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Setting Up Your Work-from-home Office: What You’ll Need

Working from home is a new environment for thousands of employees who adapted to working remotely. There are multiple reasons for this transition, but mostly tied to the need to maintain safety and compliance with regulatory mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, working outside a traditional office environment is a growing trend across many industries. New home workers can benefit from the experience of those who have transitioned to the new normal, to learn the best practices for setting up your work-from-home office.

Equipment for Your Home Office

Depending on the expected duration of your work-from-home experience, your workspace will require specific office hardware to make the environment healthy, productive, and secure.

For instance, working remotely for a few weeks may be feasible on the kitchen table or from a bedroom. Investing in proper work furniture and a dedicated workspace will better serve longer remote assignments.

Workstation Setup

Working productively from home means setting up a desk or workstation that supports your computer or laptop at a comfortable height for sitting and typing. Ergonomics come into play to avoid fatigue or pain from improper positioning.

Ideally, invest in a desk or add-on accessory that allows you to stand periodically as you work. Studies have shown that long periods of sitting are unhealthy whether working in the office or at home.

Getting the Right Chair

One of the most important elements of a home office is your chair. It toned not be an extraordinarily expensive office chair, but it should meet some basic requirements:

  • Allow for proper positioning of your feet on the floor comfortably
  • Adjust the height for proper typing and mouse usage without undue pressure on the arms or wrists
  • Support your back properly to avoid back strain

Displays

Working with a laptop or tablet display is fine for short-term use, but when setting up your work-from-home office, consider providing a full-sized quality monitor. This will help avoid eyestrain, and will even boost productivity. This will also be beneficial when using video conferencing.

If space allows, many home workers prefer the use of multiple monitors, to reduce switching windows when working with multiple applications or reviewing documents while conducting online team meetings.

Keyboards and Peripherals

For many home workers, laptops are the most frequent devices used for day-to-day work. This can also cause stress on wrists and hands. If so, select from the many keyboards and mouse tools that feel best for your use.

There are specially designed ergonomic keyboards that are worth considering and trying out, but regardless of the keyboard style selected, a full-sized keyboard can be more efficient than small laptop keyboards for many remote workers.

Consider mouse and stylus peripherals for their ergonomic and functional qualities that may contribute to comfort and productivity.

Printers

While many offices strive to reduce hard-copy documents, eventually someone will print something, whether it’s a Word document, photograph, contract, or to-do list.

Small, wireless multifunction printers are ideal for home offices. Units from leading manufacturers can provide quality results for scanning, printing, copying, and faxing. Several suppliers provide high-quality home desktop printers including Sharp, Lexmark and Epson.

A Secure Working Environment

Working from home, employees don’t have the same advantages of corporate anti-spam filters and sophisticated firewalls.

To provide a secure work environment, remote teams should use virtual private network (VPN) software and services for business purposes. VPN ensures encrypted communications that unauthorized individuals cannot intercept, whether at home or on public WiFi networks.

Use malware detection and anti-spam software to guard against cyberattacks.

Don’t allow other family members to utilize business computers for other use, whether it’s for games, video streaming, or homework. Connecting a flash drive or loading non-business files introduces the possibility that malware could compromise the computer.

Communicating from Your Home Office Effectively

It can be challenging to keep in touch with management, coworkers, and customers from your home office, but technology can simplify the process.

Video conferencing of all types is enabling remote teams to collaborate and stay in touch effectively. Now, more than ever, people need to know that their conversations are private and secure. Microsoft Teams and Sharp’s Windows Collaboration Display, provides secure communications and collaboration across any teams regardless of location.

Phone conferencing via internet through smartphones and computers will free up home phone lines for other family members.

Managing Work and Family Life

When working from home, it’s important to keep a balance between work and home life. Family members need to understand that working from home is still working. A dedicated working area work discipline easier for others in the home.

Health officials point to several factors that allow home workers to maintain good health, reduce stress, and maximize productivity:

  • Set and keep a regular schedule
  • Take regular breaks to refresh, have lunch, and move around
  • Communicate with coworkers to avoid feelings of isolation or loneliness

Benefitting from Managed IT Services

Managed IT services and print services from Smile Business Products, Inc. (Smile BPI) have been assisting our customers with effective office technology solutions since 1977. We can do the same for your business in setting up a productive environment for remote work teams with quality office hardware, document management, and IT support.

Contact the office experts at Smile BPI for the best in office technology service and support.