When transitioning from an office environment to working from home, there are several tasks to complete and recommended items to purchase.
Let’s start with the skills you will need to become a successful remote worker. Good communication skills are necessary since you will be communicating with clients or colleagues over video calls, emails, and software like Slack.
Being a good organizer, working on your initiative, and being motivated to complete your work from home will also be needed.
Create a Distraction Free Workspace
You do not need to build a home office, but having space to sit and focus on work is essential. If you live with other people, you need to set rules and expectations.
Make sure that the workspace is comfortable, in that you ideally need an ergonomic computer chair so as not to damage your back and joints. Have a desk with plenty of space so you can work without clutter.
Reliable Internet Provider
We will start with the most obvious: you need a reliable internet connection to cope with video conference calls.
Depending on your role, you might need to download and upload files, so fast speeds will be required to keep yourself productive. Spend time researching the best internet speeds in your area.
Ask friends and work colleagues for their recommendations. When speaking with the internet service provider, ask for the expected upload and download speed.
Computer or Laptop
The next item you will need to work remotely is a desktop computer or laptop. My preferred option is a laptop so that work can be completed in coffee shops and co-working spaces.
You might decide that a desktop computer is the better option because you will always be working from home. Whatever you decide, make sure it can deal with the tasks you must regularly perform.
For a desktop computer, you will likely need to buy a mouse, keyboard and have a good-sized monitor to work on.
Think about the type of computer you will need to complete your work. Do you edit videos? Are you a developer that needs a power-hungry computer? Or are you working on customer support and working in the browser only?
MiFi for internet backup
During your time as a remote worker, at some point, your home internet will go down while working on a piece of work.
Having a backup is essential. Alongside having a mobile phone to tether, an unlocked MIFI is another option. Purchase a local sim card with a different service provider than your home WiFi and mobile phone.
You can connect your MIFI and continue your work if an internet service provider goes down. Therefore, it saves you from not making work deadlines and keeping clients and colleagues happy.
External hard drive
Purchasing an external hard drive will save you from losing corrupted files and hours trying to recreate the work. Remember, you are not on an office network when working from home, so your computer is not automatically getting backed up.
This task can be completed weekly or transferred files to your external hard drive at the end of the day. It’s also a good idea to do a full computer backup regularly to avoid any issues using it.
Cloud storage service
Alongside your external hard drive, it’s recommended to use a cloud storage service. It helps share files and documents with your colleagues or clients and allows you access to them on the move. Backing files to a cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive is smart. These services are relatively cheap and will save you work hours if you must re-do it.
It’s worth noting that external hard drives are sensitive, so they can be damaged if you move around a lot.
Block out unwanted noise.e
Purchase noise-canceling headphones if you plan to work in a noisy home, coffee shop, or co-working space. They will block out any unwanted noise and help you focus. Download Spotify, too, for relaxing music to concentrate.
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