The world is changing, as is the way businesses and entrepreneurs are operating. Whether you’re an online business owner or a remote work employee, you need a space and equipment that’s set up for productivity.
If you’re used to working in an office, transitioning to remote work can be a somewhat difficult adjustment. Your home is full of distractions like kids, dirty laundry, neighbors, TVs, and more but you can use time tracking tools to save yourself from the distractions.
The key is making sure you have everything you need from our remote work checklist. You must create an ideal working environment and adopt the tools designed to increase productivity and efficiency. Not sure where to begin?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you set up the perfect area for working from home. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
A Productive Workspace
Before we start talking about the helpful technology for remote work, we need to cover the basics. More specifically, we need to make sure you have a relaxed, quiet, and productive work environment. This is especially important if other people are going to be in the house during your work hours.
Find a room or corner of the house that isn’t next to any major common areas, like the kitchen, living room, or entryway. Depending on your house, you may need to do a little renovating to make it happen. However, if you’re going to be working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s important to establish your workspace.
Ideally, your office area will have a door that can be closed to shut out noise or let other household members you’re not available. The workspace should also be as free from distraction as possible. It might be a good idea to create a “do not disturb” sign to hang on your door during important calls, meetings, etc.
An Adjustable Ergonomic Chair
Next, if you’re sitting at a desk all day, a high-quality office chair is a must on your remote work checklist. An ergonomic chair with adequate back support will ensure you’re sitting with good posture.
Sitting at a desk all day with poor posture can lead to several other health issues. This includes neck pain, back pain, arthritis pain, poor circulation, and more.
A Work-to-Stand Desk
Additionally, if you don’t like the idea of sitting all day while working from home, consider investing in a sit-to-stand desk. If you’re an employee, your company may pay for your new setup.
Sit-to-stand desks are designed to raise and lower so you can stand for part of your workday, rather than being confined to your chair. For some, this is considered essential equipment for remote work. After all, your physical health shouldn’t be neglected while you’re working.
Computer or Laptop
A computer or laptop is perhaps one of the most mandatory items needed for remote work. It should be the top priority on your remote work checklist. Learning how to work efficiently from home means using proper equipment.
You need a high-performing laptop that has plenty of internal storage and processing power. It needs to be able to keep up with the demands of your workday. This could be anything from video-conferencing to graphic design.
To find the right laptop to suit your needs, do your homework. Find out what you need in terms of internal memory (RAM), processing speed, storage, graphics cards, and more.
Having a great computer or laptop is vital. However, that may not be the only hardware your remote work checklist calls for. You may also need a printer to print important documents, order forms, mailing labels, etc. You may also need a scanner/copier to make copies of documents or send them to your company and/or clients.
If you handle important or private documents, you’ll also need a paper shredder to make sure you’re properly disposing of them.
For communication, your company may require the use of a landline telephone. For your comfort, convenience, and productivity, you’ll want a hands-free headset, whether you’re using a mobile phone or a landline phone.
Finally, consider getting an external hard drive to back up all of your important work data, content, etc. If your computer fails for any reason, having everything saved on a secondary hard drive could save you a lot of time and frustration.
Reliable Internet and a Back-Up
Learning how to work efficiently also means getting a reliable internet connection. You can plug your computer straight into the wall or use wifi. Regardless, you need to have a clear, uninterrupted, high-speed connection.
It may also be a good idea to get a backup internet source if your primary connection fails. You can opt for a hot spot device or use your smartphone as a temporary hotspot in a pinch.
Mobile hotspots provide incredibly helpful technology for remote work, especially if you’re constantly on the road. Alternatively, if you’re experiencing connectivity issues at home, a mobile hotspot is a good backup device to make sure you can meet your deadlines, connect with clients, etc.
Among all the other items needed for remote work, we need to address software for your remote work checklist. Hardware like computers, printers, and scanners are important, but it is software that runs all of these devices.
First, aside from saving all of your data to an external hard drive, you should also be backing it up on a cloud network. You can do this through your computer network (HP, Apple, Lenovo, etc.) or your company. Many companies have private, off-site cloud networks to store important information.
Some of the most important pieces of equipment for remote work include communication software. Depending on your job, you may be required to have face-to-face video conferences with staff, bosses, customers, clients, and more. As such, you need to use reliable communication software like Livestorm, GoToMeeting, etc.
If necessary, you may also need to install screen-sharing software. This is an important type of software for your remote work checklist if you work with or perform IT services. Screen-sharing allows you to see another person’s screen remotely and vice versa.
Finally, figure out what you’re going to do about cybersecurity. You need to take measures to ensure your finances and private information is safe from hackers. Additionally, you need adequate virus protection on all of your devices.
A Filing System
They say a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. While we don’t necessarily think that’s true, it never hurts to have a well-organized workspace. The more organized you are, the more efficient you’ll be.
As such, we recommend investing in a filing system for all of the physical documents you print or receive. If all of your files are online, it doesn’t mean you should be any less organized. Organize your digital files too so you’re not spending five or ten minutes looking for specific files on a disorganized hard drive.
A White Board
One of the best ways to be more organized and productive is by writing everything down. This is particularly helpful for remembering appointments, meetings, deadlines, and so on. While you can use your computer, smartphone, or tablet to keep track of your “to-do” list, we recommend something easier to see.
A whiteboard is a great investment to hang up in your work area. There you can write all of your upcoming responsibilities. More importantly, these items will be written in a place where you can see them readily at all times of the day.
A Safe for Important Documents
As noted earlier, if you deal with sensitive documents, you should have a paper shredder for properly disposing of them. However, you also need a secure place to store them if they’re not destined for the shredder. If you have a desk with a locking drawer, it may be an adequate storage place.
If not, however, you should invest in a small safe. This will keep sensitive documents with account numbers, client information, and other private data safe and secure. In most states, it’s illegal to store such documents in any area without some kind of locking mechanism.
Finally, make sure you have the necessary stationery you need to be productive. This equipment is often left until the end of remote work checklists. However, these materials are still important.
Make sure you have plenty of pens, pencils, paper, and sticky notes. You never know when you’re going to write something down, like a phone number, account number, or address.
You should also have a stapler, paperclips, tape, highlighters, and white-out on hand. These items may not seem important (especially since most of your work is online), but we always end up using them.
Looking for More Help With Your Remote Work Checklist?
As you can see, it’s quite possible to create a productive work environment at home. Whether you’re working from home by choice, because of Covid 19, or because that’s the direction your company is headed in, having the right equipment will help.
Are you looking for more advice on how to find helpful technology for remote work? If our remote work checklist didn’t answer enough of your questions, it’ okay, there’s more where that came from. Check out some of our other articles while you’re here for more information and insight to make you more successful.