Working from home is more common than ever. While remote work may be on the rise and here to stay, it’s not the kind of environment where someone can make do with what they have. Remote work means workers really do need to set up a functioning home office.
Not only does a highly functional remote work environment ensure work will be efficient, and time will be productive. It also ensures the worker will look professional and remain competitive among an increasingly casual but fiercely competitive workforce.
Workers may not need to wear a tie for remote video calls anymore, but they do need to maintain a professional environment. For one thing, it helps to separate home life and work-life to help avoid the two bleeding together, which causes burnout, confusion among the household, and reduces overall productivity. A professional environment with the right equipment will also ensure workers are able to do all the work needed without inefficient backlogs, bottlenecks, and wasted time.
Lastly, maintaining a professional work environment will help clients and managers see, at least during video calls, that work is important and valued enough to the worker that they’ve set up a real home office instead of a makeshift one. This simple act of making sure the remote office is set apart and fully functional will help workers stand out in an increasingly competitive remote work ecosystem.
Most highly competitive and proficient remote workers realize they need their own space, so they pick up a desk and a computer. Some even take a bit far, reaching for expensive microphones and ring lights just so their Zoom meetings will look spot on. However, there is more to a productive space than desk decoration and extra video call technology. In fact, it's office technology that supports the meat of a worker’s day-to-day that makes a space-efficient and keeps the workers meeting deadlines and producing high-quality work.
Here are just a few examples of remote office technology you probably didn’t know you needed, but will be glad you invested in if your job involves more than video calls and checking email.
That little printer you keep stowed under the desk and occasionally use to print a recipe or a worksheet for your next book club meeting may have served the needs of the family. Now, you need to design a professional office, and it will most likely benefit from a multifunction printer.
Multifunction printers (MFP) can print, copy, and scan. If you need to occasionally fax, they can do that as well. They can email documents, eliminating the need to scan something, save it to your computer and then attach it to an email. Anytime you can skip a step, its one more way to save time and money.
Larger organizations will understand the security benefits of MFPs. Cybersecurity is hard enough in a workplace, but trying to remain secure from home while handling sensitive documents with private business documents and protected client information is an added concern. MFPs can encrypt information, manage document workflow, and secure documents so an organization can better control access, continue to meet industry compliance guidelines, and ensure their teams' security and safety.
An MFP can help with document security, but the entire office needs to be protected. When employees work in the same building or across several locations that are all managed by the company, security is more simple.
However, when there is a separate internet connection for each and every employee, managing and directing oversight for security becomes more of a challenge. Cybersecurity isn’t just a reactive job. It requires anticipation of criminal activity and patching gaps. Businesses need to practice safe internet protocols, have one-on-one troubleshooting discussions with remote workers to ensure their systems are everything they need to be, and minimizing susceptibilities and weaknesses should be a top priority.
While a ring light and pro mic may be attractive and even necessary for some, connectivity and communication boil down to the remote technology that’s available. No one should have to scramble to set up a call and get it to work. Every company should have a single go-to system requirement for a few applications and platforms as possible.
Telecom tools such as noise-canceling headphones to help minimize distractions in remote environments where distractions are more common than ever are becoming a crucial home office staple. Back-up chargers, the ability to seamlessly switch from computer to tablet to mobile device, are also achieving higher demand than ever before. This is mostly because if one device fails, workers need a way to switch to another device and continue.
Here is a list of just a few more office technology examples that will create a comfortable workspace at home to keep you productive, distraction-free, and healthy.
A final tip about office supplies and technology - try to stick to a single provider. Even though technology makes our lives easier when it works, everyone is familiar with the maddening frustrations that accompany the inevitable breakdowns and malfunctions.
All-in-one technology providers can be your go-to source for the bulk of your office supplies, and sometimes even service contracts and warranties. Having one company to reach out for a maintenance call or operating instructions and assistance will minimize stress and, most likely, get you up and running faster.
Adjusting to remote work can be tricky. It requires new habits, new hacks, and sometimes a completely new mindset. Office technology can already be enough of a struggle for people whose job isn’t in the tech industry.
To keep you focused on the work you need to do and working within your zone of native genius, design a comfortable office space that serves your individual work needs and will help you be more efficient and productive.
The definition of what is essential to your office may vary. Still, everyone needs some sort of office technology, making these tips and this list of remote technology you didn’t know you needed that much more helpful.