Working remotely is a great way to increase productivity. It can help you avoid the distractions of an office environment and makes it easier to set your hours. But if you’re not careful, working from home can also lead to some serious work-life balance issues.
To make sure that you’re getting the most out of your remote work experience, make sure you have a computer monitor, various network cable types, and other remote work must-haves that I will discuss in this guide.
This is probably the most important item on this list. If you don’t have a good monitor, then it will be impossible to work efficiently.
While it may be tempting to go with a smaller, cheaper screen to save money, this isn’t always a good idea. The bigger your screen, the more productive you’ll be. You will be able to see more of your images and documents without scrolling or zooming in and out.
There are main things to consider when buying a monitor:
The resolution refers to how many pixels (dots) fit across one inch of screen real estate; the higher the number is, the sharper everything will look on your screen.
Screen size should be based on personal preference and how much space you have available in your office or home office setup.
A camera is essential for video chat and video conferencing. Many webcams come with microphones built-in, so you can conduct conference calls without having to purchase additional equipment.
If you want to make sure everyone in the room can see and hear you clearly, make sure your webcam has a built-in microphone jack.
If your laptop doesn’t have a built-in webcam, you can buy it separately for about $20 from retailers. There are even some companies that offer free webcams for employees who work remotely.
You’ll need an external hard drive to store all of your files so that they’re not taking up space on your computer’s internal memory which can fill up quickly.
External storage devices come in different sizes and speeds so make sure you buy one that’s big enough for what you need.
If you’re going to be working from home or a coffee shop or anywhere else outside the office, you need good internet access to do your job.
No matter what kind of internet connection you have at home, it is essential that your internet connection is fast enough to research online and download required documents.
If you’re working from home, you might be tempted to use Wi-Fi for your internet connection instead of an Ethernet cable. While this may seem more convenient at first glance, it’s not a good idea because Wi-Fi can be affected by interference from other devices in the area.
While many remote workers prefer to work in silence, there are times when it’s better to have some background noise or music playing while you work.
Headphones allow you to listen to music without bothering anyone else around you. Plus, they reduce distractions from outside noise that could otherwise distract you from getting work done.
Consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones if you’ll be working in public places often; these types of headphones block out external sounds so that only what’s inside them can be heard clearly which means no distractions for you.
If the power goes out, your computer goes down which means no work gets done. Make sure that won’t happen by using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with surge protection features that will continue running your computer even if there’s a power outage at home or in the office building where you work remotely.
You will need a computer with internet access to work remotely. You can use your personal computer or purchase one that has been made for working remotely.
If you use your computer, make sure it has enough memory and processing power to handle the tasks you need it to do. It should also have virus protection software installed on it at all times.
The last thing you want is for your laptop to get damaged or stolen while traveling with all of your other personal belongings inside of it. Make sure you have a protective case or sleeve that can protect it from impact damage as well as theft.
This may seem obvious, but it’s essential to have a desk and a good chair in your home office or den. You don’t need anything too fancy, just a place to set your laptop and put things like pens and paper that you might need during the day.
You’ll be sitting in a chair for hours at a time, so make sure it’s comfortable. If you have back issues, spend the money on a good ergonomic office chair.
This is another pretty obvious one, but it’s often overlooked when setting up remote workspaces. A desk lamp will keep your eyes from straining at night and make it easier for you to stay focused on what you’re working on.
If possible, choose one with an adjustable arm so that it can be used as both an overhead light source and a task light when needed.
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