The global pandemic has caused a massive change in the nature of work. The need to protect populations from the risk of contracting Covid-19 led many governments to implement stay-at-home orders and nationwide lockdowns. Businesses were forced to adapt by embracing remote work. Many feared that remote work would be less productive than office work, but the research suggests that productivity was not affected by the shift to remote work. Now, as the world tentatively heads toward normalcy, many firms have either decided to continue with remote work, or to embrace some kind of hybrid work model. This suggests that for many of us, a good portion of work will still be done from home. The question then is, what tools do we need to succeed at working from home? In this article, we will discuss what you need to do to work from home.
The essentials for remote work are pretty clear. You need a good laptop, of course, to get all your work done. That’s a given. You also need somewhere to work from. Here’s where it gets interesting. Over the last few decades, the share of knowledge workers in the economy has grown. The introduction of computers into the office accelerated the shift toward a knowledge economy. This means that there are a huge number of people who spend their days sitting at work. This sedentary lifestyle strips away opportunities for physical activity. In the Industrial Revolution, and for thousands of years before that, getting enough physical exercise happened as a function of one’s normal routine. Today, that has changed and hurt the mental and physical well being of many people. One solution to the need for a more physically challenging work day is to use a standing desk. Standing desks have been found to help with regulating blood sugar, reducing the risk of back and shoulder pain, and reducing the risk of diseases such as obesity and diabetes. If standing desks aren’t your thing, or it’s not possible for other reasons to get one, then you may use an executive desk, keeping in mind that it should be ergonomically designed along with an office chair.
As a remote worker, just like a dentist, it’s essential to remain connected with your co-workers, managers, or clients. First on the list here should be a good router. You’ll also need a webcam so that your meetings are crystal clear, though some people may be able to use their smartphone as a webcam. You’ll also need decent headphones or earbuds that cancel out external noise and don’t disrupt your calls.
A general principle for your home office should be that it must be ergonomically designed. You’ll spend a lot of time there so you should not hurt your body while doing your work. Being ergonomic may mean creating some deliberate inefficiencies. For instance, rather than having your printer right next to your desk, you could have it on the other end of the room, so that you’re forced to stand up and stretch your legs and do a bit of walking.