Equipment for Working Remotely
As we experience a winter surge, and businesses prioritize workforce safety, many employees face a winter of remote work. This year has been a learning experience in many ways, and one thing it’s shown us is that to stay productive and engaged while away from the office, employees need the right equipment. It’s time for companies to consider whether they are giving their people all the tools they need.
Providing Remote Work Equipment for Employees
Back in spring, many Americans suddenly found themselves unexpectedly working from home. With limited time to prepare, employees have often found themselves getting by with just a laptop and an internet connection.
But for remote work to be sustainable long-term, businesses need to consider providing employees with more equipment. Great work requires great tools and if companies are going to be productive in a remote work environment, they need their employees to at least be comfortable.
Of course, everyone understands that this is an extraordinary situation that businesses were unable to plan for. But even in this tough economy, if extra equipment can help employees become more productive and engaged, it’ll be worth the expense.
- The Telecommuting Essentials
While every industry differs, for most office jobs telecommuting is impossible without some absolute essentials.
- Computer and Internet Connection – These will need to be of sufficient quality for work, so a personal laptop may be insufficient.
- Increased Internet and Data – Businesses may also want to provide employees with an allowance to increase their internet speed and data package.
- Communication Accessories – If an employee’s role requires phone calls and video meetings you can add further essential items to the list: a headset, a webcam and (in some cases) a telephone.
- Home Office Equipment
Next, think about what a remote worker needs to feel comfortable while working. Without the right setup, employees are at risk of developing back and neck pain. A proper office chair and desk could make a big difference. Employees may also require an additional monitor (or two).
For some roles, a printer or scanner may prove essential, if employees don’t have these in their homes already. If a remote worker is required to handle and store many documents, a file cabinet could prove valuable. For important documents, a fire-safe box may be required. Other less essential, but still useful, items include paper shredders, electrical multi-outlets and surge protectors.
- Software & Stationery
Even in an office environment, employees likely use a lot of software. However, remote work makes having the right software—and knowing how to use it correctly—more important than ever. Without being able to rely on corridor chats and water-cooler conversations, employees may need to make use of collaboration tools (like Microsoft Teams), scheduling services (like Google Calendar) and video-conferencing platforms (like Zoom).
For offline communication, employees may require a supply of stationary like notepad and pens, post-it notes and letter-headed paper with envelopes. After getting used to a seemingly infinite supply of these at the office, it could prove frustrating for employees to have to purchase themselves.
- Company Swag
If an employee is going to work from home permanently, or at least most of the time, you’ll want to do everything possible to make sure they are able to be just as productive as they would be in the office. A big part of this is helping them stay engaged and part of your team: supplying company swag like a personalized mug could help. Employers may even consider providing a (small) supply of coffee and cookies, just like an employee would be able to access at the office!
Remote Work Equipment Checklist
It takes a lot of equipment to fully replicate the office experience from home. Nobody expects companies to provide employees with every item on the list. However, every piece of equipment that is provided can make remote work more productive, enjoyable and sustainable.