The past couple of years have been pretty difficult for most of us and have seen change sweep through the vast majority of our lives. Few people could have anticipated or predicted the coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic or the steps that have been put in place to protect us and those around us. This unprecedented global emergency has seen the majority of governments around the world advising their citizens to stay home and only leave if absolutely necessary. This means that many of us have only left our houses for food, medicine, and other essentials for a while now. These rules, restrictions, and guidelines have also, of course, come hand in hand with many other changes to our day-to-day routines. One major change has been beginning to work from home. Countless businesses have closed their doors and shifted their staff to a work-from-home basis, which means huge numbers of people have waved goodbye to the office and commuting lifestyle and settled down to working within our own four walls. There are plenty of perks to this all around. People don’t have to spend money or time commuting, they can make healthier meals on their lunch breaks and can wear more comfortable clothing outside of meetings. From the employer’s perspective, they’re saving money on commercial premises, commercial running costs, bills, and other overheads. So, it’s not all too surprising that even with vaccines rolling out around the world, a lot of people are sticking with this new working routine. Now, if you’re planning on working from home for the foreseeable future, here are a few essentials you should invest in!
Good Quality Broadband
Broadband is going to be something that can make or break your working day when you work from home. When you operate in an office, your employer will provide you with a strong internet connection to work from. However, when working from home, this becomes your responsibility. Now, there are countless different broadband providers out there, so your best bet is to do a little research before signing up for any given contract. Determine which providers have the best speeds. See which have the most consistent and reliable service. Ensure that they have good customer support options – this will come in useful if you do ever experience issues. Finally, you can then consider the price. There are plenty of price comparison sites out there that will help you to determine which is the best deal for your money!
Good Quality Mobile Data
Of course, there are occasionally scenarios when a provider’s network will go down, or when they experience issues with physical aspects of the internet service in your area. During times like these, you’ll still need to be able to connect to your work, so it’s always a good idea to have some sort of internet connection that can run as a backup. Most mobile internet providers will have signal checkers that allow you to check and assess the signal in your area before you sign up for a contract. Also, look out for options with unrestricted tethering to ensure that you can connect your laptop or tablet to the connection while working from home. This is an investment that will also benefit your personal life, as you’ll have a stronger connection for watching films or TV shows, streaming music, using social media or whatever else you may use your mobile internet connection for.
Ergonomic Furniture and Equipment
When you work in an office, it is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with a safe working environment that will protect you from harm. Many people think that this only applies to roles such as manual labour roles, or roles that require the use of machinery and tools. But it rings true for every workspace. This means that many offices are fitted with ergonomic furniture and that your workplace will also provide you with any ergonomic equipment that you may require to work safely and comfortably. Ergonomically designed furniture and equipment is created with your posture and body in mind. It can help to prevent issues such as repetitive strain injury and can ensure that you have as safe a time at work as possible. Sure, office work and desk work may initially come across as pretty safe and relatively low risk. But at the same time, there are potential risks that ergonomic design can help with. When you work from home, you may find that you can improve your individual long term wellbeing by investing in some yourself. There are all sorts of options out there that are readily available on the market. This can range from ergonomic desks to ergonomic chairs, ergonomic keyboards, ergonomic mice, backrests, footrests and much more.
Printers and Scanners
Every office will have a printer and scanner. This is a given. Both printers and scanners are tools that people tend to use day in and day out when working within an office. Whether that’s printing notes, contracts or anything else. Put simply, this is an important tool that you should have in your home office too! Having your own will ensure that you can get documents out and returned quickly and efficiently, saving you a whole lot of time and effort that would otherwise be entailed in going out to try to find a public computer and printer to use (which is unlikely during the pandemic) or having to pay professional printing services to print or scan documents that you could easily complete at home. Now, choosing the right printer and scanner for your home office can feel difficult at first. There are so many different options available on the market and each will have its own unique spec. While you want something that is compact and can fit in your home without being obtrusive, you also want something that has great quality and great capacity. You probably also want something that’s affordable, seeing as some higher end models can skyrocket into the thousands when it comes to price. Make sure to read plenty of reviews and get recommendations before buying. This will ensure that you get a good printer for your money.
Good Quality Lighting
If you’ve spent any time in modern day office blocks, chances are, you’ve noticed that many of them are absolutely flooded with natural light. They have huge windows to let natural light in. This, of course, is pretty different to office blocks of the past, where many workers didn’t have access to any windows or natural light and, instead, operating under the buzz of bright white or blue toned, artificial, dim, sterile lights. But why are employers making this change? Well, believe it or not, natural light can have a profoundly positive impact on your productivity and overall output. Why? Well, a huge number of scientific studies have been conducted into the effects of lighting on people’s productivity. The results are generally unanimous, showing that harsh, bright and artificial lights can result in people feeling stressed or depressed. On the other hand, we have natural light, which can encourage clear thinking and levels of productivity. Natural light can also benefit sleep-wake cycles, allowing you to lead a healthier and more balanced life, where you’re getting sufficient rest. When exposed to natural light, your body automatically wakes up and perks up. If you’re in a dim setting, your body begins to think that it’s night and will start to wind down. If possible, try to make sure that you have plenty of natural light in your home workspace. This may involve renovation work, such as replacing windows, fitting skylights or having french doors installed. But all in all, it will prove more than worth it!
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Some people find it easy working from home. But for others amongst us, this is quite a feat, as we’re surrounded by distractions that seem to seek to drag us away from our work. If you live with others, have pets, or have noisy neighbors, you may want to try out some noise-canceling headphones. Sure, these can be used to play music, allowing you to hear the songs you want in the best quality possible. But at the same time, they can be used in and of themselves, simply blocking out intrusive noise and providing you with a quiet work environment to operate within. They really can make all the difference, encouraging you to concentrate and preventing you from falling off track and getting distracted or procrastinating. Again, there are countless options available, so take your time and try a few different options out. Generally speaking, others’ reviews can give you some pretty accurate insight into which brands and models are best.
These investments may seem like unnecessary outgoings, but really, they’re wise investments that you’ll get plenty of use from. So, make sure to try a few out and see which work for you. They could make your working day a whole lot safer, more productive and comfortable!