Certain essential work from home gears is necessary for remote employees to do their best job while working away from the office.
These work from home gears differ according to job types or roles. However, there are certain gears every home office must-have. Workers with good work ethics value productivity and gears that help them work more productively.
In this post, we will cover five (5) must-have work from home office gears with a focus on ergonomics, performance, and productivity for remote employees or those looking for available remote jobs.
1. Ergonomic Chair and Desk
A recent report by OVPN found that US workers are working an additional three hours on average while working from home. Another set of studies found that people who sit for over eight hours a day with no physical activity have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other complications, not to mention back, neck, and wrist pains.
Speaking of back and neck pains, these can be a pain in the neck when working long hours from home. Thankfully, this can be prevented and corrected by using specially designed ergonomic chairs and tables.
Ergonomic chairs provide specialized lumbar support helping to improve sitting posture and relieve back pain, reducing visits to chiropractors or orthopedic surgeons.
Although there’s hardly a one size fits all option, the best ergonomic chairs and desks should be adjustable and allow you:
- Maintain a neutral posture
- Sit with both feet flat on the floor
- Sit with knees slightly higher than your hips
- Sit with hips, shoulders and ears all lined up
- Sit with waist and knees at 90⁰
While you get and enjoy a good and comfortable ergonomic chair and desk, ensure to avoid prolonged sitting. Try moving around once a while or using a standing desk.
2. PC or Laptop
A fancy or comfortable ergonomic chair and desk are nothing without a good PC or laptop when working from home. Remote work is also referred to as the laptop lifestyle.
This means that your PC or laptop is one of the essential work from home office gear or piece of equipment. Whereas more people are accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets (mobile), the PC is still king when it comes to work and productivity.
You can use a combination of both or more when working from home. Some remote workers like me use an all-in-one desktop computer, a laptop, tablet, and smartphone to work. This allows me to change positions often and avoid prolonged sitting.
You can sync all your accounts across devices and enjoy seamless, multi-channel work using any device. This combination can improve productivity and efficiency, plus it allows you to travel light and work.
A good PC or laptop for your home office will depend on your job type, role, or function. A graphics designer or game tester may require a more sturdy PC than a data entry clerk or writer.
If in doubt, consider the configurations of your office PC and aim for that or something as close to that as possible.
3. Good Internet Connection
Remote work depends heavily on technology like PC, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. These will, in turn, require a good and stable internet connection to function optimally.
A recent study of leaders of $500 million+ corporations found that 95% of those who support remote work are willing to increase investment in remote work enabling technology. A stable internet connection will improve access, productivity, and efficiency of remote workers. Distributed teams rely heavily on the internet for connection, communication, collaboration, and work delivery.
A good internet connection is required for virtual meetings, videoconferencing, reading and replying to emails, using collaboration software, processing documents, rendering, file sharing, etc.
As a remote employee, you should invest in your internet connection with a focus on connectivity, security, customer support, and affordability. This will ensure that you’re getting the maximum bang for your buck and that your team’s work will not suffer because of poor internet connection from your end.
4. Software Tools and Apps
Your PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone all require software and apps to function optimally. There are also specialized tools and apps necessary to facilitate remote work like time monitoring software.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, tools like Zoom have become even more popular for videoconferencing and virtual meetings. Microsoft Teams, as well as several other video tools, allow distributed teams to connect virtually on projects, meetings, etc.
Trello and Slack are also popular with remote teams and workers. They are great for collaboration among distributed teams, ensuring that each team member is up to speed and that team members are on the same page.
This brings clarity, communication, and alignment to teams allowing them to work on projects from any location in the world. Companies like Automattic have used this method to support their remote teams from day one.
Ensure that your PC, laptop, or mobile can support the software, tools, or apps that you require to do your best job while working from home. Most employees fund or discount home office setup for their remote employees, including software subscriptions.
Working online comes with its challenges, one of which is security. For this reason, most companies have dedicated IT teams responsible for ensuring cybersecurity for all their IT assets.
However, when working remotely, most remote workers are entirely responsible for their cybersecurity, especially where their companies do not use cloud security services. Recent reports indicate an increase in online security threats and attacks since COVID-19.
This can increase costs and stress for most remote workers. Although there are many free antivirus software programs, investing in a paid option can have big payoffs plus provide increased security and peace of mind when working from home.
When it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is better and cheaper than cure. Find out from your IT team the best antivirus you should use when working from home. If your company uses a cloud security service, ensure you’re covered, plugged in, and stick to established online security protocols to minimize risks of attacks.