The conversation of ‘how often should I work from home?’ or ‘do I need to go back to the office?’ seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment. Many businesses were forced to close their offices and pack their team up with necessary items that would enable them to work from home for the foreseeable future.
However, even in light of restrictions easing, it seems that working from home is a favourable option for some businesses and staff. Some have chosen to close their offices altogether, some have decided to go down the hybrid working route and some are leaving it up to the discretion of the team. Either way, if you have found yourself working from home on a more permanent basis, you should probably think about a proper workspace at home and some essential items that will make the whole process easier, and a lot more comfortable.
What do I need when working from home?
Some of these things may sound obvious but, if they are not in place, you are making your life 10x harder… for no reason at all. Here are some of the working from home essentials:
1. Strong wifi
Ok, let's get this one covered off straight away. When you first signed up to a network, you probably did not have a need for a laptop with 50 tabs open and countless video calls whilst working from home. You are asking a lot more from your wifi network, and, more importantly, you do not want to be that person on the Zoom call that freezes multiple times a call. So, make your life easier, and speed up your day by investing in a quicker broadband connection.
2. A comfortable chair and a desk
Sitting on your dining chair for the first couple of months while you anticipated a move back to the office may have been ok at the time. A year and a half later, and still being hunched over your dining table on the same chair is not ideal. When working from home, having a comfortable office chair at a desk will make a huge difference to both your day and posture, and your back and neck will thank you in the long run.
3. Laptop stand
Investing in a laptop stand will, again, improve your posture and ensure you are not spending your whole day looking down at a screen and straining your neck and eyes in doing so. It will also help to elevate your laptop from the desk/table and reduce the risk of any spillages or crumbs, which can happen to all of us from time to time.
4. A separate workspace
This one is not necessarily essential whilst working from home, but it is something that we would advise where possible. By separate we mean somewhere different to where you would usually relax, eat dinner or spend your at-home time. This will make it easier to disconnect from work hours. When you are working from home, it can become difficult to switch off and easier to pick up your phone or laptop to check emails or messages but, if you have a separate workspace, you can leave your work equipment in there and use this as your area to focus and then come away from when you are finished.
5. A routine
If you are used to working in an office or a workspace, you will be used to getting up in the morning, getting ready, preparing lunch or breakfast, potentially commuting and then having a chat with people as you arrive. Try and mimic this routine when working from home. Take yourself on a walk rather than your commute and try to arrange a video call and a morning coffee with a teammate. Sticking to a routine will normalise your working arrangements and ensure you stay sociable and connected with the team.
We hope this brief article was helpful If you are looking to explore a positive working from home routine a little more, have a read of our earlier blog; How to stay happy and healthy whilst working from home. If you would like to find out more about Continuing Professional Development and further learning, please go to our CPD Explained page.