How To Telecommute or Work Remotely
Working from home has become a common component of many professional careers, but having a productive work from home environment is an overlooked and often forgotten aspect.
While working from home has become a common component of many careers, having a productive remote-working environment is a necessary aspect of this privilege. A laptop and a workspace alone are often not enough to drive productivity. Having the right equipment and resources when working from home can ensure that employees and organizations are successful.
What Do I Need to Work From Home or Remote?
Working from home or remotely requires more than a laptop. In order to set employees up for success, organizations need to provide them with the proper tools and resources. This equipment includes desks and furniture, collaboration and communication software, authentication and VPNs, monitors and productivity tools.
Desks and Furniture
A desk in the office is a no-brainer, but not everyone may have a desk and office chair at home they can use while working from home. Having a dedicated workspace is key to productivity, so office furniture should be at the top of the work-from-home necessities list. Be conscious of the available space for this furniture, and consider a comfortable chair with good support and a desk that can fit all your equipment, from monitors and docking stations to notebooks and scratch pads. You may also want to consider spending a little extra to get a standing desk converter.
Authentication and VPN Software
Keeping your network secure also means being able to access that network remotely when needed, and a work-from-home environment demands that access. Invest in authentication tools and VPN software to enable employees to access your office network and the digital applications required to keep your organization operating efficiently. These applications will need to be installed on each workstation, so work with your IT team or provider to ensure that every employee’s work device is properly updated. Additionally, make sure you provide documentation about how to use the authentication and VPN tools for network access so employees can have that resource on hand for any questions that may come up.
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One of the difficult aspects of working remotely is the inability to physically collaborate on projects in a group setting. Collaboration tools can allow that teamwork to continue even when employees are working remotely. These tools include document access and editing from multiple people at once, shared digital workspaces to whiteboard ideas, and the ability to pass ideas and information back and forth as needed. Even if teams aren’t all working at the same time, these tools ensure documents remain up to date and synced for everyone who needs to work on them, regardless of when they access the files.
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Virtual Meeting Environments
Meetings can continue as scheduled even when the attendees are in different locations thanks to innovations in virtual meeting environments. Hardware, such as webcams and microphones, are connected with software that allows employees to meet virtually . That virtual meeting software includes tools for screen sharing, giving presentation, chat rooms, and note taking. Thanks to this technology, every presentation, chart, or video can be shared by all attendees to ensure consistent and more in-depth communication. Recording meetings is also a feature, so team members can refer back to these presentations later as needed.
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Monitors may be one of the most overlooked aspects of working in an office, but they make a significant difference in productivity. Being able to have multiple applications open on multiple screens ensures less switching back and forth and quicker access to information. However, many people might not have multiple monitors in their home, so when looking to create a work-from-home environment, make sure to evaluate the value of having additional monitors. It’s an investment that allows employees to stay productive and can help prevent eye strain.
Docking Stations, Keyboards, and Mice
Similar to monitors, creating a home office environment will likely offer something you and your organization won’t have at home: a setup that includes a docking station with a keyboard and mouse. A docking station is crucial for creating a successful home work environment if you have external monitors because it keeps all the cords organized while also dedicating some desk space to your laptop. A wireless keyboard and mouse can also allow for easier mobility and flexibility.. Maybe most important of all, however, is how much more comfortable this makes you and your environment. Working from home can feel crowded and cramped if you don’t organize your workspace well, potentially reducing your productivity.
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Once completing all these software installations and hardware setups, you must make sure you don’t forget about actually being able to communicate with your coworkers as needed. Communication tools such as a messenger application or dedicated phone ensure that if you need to contact someone immediately but don’t have the convenience of walking over to their desk to ask a question, you can still easily get the information you need
Utilizing these tools and technologies will not only improve productivity but will allow employees to seamlessly work from any location and still feel connected as if they were physically in an office.
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For additional information about how your organization can effectively allow for a remote-work environment, see these resources:
White paper: Delivering the Modern Meeting Experience
For more work from home strategies and to get started, contact your CDW account manager
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