Not too long ago, many people dreamed of avoiding long commutes by working at home. Today, the Coronavirus pandemic has taken that choice away from thousands who are forced to work remotely as they self-quarantine. Many are finding that their new circumstances include challenges as well as benefits. In addition to arranging a distraction-free area where they can concentrate and make calls uninterrupted, workers need to invest in equipment. At a minimum, most home workers find they need a headset, landline, computer, printer, uninterruptible power source, backup storage, and peripherals like extra monitors.
Headsets Are Essential for Efficiency
Smartphones can serve a lot of business functions and are ideal for staying on top of things while on the go. However, a busy person working from home often has to juggle several tasks at once, so a landline or VoIP phone system is crucial. It is also essential to invest in a good-quality headset to avoid having to grab a handset every time the phone rings. Headsets also make it possible to multitask. While suppliers offer a range of models, wireless headsets are the most convenient.
Broadband Internet Is a Must-Have
High-speed internet access is essential for an efficient home office. According to The Balance Small Business, dial-up connections are becoming rare because they are much too slow for the pace of today’s businesses. Fortunately, most areas in the U.S. offer reasonably priced broadband internet plans with speeds that are more than fast enough for home offices.
A Home Office Needs a Good Computer and Printer
A desktop or laptop computer is essential equipment for a modern home office. Per Wired tech experts, the personal PC most people own may not be reliable or fast enough for business needs. As a result, it is common for at-home workers to invest in a new model. Manufacturers offer a wide range of excellent desktop and laptop computers in various price ranges. Even reasonably modest brands are fast enough for all but the most intensive computing needs.
Although companies often primarily use digital documents, it is still important for home workers to invest in a printer. There will be times when it is necessary to keep hard copies for reference or legal reasons.
Invest in a UPS and Backup Storage
There are few things as frustrating as losing hours of work because of an electrical outage. Brick-and-mortar businesses avoid this problem by installing uninterruptible power sources that provide buffer time when the power is out. At-home workers should do the same. They can buy a UPS that will allow them to shut down equipment and save work safely.
A backup drive is another critical safeguard. It is crucial to create a plan to save data while setting up a home office. The simplest solution is to invest in an external drive or use a cloud-based backup service. External drives are especially affordable but can still help avoid the loss of time and money in emergencies.
An Extra Monitor Is a Plus
While a standard computer screen is fine for many at-home jobs, others require an additional monitor. Adding a monitor makes it easier to make Zoom or Skype calls and allows workers to multitask.
While working from home, if it is important for you to keep in touch with colleagues and seniors, apps such as Google Hangouts or Slack can be a lifesaver. Similarly if your job involves frequent meeting with clients, suppliers, or employees, you may consider using Zoom or Google Meet.
Cloud Computing and Storage
In your new work-from home system, if your employee workflow is getting affected by your current server architecture, cloud computing and storage is the solution. Consider cloud computing if you notice that up-linking to your in-house servers is taking a lot of time for the remote computers.
If you are a manager, encourage your team to list all their projects, meetings, and focus hours on a shared calendar so that the management has a clear visibility of all activities.
Working from home has a lot of benefits, but remote workers still need quality equipment to perform their jobs. At a minimum, every home worker should have high-speed internet, a landline or VoIP phone, a headset, and a reliable computer. Backup storage and an UPS are also vital, and many people invest in extra monitors.