Approximately 47% of Canadian employees work away from the office at least half the week. If you are in this category or want to be, it’s important to set up a comfortable, functional spot to work at home. There are also tools you should consider investing in to make it easier to work at the local cafe or a busy airport.
Establish a Work Zone
Set up a dedicated space so you don’t have to clear the clutter from the dinner table or kitchen counter when it’s time to work. Choose a place that’s large enough for a desk, printer and charging station for your phone and other devices. If you have a PC or lots of peripherals, such as speakers and computer screens, it may be worthwhile to invest in cord organizers and power strips that tuck away easily.
Stick to a Schedule
When you’re in an office with your supervisor across the aisle or down the hall, it’s easy to stay busy. To maintain focus at home, wake up at the same time every day and try to keep consistent working hours. The Pomodoro method calls for regimented working sessions with scheduled breaks, and many remote workers use it to balance out their work-from-home day.
Microphones and Headphones
To overcome distractions at home, you’ll need to block them out. The TV, dog, arguing neighbours and 100 other things can break your concentration.
You probably don’t need expensive technical equipment. However, if you put in long hours on Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts, headphones with a built-in microphone are a must-have. Customer service reps, captioners and call centre agents should choose headphones with high-quality sound. Noise-cancelling headphones come in handy for phone meetings and video conferences as well. They are also essential for getting work done in an airport or the local library.
Hunching over the coffee table or standing by the kitchen counter puts a strain on your neck and back. To prevent long-term health problems, get a comfortable chair with back support and a desk that leaves room for you to stretch your legs. You may want to invest in a sit-stand desk that lets you change positions more often.
Laptop or Desktop Computer
Your job determines the technical requirements of your laptop or computer. If you work in graphics or gaming, you may need a desktop with high-quality resolution, fast processing capability and lots of memory. If you write blogs for a living, any computer with Windows OS and internet access may work. In general, choose a computer or laptop with at least 8GB of RAM and a 250GB HDD to store larger work files.
Whether you work as a virtual assistant or social media analyst, high-speed cable internet is the best choice for a reliable, speedy connection.
Some 39% of Canadians work remotely, and 54% work while travelling to meetings in other cities. That’s why it’s so important to have the right setup at home and on the go. You may even be able to get tax breaks on some of your remote work expenses.