more and more popular, and you can work just as efficiently away from the office as you can when you’re in a traditional workplace.
That said, it’s important to have all the right equipment if you want to work remotely with any degree of success. That’s why we’ve put together this handy checklist of everything you need to effectively work from home:
A quiet, comfortable environment
Though you don’t need to work in total silence and isolation at all times, it’s important to limit distractions in your working environment. Make sure any doors leading to your workspace are closed, and double check that anyone who lives in your house and is likely to be in during the day is aware that you’ll be working so that disturbances are limited.
It’s also important to make sure you’re comfortable in your workspace, as being happy at work can increase your productivity. With that in mind, it’s worth investing in anything that will help you achieve your ideal home-office. This could be a comfy leather chair, attractive plants, special lighting, spacious storage cabinets for files or even a water cooler!
A manageable to do list
Effective planning is the key to successful remote working. Every day, create a list of everything you want to have achieved by the end of the day, and make sure everything is ticked off before you log out of your computer.
Clear working hours
When working remotely, it’s easy to let your usual office hours fall to the wayside. Stick to your initial working hours and only work late if you really need to, as not setting a clear boundary for hours can lead to overworking, which may have a negative impact on your wellbeing.
A strong internet connection
A good internet connection is crucial if you want to work from home without problems. Nobody wants their internet cutting out in the middle of sending an important email, and if you’re continually having problems with your internet, you risk looking unprofessional in the eyes of colleagues, employers and clients or customers.
A reliable router can provide fast, easy internet access wherever you are, so you’ll have no reason to worry about connection problems.
Some form of telecommunications application software, such as Skype
You’ll probably need to regularly touch base with your colleagues whilst working from home, so it’s a good idea to have Skype (or a similar system) set up on your computer so that you can keep consistent contact with those you work with. Skype is also useful for ad hoc conference calls and instant messaging clients when necessary.
A reliable headset or speakerphone
If you are going to be regularly needed for conference calls whilst working remotely, you’ll need a means of speaking to clients and/or colleagues whilst typing at the same time. A good quality Bluetooth headset or conference speakerphone will allow you to chat hands-free, so you can still use your computer when needed during the call.
Noise-cancelling headsets are a great idea for remote conference calls, as they will cut out unavoidable distractions such as the doorbell ringing or barking dogs outside.