Remote work and hybrid work have become increasingly common since the Coronavirus pandemic.
And with people working from shared spaces and home offices, it is crucial to highlight the importance of a great remote working set up.
But working from home (WFH) isn’t just about pulling up a chair and logging in for the day.
Maintaining a well-organized remote workspace can do wonders for your productivity and work-life balance. It also helps you manage a clear distinction between personal and office work.
In this article, we’ll discuss our top 10 tips for the perfect home office setup and look at some remote working tools to help employers monitor their workforce productivity.
This Article Contains
(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)
- Why a Great Remote Working Set Up is Important
- Top 10 Tips for the Perfect Remote Working Set Up
- Have Sufficient Lighting
- Maintain a Clutter-free Workspace
- Find a Comfortable Desk, Chair, and Keyboard
- Keep a Tidy Background
- Get a Whiteboard and Sticky Notes
- Place Some Plants on Your Desk
- Put Up Some Inspiration Nearby
- Nurture a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
- Invest in a Pair of Earphones or Speakers
- Use Cloud Services to Work From Anywhere
- 4 Powerful Remote Working Tools to Boost Employee Productivity
Let’s get started.
Why a Great Remote Working Set Up Is Important
Many offices and workspaces invest in ergonomic chairs, comfortable equipment, good lighting, and other quality of life improvements.
These factors are equally important for setting up your home office or coworking space as it ensures you don’t feel stressed or strained during the workday.
Uncomfortable seating, poor lighting, and non-ergonomic equipment can cause a lot of strain and long-term health issues with repeated usage.
With that in mind, let’s move on to setting up the perfect remote working office environment.
Top 10 Tips for the Perfect Remote Working Set Up
A remote working setup can consist of many components, but here are 10 crucial points to keep in mind while setting up your home office.
1. Have Sufficient Lighting
Good and ample lighting in a work environment is one of the first things to consider when setting up your remote workspace.
Improper lighting can lead to headaches, eye strain, fatigue, and other health issues, so investing in good lighting can have a positive impact on your health.
Try setting up your workspace with as much natural light as possible as it can help keep you active during work hours.
Additionally, remember to position yourself to avoid glares on your screen.
Computer screens tend to reflect light much like mirrors, making it difficult to view your monitor and causing eye strain.
You can use indirect light sources to reduce glare. If you use colored lights, cooler bluish tones or white work best for daylight, while warmer orange tones can help you wind down easier.
Getting smart bulbs is also a ‘bright’ idea as these will allow you to configure how much lighting you would need at different times of the day. You can set these configurations to trigger automatically based on the time.
If you are doing any reading, then a desk lamp can prove helpful without causing interference to the overall lighting of the room.
2. Maintain a Clutter-free Workspace
Unnecessary objects on your work table can distract you and take up valuable desk space. In contrast, a clutter-free and organized space will help you stay focused while working.
Organizing work-related files or paperwork can help streamline your work, so you don’t have to scramble to find important documents when you get a work video call.
A sturdy desk with drawers will allow you to categorize your work and personal items, while Bluetooth devices help keep your office space cable-free, providing you with more space to work.
A clutter-free desk also frees up space to add other devices, such as a docking station to charge multiple devices without multiple adapters or an external monitor.
3. Find a Comfortable Desk, Chair, and Keyboard
While working a home job, the importance of ergonomic equipment is more long-term than short-term and can have severe implications on your physical health.
A standing desk will allow you to adjust the height of your table, keeping your monitor parallel to your eyes and reducing strain on your back and neck.
A comfortable office chair or desk chair can help support your lower back and posture with lumbar support and adjustable heights for the seat and arms. It can massively reduce the chances of back and neck injury in the long run.
Tendonitis is a common injury people face due to excessive keyboard usage. It can lead to more serious damage, which may take months to heal.
An ergonomic keyboard can help alleviate the stress build-up in your wrists and forearms. Preferably look for a mechanical keyboard with adjustable stands so it can match your seating position for a comfortable typing experience.
4. Keep a Tidy Background
With interviews, meetings, and gatherings frequently happening over video calls, a tidy virtual workspace can project an air of professionalism and discipline.
A shelf with some books or a few paintings in the background is more pleasing to the eye than a pile of laundry or empty bags of chips during remote meetings.
Keeping your work environment neat also helps keep it organized, so you always know where you’ve stored essential items like hard drives and confidential documents.
5. Get a Whiteboard and Sticky Notes
A whiteboard and sticky notes can assist you with daily and weekly scheduling. They can also be a fun way to doodle in your free time.
Whiteboards can help you manage projects and deadlines with to-do lists while giving you an overview of your week. Sticky notes can remind you about important daily tasks.
You can also split your whiteboard to organize office and household work by color-coding the sticky notes.
Both of these can positively affect your overall productivity and time management skills.
