The Complete Set Up For Remote Workers
This time and age, remote working has become the right choice for many companies, from small startups to large corporations. Generally speaking, hiring remotely helps companies in reducing office premises costs and allowing to pick the right staff members, selecting from a wide range of prospective employees. Among the services that “have gone remotely” on a large scale, we find tourism, media and communications, translation services and customer support, just to name a few.
I have started working remotely about seven years ago, which is probably long enough to be able to share with you some of the tips and tricks that have improved my workflow. It has to be said that remote work is not always a choice, but trust me when I say that there are unquestionable advantages (and very little drawbacks). All you need is the right equipment and working space.
Equipment You Can Trust
That’s right, as the paragraph title states, it is crucial to use equipment in perfect conditions. Choose a reliable computer, with plenty of RAM and disk space, to accommodate the management software and saved files, such as PowerPoint presentations. Get a stable and fast internet connection.
The screen should be state-of-the-art, with generous dimensions (I have a huge 32″ screen, but that’s probably even too much!) and blue light filter, to avoid eye fatigue. If for whatever reason you don’t have access to a blue light filter on your computer screen, you may want to consider looking at places like Felix Gray (https://felixgray.com/collections/blue-light-glasses) to see how their glasses can help to block too much blue light from entering your eyes and disrupting your sleeping patterns, leaving you refreshed for your workday. With that being said, the technology available to us in this day and age should mean that a blue light filter is an option, so make sure you use it. Some jobs require a double screen, and I can tell, from experience, that multitasking is a lot easier and faster if you don’t have to toggle between different windows.
A headset is required for most remote jobs. So long as you have a voice api in place, you will need it for communication with people in meetings and things. As you will probably have to wear it for long hours, choose a model that is comfortable and delivers a nice sound quality at the earpieces, as well as through the microphone. It’s a good idea to invest a little budget for this piece of equipment, so do not go for the cheapest one on the market. Most quality headsets come with a switch to turn the microphone on and off, which may be useful in certain situations.
Don’t forget to get a nice keyboard (complete with number pad) and mouse, preferably cabled, to avoid changing the batteries in the middle of a work session!
Place a Bluetooth speaker somewhere in the room, so that you can have music in the background. This will not only cheer you up, but, if your job involves phone calls to customers, will reduce any potential background noise (such as children playing in the lounge!)
The Right Working Space
No matter if you are freelancing or are an employee on the regular nine-to-five working schedule: if you are serious about remote work, don’t believe in those images of people working with the computer on their lap, while lying on a tropical beach, sipping a drink, with a fake smile on their faces. Apart from the smile, that should be sincere and should be kept – together with a good sense of humour – when confronting every task life asks us to deal with, everything else is nonsense.
I have dedicated an entire room in my house to my home office. If you don’t have so much space, choose a quiet corner, where you can concentrate. It is always nice to have a window nearby, to enjoy natural light and “feel” the world outside. Keep in mind that remote work can be a lonely affair. Some people naturally enjoy to being by themselves, while others may miss being in an office environment and its human connection. Usually, if you work for a company, you will be regularly in touch with your team through online chats or video conferences, but some still miss the “coffee break atmosphere”.
But consider the advantages: no commuting times and expenses, more time for you and your family. Plus, if you have a job that requires a high level of concentration, such as translations or creative writing, you will find that working from home is more productive than sitting in an office cubicle!