Working from home is not as easy as it sounds.
It can be, but only with the right set-up and equipment.
Nothing will cause greater inefficiencies and disruptions for your employees than trying to get things done on an internet connection that isn’t fast enough, a device that can’t handle the tasks expected of them, or a migraine caused by bad posture and a poor ergonomic set-up.
There are several things we can do to ensure their homes do work for work.
Infrastar will be attending the Remote Working Expo from the 9th-10th of March at Excel, London to share what we’ve found works best.
Home Equipment VS. Office Equipment
Working from home normally means downsizing the office, but for your staff it might mean needing to upsize their home office.
If an employee works on a laptop at home, they are not just dealing with a smaller screen, a less punchy keyboard and, perhaps, a surface tracker that is less precise than a mouse, they are increasing the amount that they strain.
The size of the text is harder to read, putting strain on their eyes.
The screen is lower than a traditional monitor, making them bend their neck and head downwards, affecting posture.
The smaller screen size makes it harder to move around their computer’s various folders and tabs, making it harder to multi-task.
Even a single, large, HD monitor may not be enough if their work involves a lot of open tabs.
As an employer it’s important to put yourself in their shoes. What are they expected to do, and how can you make it as easy as possible for them to get it done?
Investing in a second monitor, for example, can really smoothen the experience, allowing your employees to have multiple computer windows open at once in a manageable and digestible manner.
If they are using a finger track pad on a laptop, they are taking slightly more time to do everything that could be done with the swiftness and precision of a mouse.
You might even want to consider upgrading your staff’s desks
A home desk will already be used for a lot of home items and activities
Office work requires a tidy, organised desk for work, or else productivity is hampered. Is it realistic to do home and work stuff on the same small desk? Is there enough space for everything?
We recommend that your team takes a close look at their home desks and think about what is working and what doesn’t.
Underrated home-office tech that can make all the difference
Monitors, mouses and desks might be some of the more obvious investments you can make to help your employees be more productive and efficient when working from home.
But what are some of the less obvious ones?
Bluetooth Headphones/Headset: Headphones and/or headsets are a critical part of any work-from-home set-up, particularly for businesses whose staff spend a lot of time in meetings or on phone calls.
These help to ensure greater privacy by ensuring that other people in the home cannot hear the other end of a conversation, as well as free up hands from headsets so that notes can be taken, or work can be completed whilst communicating.
External HD Webcams: These will not only provide you a far better visual than your typical in-built laptop or desktop cameras, but they’ll also help facilitate a more natural connection and free-flowing conversation.
Wi-Fi boosters: Depending on where your employee has set up their home office, the quality of their connection may not be great. It might be worth investing in some Wi-Fi boosters or access points to provide a better connection. Nothing kills productivity like losing connection or having to jump back onto a call you dropped off from.
Is Your Connection Secure?
The security of an employee’s connection to your network is perhaps the most crucial consideration.
Your employees’ home internet connection may have vulnerabilities that are simply not present in the closed networking of an office building.
And if they do not control their home’s internet or Wi-Fi connection, then whoever does might have neglected to properly secure it. Your work cannot afford the risk of an unsecure network that is open to intruders. Vital information may be stolen.
Therefore, one of the solutions we recommend is a product called the Meraki Go, made by Cisco. It allows your employees to section-off a part of their home internet connection to a closed, private network, an environment that is secure and safer for work.
It is important that your employees can ensure their internet connection is reliable and fast enough, too. A single dropout moment can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you are on a tight deadline.
Productivity is brought to a grinding halt when a meeting is interrupted by a garbled, ineligible audio feed or if important resources are taking too long to download.
Infrastar can ensure a faster and more consistent network speed for your employees by equipping them with ethernet cables that can plug their computer directly into their internet mode, or we can set them up with Wi-Fi boosters if they are too far from the Wi-Fi modem.
These are just some of the simple things that can be done to significantly boost the comfort and productivity of your employees when they are working from home.
Are your equipped to make the most out of your home-working team? Contact us today for innovative solutions to the unexpected challenges of working from home. We employ rational methods and training that work, and boost productivity.