One common misconception regarding working from home is that it is an easy operation. The practice is often represented with images of employees working in their dressing gowns, managing their tasks from the comfort of a sofa, and neglecting emails to spending time on various distractions. These negative stereotypes are, however, simply not true. Those that do attempt to work this way either burn out quickly or find themselves out of work.
Instead, successfully working remotely means having a home office, one that fully supports the needs of your professional role. It’s remarkably easy to underestimate your needs when setting up such an office too. Often, and typically to save money, employees will cut corners and try to mitigate their operation to avoid purchasing office equipment. Doing so runs at a risk, one that not only involves your own work but the company’s operation too.
Here is are the basics that most remote workers suggest are essentials for a productive home office.
Strong, stable, and fast internet. There are no two ways about it. To operate remotely requires an internet connection, one that is not only able to sustain all your professional activity, such as video conferences and file sharing, but one that can be relied upon too because the moment it fails, you’re no longer ‘in office’.
Consider investing in or having readily available an alternative option. A dongle or tether-ready phone is a great way to manage basic tasks if you lose a wired connection.
Working from home doesn’t mean using the kitchen as an office, organising databases while sitting on a breakfast bar stool. You need a clean, suitably large and quiet, dedicated office space. Not only does such a space allow you to present yourself more professionally on video calls, as well as work without distraction, but it also allows you to close the door at the end of your working day. Due to their affordability and versatility, many are now turning to log cabins in their garden, which are being utilised as external offices.
Without the organisation and space offered by a central office, it is easy to fall into messiness. Ensure that you have the shelving and draws necessary for your day-to-day working. If you aren’t able to easily find a document, one that is stored safely, then you need to invest in office furniture.
Have a secure space is also an important consideration, due to the sensitivity of certain company documents.
Separating a professional life from a personal one is difficult when working from home but one way it becomes much easier is with business lines, which are often recommended by experienced remote workers.
This could mean limiting business-related calls to a dedicated landline or, alternatively, purchasing a separate mobilephone. Doing so will give you a physical item that can be turned off or stored when you are out of the office, ensuring that your professional and personal lives do not compromise each other.