Remote working: essential tips for the perfect home office setup
From inspirational decor to uncontended connections, here are our top 10 essentials for a home office setup.
Invest in a good quality desk chair; you’ll be spending a lot of time in it! A quick search for “ergonomic desk set up” will yield instructions on how to set up your chair, keyboard, mouse, screen and desk height to ensure that you are able to sit in the most comfortable and healthy position.
Surround yourself with whatever it is that inspires you to work.
Whether it’s stacks of glossy magazines, lots of plants, or simply pictures of your family.
VPN remote access.
This one won’t be necessary for a one man band business, but if you’re working for a company, you’ll need to be able to access corporate files, email, databases and more. To do this securely, your employer will have to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to allow a safe link from the corporate network to your computer. Employers may provide remote workers with their own laptop to use when working from home as a way of ensuring that firewall, antivirus, spam filters etc. are up to scratch.
A good quality headset.
Don’t underestimate this part of your home office setup when you plan to talk to colleagues and clients via VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), a hosted voice service or with a video link. Relying on a mic and speaker alone can result in poor sound quality and a lot of annoying echo.
Use a business grade product.
Your PC / laptop, phone and internet connection are vital to your operations, so treat them as such. Unlike an internet connection designed for residential use, a good business ISP will provide a connection that’s not only speedy but low contention (not shared with many/any other users, in basic terms), covered by SLAs and supported by experts that understand your business.
As much as possible, keep “work” office space separate from your “living” space; the whole point of working from home is that you avoid distractions. If you work best when the documents you need to review are piled up in your line of vision then great, keep a messy desk, but try to keep “work clutter” and “life clutter” separate. Working in a room next to a pile of laundry that needs ironing or has your children’s’ toys littered across the floor will only distract you.
Password protect it.
At work, you’re entrusted with all kinds of information, whether it be customer data, plans for upcoming projects or log ins for important accounts, you need to be mindful of keeping all this data safe. If you are connecting to your office via VPN, strong passwords that are kept private become even more significant, since anyone gaining access to your device would have access to not only your files but those of your company, too. In addition to good password hygiene, setting up two step verification is a good way to protect accounts.
To mitigate the risk of data loss, you’ll need to ensure that it is backed up. Whilst cloud storage is certainly a convenient way of doing this for home workers, it’s really important that you find out how and where your cloud provider stores information. Many make the mistake of thinking that data can be handed to a cloud provider and forgotten about, but it is you that ultimately retains responsibility for it.
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