6. Place Some Plants on Your Desk
Table plants bring a breath of fresh air and a pleasant aesthetic to your workspace.
They add color and act as natural air filters. Studies show that they reduce stress and improve your overall health and wellness.
However, keep in mind that your plants require regular sunlight and water, and if you are a new plant parent, it can get overwhelming.
If you have a hectic schedule, you can get plants like Cacti or Aloe since you can water them once in two weeks.
7. Put Up Some Inspiration Nearby
Inspiration drives us to be better versions of ourselves every day.
A good source of motivation can encourage you to stay focused on your goals which can positively affect your growth – personally and professionally.
Your inspiration can be a picture of your loved ones, a motivational quote, or a poster of your favorite movie! It is an excellent addition to your workspace if it inspires you.
However, try not to overload your space, and most importantly, don’t get distracted by your inspiration.
8. Nurture a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
Maintaining a workout routine and eating balanced meals contribute to your physical well-being and mental health.
Add a few pieces of workout equipment like dumbbells or a skipping rope to your remote workplace to use when you’re on a break.
However, if space is a constraint, calisthenic exercises should help as they rely on body weight.
Also, opt to snack on fruits or other healthy alternatives instead of processed foods.
Staying healthy also means fewer sick leaves and increased productivity which can have positive effects on your career growth.
9. Invest in a Pair of Earphones or Speakers
Getting a set of speakers or a pair of noise-canceling headphones for your home setup can help you block out all unwanted noise, enjoy your playlists or podcasts, and focus on work.
Audio equipment can benefit your workflow if you live near areas with a lot of noise that can get distracting throughout a workday.
Earphones also help you stay focused on virtual meetings without getting distracted by your surroundings.
If you share your home office space with a family member, earphones allow you to listen to music without disturbing anyone else. Music also helps relax your body and mind and has proven to benefit productivity at work.
10. Use Cloud Services to Work From Anywhere
Cloud services let you store and work on your projects anywhere, assuming you have a steady internet connection.
Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, or Dropbox store all your work on cloud storage, allowing easy access from multiple devices.
Cloud services also enable remote access to files between you and your colleagues, employees, or clients while preventing unauthorized access. It’s also a good idea to invest in a business VPN for added security and end-to-end data encryption.
Another benefit of storing your work on the cloud is preventing data loss.
Since your data is not on physical storage devices such as a hard drive, there are fewer chances of losing important work files. Also, you don’t have to worry about deleting your data to make space for office files.
Now, let’s look at the right tools employers can use to manage their remote workforce.
4 Powerful Remote Working Tools to Boost Employee Productivity
If you have a remote work policy in place, investing in the right tools and software programs can help your large or small business develop and maintain an efficient company culture.
Here are some of the best tools to maintain and boost employee productivity.
1. Time Tracking Tools
The key to effective time management is knowing where time gets spent.
By tracking and collecting workday data, you are providing remote employees and management with the information needed to make strategic improvements.
Time Doctor is one such powerful employee time tracking tool used by major companies, like Verizon, and SMB’s like Thrive Market, to increase employee productivity.
Time Doctor offers a silent version of their tool to automatically track time during specific hours, with little to no interference on employees’ routines.
They can also track time manually by entering the task name and clicking the ‘Start’ button.
It also has additional features such as:
- Productivity Reports: Keep track of remote employee productivity by generating detailed reports for specific timelines and tasks.
- Project Management: Manage your projects and production resources from a single dashboard and view project timelines and progress with ease.
- App Integrations: Integrates with productivity and accounting apps such as Jira, Trello, Quickbooks, and many more.
- Idle Time Pop-Up: Tracks idle time by checking for keyboard or mouse inputs and sends a notification to employees based on the idle time limit set by their manager.
You can learn more about Time Doctor’s other features here.
2. Video Conferencing Tools
These software programs allow you to hold a virtual meeting or conference calls with multiple people, including employees, team members, and clients. You can share your screen or a whiteboard during discussions and join meetings via a dial-in phone number.
These programs are generally available on PC, Mac, and smartphones, allowing cross-platform usage.
3. Online Collaboration Tools
These programs create a virtual space where employees can refer to and check off items as they progress through projects and tasks.
Employees can also edit and share files and documents with relevant team members or clients.
4. Communication Tools
A communication tool plays a massive role in how individuals and teams perform. And sometimes, you just need to drop your supervisor a message instead of getting on a call.
They also maintain messages in the form of threads, which keeps your inboxes organized.
A home office should be a suitable working space while reflecting your interests and personality.
We recommend brightening up your workspace and making it yours while keeping it free of distractions.
You can follow our tips while investing in your remote workspace for a vibrant and comfortable work area in no time!
To learn more about remote working, feel free to check out these related articles for some helpful pointers.
Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor—one of the world’s leading time tracking software for remote teams. He is also the co-organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest remote work conference.