How Should You Prepare For Permanent Home Working?
COVID-19 has changed the way that many of us work in recent months.
If you’ve had to start remote-working due to the global pandemic, you will have probably noticed that jobs that we thought weren’t even possible to do at home (or were told weren’t) have turned out to be totally achievable. Companies in certain industries are thriving. Some workers are finding that they are more productive than ever, have more free time, and don’t have to spend a chunk of their day on an energy-sapping commute.
With many employees finding work success setting up camp in our kitchens, some of us are beginning to question why we went into the office in the first place — as are our employers.
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and making the switch to home working permanent, or your company is considering it, there are a few things you need to figure out first.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with four simple ways that you can prepare for permanent home working:
1.Sort out your office space
If you’re going to take the plunge and switch to home working permanently, then sorting out your office space is one of the first things you need to think about.
Your current remote working set-up probably won’t cut the mustard; realistically, most of us just grabbed what we could from the office at the start of lockdown, without any real idea of how long it would go on for.
If you’ve been working from the kitchen counter or dining room table, then that’s a good start; if you’re one of those workers who has been typing away from their bed or sofa, then you’re going to have to ditch these bad habits if you’re in it for the long haul.
The below office items are a good idea if you’re going to work from home permanently:
- A separate, ergonomic keyboard
- A mouse
- A laptop holder to raise your screen and avoid poor posture
- A second screen if you need it (as well as a screen riser)
- A back support or ergonomic desk chair
- A footrest to ensure you are in a comfortable sitting position
- A work surface large enough for all necessary equipment
- Good lighting
Permanent home working also requires permanent office space. If you have a spare room or corner that you can turn into a dedicated workspace, then that’s great; failing that, a decent-sized table will do.
2.A speedy internet connection
A high-speed internet connection really is a must. It doesn’t matter what sort of job you do, whether you run your own business from home or whether you’re part of a larger team — the majority of modern-day workers need internet access and a strong connection.
If you’ve been working from home for the last few months, you’ll already know how important it is to have a good internet connection. There’s nothing worse than having Zoom freeze during a client call, or be unable to communicate tasks to your team, or not be able to get onto your own website due to wifi problems.
Reliable and high-speed internet is absolutely essential if you plan on working from home permanently — it’s needed for everything from daily tasks to comms with clients and team members, to website work, social media and more.
The good news is that there are normally a few different options out there if your internet is slow and you need to upgrade. You might need to play a little bit more per month for faster internet speeds (such as an unlimited fibre broadband connection), but it’s worth having it for the ease and reliability. And these days, decent broadband of — you just need to use a comparison site like MoneySuperMarket to find the best deals.
3.Get good contents insurance
It stands to reason that if you’re going to be working from home with any expensive technology or high-quality equipment, you should really get contents insurance.
You may not have thought about it, but what if there was an accident or your house was burgled, and your belongings were destroyed? You would have to replace everything to work again (alongside replacing your personal possessions), which would be very expensive.
Contents insurance covers you and protects your belongings against:
- Fire damage
- Water damage
You can get content insurance from a whole range of insurance providers (although it’s best to go through someone respected like Admiral). No matter which provider you choose, make sure your policy covers working from home — some standard home contents insurance doesn’t.
If you’re self-employed, speak to your current or new policy provider to see if you require additional cover to work from home and if they provide it — you won’t want to be caught out.
And if you’re the employee of a company, it’s worth enquiring about whether they would cover contents insurance for your work equipment; realistically, they’d do it if you were in the office, so why not now that your office is at home?
4. Build up your remote working toolbox
If you’re thinking about permanent home working, then another thing that you can do is to build up your remote working toolbox.
This is a collection of useful — and sometimes essential — tools that will make your life working from home much easier and more productive.
Here are some helpful home working tool ideas for you (there are lots of different types of each one, so we’ve included some of the best):
- Project management or planning tools like Asana or Trello where you can create to-do lists, arrange and assign tasks, and keep track of wider progress
- A time tracking tool like Toggl, Hourstack or various Pomodoro tools, helps you to map our your day, ensure you are taking breaks, and that you’re not going over your allocated time on tasks
- Communication tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Slack where you can call, video conference or instant message your team, customers/clients and third parties.
These are just some of the great tools (some of which are also available for free or on a cheaper pricing plan) that you can find online — you just need to do a little bit of research before you settle on the ones that are perfect for you.
If you’re thinking about making your switch to home working permanent, then you can prepare with the tips listed above. Get your planning in now to avoid any surprises or mishaps, and you’ll find your transition is much more enjoyable.
Author: Rodney Laws - Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. He’s worked with the biggest platforms in the world, making him the perfect person to offer advice on which platforms to build your website with. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.